Tuesday, June 06, 2006










Well! Shiver me timbers! Trevor Phillips has uttered one sentiment with which I can whole-heartedly concur! It does not follow, when racists have used a particular word against non-white-skinned people, that this particular ‘radio-active' word should be buried in a leaden tomb at the very bottom of the deepest, darkest ocean - lest it contaminate those reckless souls that may be tempted to use it! Why should racists be allowed to determine the lexicon of those they seek to oppress? After all, if racists were to decide to ‘sully' a long list of hitherto ‘innocent' words, ‘religiously' observant non-racists would find very little ‘pure' word-room in which to manouevre! No wonder that so many non-whites (with a sense of humour) enjoy ‘reclaiming' words such as ‘nigger' - even the filthiest white-trash and racist-scrap would appear to have some value after recycling! It's definitely a case of cutting out one's tongue in order to spite one's mind.....

Lester Holloway reckons that "The word also takes us back years to an era when signs saying 'No Coloureds, No Irish, No Dogs' hung on windows. We should not allow Trevor to turn back the clock. If he likes the word 'coloured' and doesn't like the word 'multicultural' we have to wonder what's going on."

Well fear not Lester! There is no mythical present which has vanquished the racist terrors of the past - a past where blacks were negros and the favour of whites had to won. Politically-correct patch-makers do not want anyone to ‘turn back the clock' because they know, deep-down, that the UK's ‘clock' of human decency was never wound up - and that, despite a multi-culture of liberal and leftist policies, this ‘clock' has never moved on.

As for Lee ‘rose-tinted' Jasper, he needs to get himself down to Specsavers, on the double! In effect, Britain has always been ‘segregated' and continues to be ‘segregated' to this day. In fact, while UK minorities continue to be oppressed, it is in the interests of survival for minorities to become more ‘segregated'. Mr Jasper states that Mr Phillips "should seriously consider whether he is in the right job." Is Lee Jasper after Trev's job?

Unfortunately, the meat of Trevor Phillips' speech was, as usual, comfort food for racists. Just as his ‘Sleep-Walking into Segregation' address was a coded attack on Muslims who, quite reasonably, choose to keep themselves-to-themselves (he implied, with a cynicism which Blair would have envied, that Muslim self-segregation is causing terrorism - whilst totally disregarding the slaughter of Middle Eastern Muslims caused by Western military occupation), so Trevor Phillips' latest offering now contains a dictat which states that there should be "national agreement on some of these issues" ie. he believes that minorities should gratefully accept the names that they are given by racists.

Fortunately, Shami Chakrabarti recognises that "it's all too easy to bang on about shared language and rather harder to stand up for non-negotiable values such as ... freedom from arbitrary arrest." She alone seems to recognise that it's people (through their actions) who are racist - and that words, on their own, can never be racist. She's obviously somewhat irritated by the irrelevance of this discussion in the context of a society where Muslims and other non-whites are being arbitrarily arrested and summarily executed.
In a country where race mythology is used to divide, rule and oppress, we should not be worrying about which race-label to use - we should really be questioning whether we ought to give any Human any race-label at all.


“Phillips speech will be particularly galling for those who have fought for years against words like 'half-caste' and 'coloured' to assert their identity as being Black.”

Trevor Phillips' casual approach to the word ‘coloured' is probably due to a generational influence. One's use of language often gives away one's age. People from different age groups will refer to the National Assistance Board, the DHSS, the DSS or the DWP, but they will usually all be describing the same government department - likewise different people will refer to people of Afro-Carribean origin as either negro, coloured, people of colour and black. The use of these words is simply a matter of personal preference - in the same way as my experiences of traffic conditions and roadworks, when I used to drive from Clerkenwell to Shoreditch, tended to make me a ‘City Road man', rather than an ‘Old Street man'; similarly, the lottery of one's formative experiences might lead one to be a ‘tit man' instead of a ‘bum man'!

I cannot count the number of times I have heard people from older generations (both black and white) use the word ‘coloured' - but does this make a black pensioner, who uses the word ‘coloured', ignorant about race-issues? Equally, I am not bothered when I hear a racist use the word ‘coloured' - because I realize that his actions speak far louder than his words. Clearly, this sort of terminology only becomes important when a society dominated by white racists demands it to be so - but it is that same racialized society which has today necessitated the racial description ‘black'. It is, of course, not the skin-description ‘black' about which we are arguing, but the insidiously weighted racial-description - which is the result of a sinister fabrication (race).

In terms of physical description, I will always consider a particular friend of mine to be ‘half-caste' - because, in 1983, when I had mislaid his address and was attempting to locate him, my then girlfriend described him as ‘half-caste'. I had never before heard this term used (indeed, I did not even know that there existed a term to describe his particular complection), but the term proved invaluable in finding his exact whereabouts in the general area in which I knew him to reside. However, I will always primarily think of this man as my friend rather than as a ‘label'. It is unfortunate that so many people are more concerned with the label than with the Human to which it is attached - though, I suppose, this is hardly surprising in an age where people are obsessed with ‘designer labels'...

Moreover, not only have I, by accident of circumstances, internalized the term ‘half-caste', but I also prefer this term to the racially-loaded ‘mixed-race' and the sociological non-descriptive mouthful of ‘dual-heritage' - because I am attracted towards the term which, in Western understanding, has the least racial connotations.


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