Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Stupid White Men (and Women)

I’ve gradually been reminded of yet another reason why I prefer to work in London than on the outskirts. Here in suburbia, ignorance is by no means blissful. The small-minded ass-clowns around me need to smarten the fuck up and drag their mighty whitey worldview into 2004, instead of revelling in their “Black and White Minstrel Show”-infected perspective. And this is why:

“Coloured” is a half-step up from “nigger”, and I’m stunned the word is still in such wide usage in this country. Is “black” so difficult to use? Does “black” even NEED to be used as a descriptive term most of the time? People can be defined in many, many other ways…and we don’t substitute “white” with “colourless”, do we?

And a “comedy paki” voice isn’t funny. They make Indians sound Welsh when they do it so badly anyway. Obviously, too many nights watching Peter Sellers in The Party haven’t paid off. There would no doubt be dancing in the streets if Mind Your Language was released as a DVD box set.

And a “mincing queen” voice coupled with numerous, unfunny butt-fucking jokes aren’t funny either. So Fuck the self-appointed GX Aryan Brotherhood.

I know there is absolutely no malice in any of this; it’s just archaic, blinkered ignorance in the guise of harmless jokes. But the main thrust of jokes, historically, is supposed to be humour. And I can’t find any in the feeble puns and inappropriate use of language in these parts.

And in this almost-exclusively white office, in this almost-completely white village, the few black or Indian people around me just accept the little jibes. I understand why. But only to a point. Sometimes, you just need to shake a place up a little bit.

So far I’ve bitten my tongue and walked away from any confrontations. But people who know me know that, in the past, had any of this sort of shit happened within my earshot, I would get shot a glance, as the rest of the room waited for me to step up and smack a fool down with withering verbal violence. I think it’s only a matter of time before I say something. We’ll see.

Not many things get a rise out of me. This is one of the few. And I’m not too arrogant or stupid to think I can change the way people are. I just think some things need to be said. After all, nobody else around here censors themselves before chatting shit. And I would hate to have to get all Uma Thurman on someone’s ass.

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