The Political Correctness police always do it. Time and again they fall for the trick and give a massive boost to the people they are trying to criticise.
This series of (not) Celebity Big Brother was seriously failing. Nobody was watching and the not Celebs were not obliging enough to make exhibitions of themselves. But the producers had planned for that. Hands up who has not thought how convenient it was that the ongoing row that has followed the introduction of Jade Goody just happens to centre on the most emotive word in the language.
The failing of the PC police is that they interpret that which is not racist (unpleasant yes, insensitive yes, disgusting yes, but not racist) as racism. The PC Police are of course incorrigibly middle class. Not only do they not understand the working class mind, they have no intention of trying, instead they simply try to impose their morals and values on everybody. We should remember that racism is the belief that people of a different ethnicicy are somehow inferior, their humanity has less value. To be racist requires a certain intellectual subtlety, to be racialist (to mistrust those who are different) just requires stupidity. The Working Class are not by any means all stupid, nor are the middle class all sensitive and inclusive. Let’s look closely at what is going on.
I have managed teams in which the way people of African and Asian origin were spoken to made me cringe. But such behaviour is motivated not by malice but by ignorance and stupidity.
Jade Goody remember, redefined the scale of stupid. In fact she has made a career out of stupidity and being totally beyond embarrassment. Her cohorts in the Big Brother debacle are not much brighter however, even if they are better looking.
The victim of the bullying, Bollywood magastar Shilpa Shetty, is not only a bigger celebrity in global terms than the rest put together but she is beautiful, intelligent, gracious, cultured and articulate – and speaks better, much better, English than her abusers (and yes, I do have a thing about Indian women.)
So what has gone on in that studio is not racism but plain, old-fashioned class envy. Shilpa is upper middle class, her tormentors are low end of the working class. We pretend the class system is dead but that is not so. Also we must not forget that the Big Brother programme makers will edit the footage to make it look as sensational as possible.
It is more than thirty years since I moved to East Lancashire but even now when I am introduced into a group of people who all know each other the usual response is “you’re not from round here are you.” This is not as bad as I used toget in London where the routine question was “do you still keep coal in the bath?”
“Do they eat with their fingers in India?” is from the same batch of stupidity.
There then follows a process of testing, usually in the form of derogatory remarks about he place one hails from. Deal with this good humouredly and you are accepted; show any sign of offence and you have committed the very worst sin in the eyes of the working class: that of “thinking you are somebody.”
To fall for the line that the baiting of Shipla is racist is to allow ourselves to be manipulated by these televisual freakshow operators. Its time we all rose above that and gacve the thumbs down to their pathetic, sensationalist television.