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wiggy
26th Nov 2014, 08:23
Morning all,

I've just been sent this:

To think that whilst DS' comment was wrong it was not racist? | Mumsnet Discussion (http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a2244692-To-think-that-whilst-DS-comment-was-wrong-it-was-not-racist)

Whilst I think "DS" (Darling Son in Mumsnet speak) might have been a bit silly IMHO the reaction of both the authorities and most of the correspondents on the thread is quite worrying.

What does the team think?

Capetonian
26th Nov 2014, 08:29
DS is in year 7. An Indian girl was talking very quickly in English to him and being silly. He said "stop talking flippin' Hindu". Pathetic, for two reasons.
First of all it's not even remotely 'racist'.
Secondly, and more worryingly, it displays total bloody ignorance. Hindu is a religion. Hindi is a language.

Edit : Having quickly glanced at some of the comments (there are 477 since 17h13 yesterday) it shows me that :


Most of the posters on Mumsnet think it's racist, indicating that that they have no clue what the word means.
There must be an awful lot Mums out there who have nothing better to do than post drivel on an internet forum. They should be cooking dinner, washing and ironing their family's clothes, helping kids with homework, reading bedtime stories, attending to hubbies' carnal needs, making breakfast and so on.
What on earth is the world coming to. HARRUMPH!

Ancient Mariner
26th Nov 2014, 08:32
I think:
A. I am glad my kids are grown up
B. I am very happy I do not live in the UK
C. I am positively enjoying the fact that I will probably be leaving this mad world in 20 years time.
Per

Hobo
26th Nov 2014, 08:46
What does a hindu?

Well in New Zealand, it lays iggs.

highflyer40
26th Nov 2014, 08:47
i would be quite proud the kid knew "Hindu"!!

PTT
26th Nov 2014, 08:50
Mumsnet is a whirling vortex of pent-up frustrations released as judgemental passive-aggressiveness. It's the Daily Mail of internet chatrooms and deserves the same response: ignore.

UniFoxOs
26th Nov 2014, 08:56
Storm (Hysterical) In Teacup

Capetonian
26th Nov 2014, 08:59
As an afterthought ...... it is exactly this type of hysterical, ignorant and pathetic over-reaction that increases polarisation in society and does lead to racism (which this is not.)

If I could be bothered, I'd set up an account on Mumsnet and tell them exactly what I thought of the bunch of stupid clucking hens - and they can come and handbag me!

Solid Rust Twotter
26th Nov 2014, 09:00
Watch it! Aggressive bunch on there and you'll likely get a visit from a vigilante group for an online handbagging.

wiggy
26th Nov 2014, 09:10
Looks like so far we're all on the same wavelength.

SRT

Watch it! Aggressive bunch on there and you'll likely get a visit from a vigilante group for an online handbagging.

Yep, MBH :O warned me about that...then got me to start this thread :sad:

(she's suitably gobsmacked and thinks it's all a crock of ***** as well)

charliegolf
26th Nov 2014, 09:19
Schoolie head on for a mo....

Increasingly, Mummy WILL NOT have her lovely DS admonished in any way, and will search out any means to have his (non) record expunged. Many parents simply won't just take the hit and tell Jonny to dry his eyes and get on with it. Because life ain't fair!

My experience says that the school would likely not have responded as they did, had there not been a complaint. Given the one sided facts of this case, I would be minded to ping the boy (partly for causing a pain in my bum!), and told the girl's parents that, after investigating, I rule that no racism has been offered, that the boy has however been rather rude, and has been dealt with. Therefore the matter is closed. I wouldn't discuss the sanction taken if any. I would not inform the LA.

If Yummy Mummy (as opposed to the Indian parents) wanted to act as per my opening remarks, I would offer her a formal investigation, and suggest that by its nature WOULD find racism, WOULD have a report sent to the LA (and be forever on Jonny's record, oooooh!) and WOULD have some meaty sanction to show I was serious.

This should have just gone away.

CG

charliegolf
26th Nov 2014, 09:41
School racism story- first hand.

A white parent at my school (who had worked for me as a teaching assistant and was broadly a good egg) married a Nigerian and had a baby boy- mixed race obviously. 3 years on he joins my nursery class. During a chunk of work that nursery kids do (let's say around Fathers' Day) routinely, they were making greeting cards. Just previously, they had been 'studying' animals (they are only 3!), and were to 'be' animals in their card. As part of giving the children choice in their work, they would choose what animal to be.

Don't ask why- it's nursery class voodoo shit!

Just about every boy in the class chose to be a monkey. You can see where this is going...

Mummy complained to me that for him to be characterised as a monkey was very distressing, and yes, racist! But he WANTED to be a monkey. But you should have NOT LET him be a monkey: NOBODY should have been allowed to be a monkey knowing it would be racist for her boy.

