Thursday, October 20, 2016

All Our Racist Yesterdays

I'm proving to be pretty useless when it comes to posting this week.  Then again, I've had a pretty exhausting week: just yesterday I had the trauma of getting my car through this year's MoT, followed by a dental appointment today.  But things in the wider world have been equally dispiriting, with both Lily Allen and Gary Lineker facing tidal waves of abuse for daring to show compassion for refugee children and the right wing press running an astounding campaign of disinformation concerning the aforementioned children.  Apparently, we are in danger of being invaded by hordes of mad Jihadi terrorist benefits claimants disguised as children.  Presumably these disguises involve grown men wearing short trousers and school uniforms and speaking in high pitched voices.  But don't worry, we can tell their real ages by looking at their teeth, (I thought that only worked for horses).  Either that, or getting them to undress in front of a public school educated right  wing Tory MP, who will then examine their genitalia, (they are experts on young boys' privates, apparently).

So, to try and convince everyone that things aren't really getting worse, I present a compilation of the 'best' racist moments from notorious seventies sitcom Love Thy Neighbour.  This series was disturbingly popular during the seventies. (A friend of mine who had grown up without TV in the seventies was appalled when he saw a clip of the series on one of those nostalgia programmes back in the nineties.  He was even more appalled when I told him that it wasn't from, as he's assumed, an unaired pilot programme, but from something that ran for four or five series, at least).  Defenders of Love Thy Neighbour like to compare it 'Til Death Us Do Part, pointing out that Jack Smethurst's bigot is always shown to be ignorant and wrong and that his black neighbour gives as good as he gets.  However, it lacks the earlier series' satiric edge and Smethurst's character lacks the complexity of Warren Mitchell's Alf Garnett.  Moreover, a black man calling a white man 'Honky' is most certainly not equivalent to a white man constantly referring to all black people as 'Nig Nogs'.  Anyway, watch the video and reassure yourself that maybe, just maybe, the seventies were just as hate and bigotry filled as the present.

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