Pulse Media


Ignoramus and a free media

This is London As per usual we are asked to be shocked by the appearance of ignorance/bigotry/racism (make your choice) in the media, without the majority of us (ie. those who haven't actually read/heard the original ignorant/bigoted/racist remarks in the first place) knowing what the remarks even were. The population at large is asked to remain ignorant as to what those remarks were and to accept, that they were ignorant/bigoted/racist without questioning that. In a very orwellian manor, the media refrains from appearing racist by refusing to explain in detail what the original remarks were, thus failing in it's mission to keep us informed and allow us to make up our own minds on the issue. So, what do we learn in the article linked above?

Shetty's accent was mocked, her cooking was criticised, Goody called her "Shilpa Poppadom" and said "she makes my skin crawl" while another contestant added: "She should f*** off home.
Quite apart from the lack of clarity as to what was actually racism on Goody's behalf, and who the others were, and why they were not accused of racism, what can actually be said to be indeed racist? Mocking an accent? How many English readers can stand up and say they have never mocked a scottish, welsh or irish accent? Hmm, Mish Moneypenny? Criticising her cooking? France's president Chirac didn't mock Tony Blair's cooking. No, he mocked British food. How racist is that? Sure, he was slammed by the British media. No doubt he should be tried in a court of law for racist comments. "Shilpa Poppadom"? Well, I drink at a British pub here in Toulouse, called "Frog&Rosbif". However, I will admit context is everything. Calling an Indian a 'poppadom' is obviously not the same as calling a Frenchman a 'frog'. That said, I would say it shows ignorance rather than racism. To that I will return later. And how are we to know-that is 'we' who have not heard/read the original comments in their original context-why Shetty made Goody's skin crawl? Are we supposed to accept, that this vaguely quoted comment constitutes racism? It seems to me, that the most racist comment quoted above ('she should f*** off home') is not even attributed to Goody! Now, whether the comments were racist or just plain ignorant, is it right to condemn a media for airing those comments-especially a media such as Big Brother? After all, the idea of BB is to show 'reality'. We can question how much actually constitutes reality on the programme, but is it right to demand less reality in the form of censorship? As Trevor Phillips says, after calling for a C4 chief to be 'censured', it is
important to recognise that the behaviour of Jade and other housemates "mirror(ed) actually what happens in real life: these sort of low-level private conversations that we don't normally see in public where people say things between friends".
So, is it not right, is it not positive, is it not the purpose of BB, that we should see these 'private conversations' which betray a certain kind of ignorance/bigotry/racism? Jade Goody has 'admitted' she made racist remarks. An anti racist group wants to 'help' Goody combat her racism. One is reminded of Mel Gibson's 'apology' for his anti-semitic remarks and his promise to get help from Jewish leaders 'curing himself' and one is left somewhat sceptical. While such high-profile people may be 'convinced' they did wrong, what convinces 'normal' people, that their ignorant/bigoted/racist views or remarks are unacceptable? Are they expected to suddenly see the light thanks to calls for censorship and/or calls to sue people like Goody or media outlets like C4 or BB? If that's what is expected of the population, then the population must really be dumb. Personally, I don't think the population is dumb, and I don't think our politicians and 'thinkers' believe the population is that dumb. They just want to be seen to be doing something, while not actually addressing the problems of ignorance/bigottry/racism in our society. No, the population ain't dumb, it's just lazy, and our leaders know that too.