I gave the response in my earlier post- if you seriously want this to go further, these will be the outcomes, and no changes will be made to our curriculum or approach.

I'm retired ish now!

CG

OFSO
26th Nov 2014, 11:03
They should be cooking dinner, washing and ironing their family's clothes, helping kids with homework, reading bedtime stories, attending to hubbies' carnal needs, making breakfast and so on.

And shopping ! Don't forget shopping. I had to go out and buy my own bottle of Ardbeg this week. Also tins of cat food for Beyoncť.

Quite right, what IS the world coming to !

Ancient Mariner
26th Nov 2014, 11:16
Speaking of monkeys. Many moons ago, while on our way to see some car racing, a friend of mine, his car crazy three year old son and I stopped at the old Fornebu Airport for lunch.
While enjoying our coffee said three year old saw a guy of obvious African origin seated at the next table and yelled at the top of his lungs: "Daddy, daddy...look, a monkey".
Dad tried to calm him down and whispered: "He's not a monkey, he's from Africa", whereupon, again at the top of his the young gangsta screamed: "He's an African monkey?"
Never knew if the guy understood Norwegian, didn't wait around to find out.
Per

Torque Tonight
26th Nov 2014, 11:45
It's a funny world. The kid's undiplomatic but otherwise fairly innocuous comment is recorded as racism. When I complained to a policeman about Anjem Choudry and his rabble shouting through loudhailers at Hyde Park that the Pope should be executed, that British soldiers should be killed, that Christians and British people who do not submit to Islam should be beheaded, I was told that it was 'freedom of speech'.

RedhillPhil
26th Nov 2014, 12:25
Rule number one.
Only white anglo-saxon Protestants can be racist, all others are exercising free speech and culture.

Capetonian
26th Nov 2014, 12:35
Rule number one : Only white anglo-saxon Protestants can be racist.
Rule number two : If in doubt, refer to rule number one.

Curious Pax
26th Nov 2014, 15:12
I agree that what the kid said wasn't racist - I think given his background of living abroad he was probably trying to show off by demonstrating that he knew what language the girl's ancestors may have spoken. That backfired somewhat! It's probably also worth mentioning that if the kid is year 7 then he is about 12, so old enough to have some idea of what and isn't acceptable in this area.

As usual when the 'R' word comes into play on a JB thread comments are added demonstrating why the case in point isn't actually racist by the dictionary definition of the word, which is true, but it doesn't half give the impression of being an apologist for racism.

There's also a sense that recipients of racism should 'get over it' as things are better now than 30-40 years ago (which they are). If the experience of younger ethnic minorities is taken in complete isolation, then there might be a small degree of justification in that. However it is never that simple - stories of abuse will have been passed down the generations, so that younger folks will still be looking out for it, and because the nastiest overt forms are so much rarer, they are likely to pick up on the milder borderline forms which perhaps will have been ignored in the past.

This is true of all ethnicities - as an example many descendents of prisoners of war in the Far East still hate the Japanese despite never having had any negative dealings with them themselves, and I suspect a lot of younger Jews are still not huge fans of the Germans.

As a final point - I find racism abhorrent whoever comes out with it. The worst I ever saw personally was from a Sikh to a black bus driver in Coventry - being somewhat naive about such things at the time (it was 30 years ago) it came as something of a shock!

Tankertrashnav
26th Nov 2014, 16:26
Rule number one : Only white anglo-saxon Protestants can be racist

I think you can cut 'Protestants' from that statement Phil.

It seems to be obligatory to bash the Roman Catholic church at every available opportunity these days, and bracket the lot of us with paedophile priests.

That's not racism, I know, but as you mentioned Protestants I thought I'd have a go at you ;)

RedhillPhil
26th Nov 2014, 16:59
Speaking as one who belongs to Rome, none taken.

Capetonian
29th Nov 2014, 11:55
My mother is a Jew and half my family live in Israel!'Some would say that might be a reason to be anti-Semitic (a grossly misused term - just like 'racist'!)

Pinky the pilot
29th Nov 2014, 11:56
Stay single, avoid them all.

Mr Crun; Like you have done with Ms Bannister?:=

I shouldn't be surprised if modern Min lets you have it with a batter pudding!:ooh:

Mechta
29th Nov 2014, 13:50
What a large proportion of immigrants fail to realise is that banter, piss-taking and ridicule is part and parcel of being British and is often used to keep over-inflated egos in check. A friend's foreign wife asked, "Why are you all so mean to each other?" My response was, "Be worried if we start being nice. If we are being rude to you, that shows we like you."

Unfortunately the political correctness lobby just don't get it, and have for a long time been trying to eradicate any of the signs of what makes British people British.

Younger people, having been fed the humourless spitefulness seen daily on the likes of 'East Enders', take it as the role model to follow, whereas the harmless banter of 'Only Fools and Horses' is much closer to what most British people really are.

racedo
29th Nov 2014, 17:36
I think its just children talking and while would caution lad to be a bit more respectful and considerate then thats it.....

