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our racist prince
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grufty jim
grufty jim
1940 posts

Edited Jan 13, 2009, 00:06
Re: our racist prince
Jan 13, 2009, 00:04
geoffrey_prime wrote:
Well, let me offer some support, he is my prince.

If that over-privileged ignoramous represents your idea of leadership (leadership by divine right no less... 'cos when all's said and done, that's ultimately the only "legitimacy" they have to fall back on), then you have my deepest sympathies.

geoffrey_prime wrote:
I hope we can hear from the perosn who was being referenced in this so called racist assault. If they were happy for this personal nickname to be used, then, obviously, this is another media "whip up".

As I understand it, Harry was making a specific reference to a specific colleague/friend... not a generic reference, which I agree would be racist.

Well then you understand it rather badly. The 'Paki' thing? I guess that may well have been a specific reference. It still reeks of the sort of casual racism that totally riles me, but that's a personal thing.

"Raghead", on the other hand, was most definitely generic and is something that goes much deeper. When he says of a mate with camo-gear on his head; "you look like a raghead", it's pretty clear that this is a guy who is used to thinking of -- and referring to -- Afghans and Pakistanis as "ragheads". He wouldn't use that particular phrase unless that was the case.

Which isn't to say that I don't understand it. If you're a member of the UK or US armed forces at the moment (as Harry is / was) then you are essentially part of a large conspiracy to dehumanise Islamic brown people from Central Asia. Go back 40 years and it was communist brown people from South East Asia -- or 'gooks'. Go back another 30 and it was white Germans -- or 'krauts'. And so on and so forth. That's one of the necessary functions of any military -- the dehumanisation of the targets. It must be done in order to reduce resistance to, and anxiety about, killing them.

On the one hand it shouldn't surprise anyone. On the other, it's a vile practice that demonstrates yet another reason why militarism needs to be opposed. It's not hard to understand of course, but saying "he's racist because he failed to overcome the prejudices of his environment" doesn't actually make him less racist. It merely demonstrates why he's racist.

But look, as Tim Leary said, "racism is the water through which we all swim". It's all around us, it infuses our culture and seeps into us however hard we try to resist. But at least some of us do our damndest to swim against the current. Harry appears to revel in being swept along. And I find that problematic in anyone -- let alone someone that people (you at least) look to for leadership.

And that's without even touching on what he meant when he asked a fellow soldier, "How do you feel? Gay? Queer on the side?" Without the context, I would not automatically assume the comments demonstrate a homophobic attitude. But it makes you wonder.

Again, I have no doubt that casual homophobia is rampant in the military. But that doesn't actually mean those involved aren't nasty bigots.

geoffrey_prime wrote:
As a secondary point, I am really disappointed at how quickly people now jump on the "pc bandwagon"... even on this site...

PC bandwagon? You mean objecting when Afghans are referred to as ragheads? I would have thought that's just basic human decency. But if you insist it's some kind of PC bandwagon, then I'm happy to be aboard it.

geoffrey_prime wrote:
We should really challenge the media..

Damn straight! But while we're at it, we can probably spare a wee bit of time to challenge racist aristocrats.
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