I agree with CGs comments about parents wanting their kids responsible for nothing and excused everything.

After a small bit of bullying SWMBO talked direct to the other mums, what a F:mad:g waste of time that was. every excuse found and she abused as it wasn't their pride and joys who did it. Next time direct to teachers who sorted it direct.

Other littlies, girles class mates were snogging each other er at 5/6, grossed her out and she said it. WTF was teaching their kids it I wondered. Teachers as good as gold as class had 2 shared teachers. Found out from other parents that teachers had acted quickly and directly and after telling class it was wrong they started calling parents in when their littlie was not listening.

I am happy to see my kids fail in things and pretty much want them to know how :mad: shit it feels like. Piece of work badly done and they get bad marks then you got what you put in. Flip side has been when they have done well they get to enjoy it and I make sure they know how we feel about it.

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 18:10
A girl is speaking English rapidly.
This annoys (an 11 year old) boy.
The boy says "Stop speaking Hindu."

The girl is insulted enough to relate the incident to her parents, and the parents are insulted enough to complain to the school.


How the 29 posts above can, without exception, not recognise that this is clearly a racist incident (albeit a fairly minor one) rather astonishes me.

PTT
29th Nov 2014, 18:27
A girl is speaking English rapidly.
This annoys (an 11 year old) boy.Do we know he recognised it as English?
The girl is insulted enoughDo we know she was insulted, or was she merely telling her parents what she thought was a funny tale?
the parents are insulted enough to complain to the school.There's the issue. It wasn't even them to whom the statement was directed. If people would stop being insulted on behalf of other people then half the tensions in the world would be gone. There's a reason I say some things to some people and do not say them to others: because the latter group would find the comment offensive. And yes, I include being insulted on behalf of your kids there.How the 29 posts above can, without exception, not recognise that this is clearly a racist incident (albeit a fairly minor one) rather astonishes me.Because it's not clear that it is one. You've made a slew of assumptions to reach your conclusion.

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 19:46
The problem arose when women were let into the workspace. Many of them are insecure souls bothered about their bestie talking to someone else and not them. Oh and can they cry if they feel tension ! This is why PC has arisen, because they cannot take the routine workplace banter. Its not a complaint against racism, its a complaint about being challenged and insulted. So the day will soon arise when our use of language and maybe thought is proscribed so we don't potentially upset the poor inadequates. Oh and yes they will complain about a glass ceiling as they can't take an objective view of themselves. Fortunately none of this bothers me so I can rise above the argument.

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 19:54
It wasn't even them to whom the statement was directed.You do know that this is irrelevant, don't you? :ugh:

You can play a show in black-face to other white people - they laugh etc.
That is racist - using a person's race to belittle them. It doesn't matter that no black people were present - it only matters that they would be offended should they hear about it.

That's what this boy did - he didn't make a comment to the girl about what she was doing, he made a comment about her race to belittle what she was doing.

Granted, it's not setting up a camp to murder a few million of a particular race - but it's still racist. Clearly there is a lot of education about what constitutes racism required in the JetBlast community. :rolleyes:

bcgallacher
29th Nov 2014, 20:05
Checkboard - I am not at my best this evening so I haven't worked out if you are taking the piss or are serious.

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Nov 2014, 20:18
I recall one of ours, at primary school, trying to explain to us which of his friends he was on about.

"You know, the one with the red shirt."

Um, very helpful.

"You know, the one with the curly hair."

Nope, think there's three or four of those in that class.

Eventually we worked out that he was talking about the only child in his class who had black skin. He hadn't mentioned this as an identifying characteristic because he hadn't really noticed it.

Our kids are all students now, but when telling us about one of their friends none of them mention the race of the friend as part of the description.

vulcanised
29th Nov 2014, 20:41
you are taking the piss or are serious.


Or perhaps drunk?

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 20:47
Perfectly sober, thankyou. And serious.

Like I said, I'm not writing to the editor of The Times about it - but I certainly mean every word I have written.

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 21:17
So if I am called a scouse b*stard in the schoolyard the 'professionals' aka teachers get po faced and keep records? Post-colonial guilt makes a difference.? If you are fat and are called fat it becomes unacceptable because of the PC mind readers divining your intention to insult rather than making a statement of fact. That doesn't bother you, you know 1984 etc?

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 21:23
If a child is being bullied in the schoolyard, the teachers should ignore it?

"Fat" isn't a race, and is outside of the specific discussion of this thread - if the incident described was racist or not.

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 21:26
I think you are missing the point. Racist language refers to one manifestation of language which is deemed to have the intent of belittlement by introducing a FACT which is irrelevant to the exchange.

Capetonian
29th Nov 2014, 21:36
Checkboard :

Since when was Hindu a race?
Would it be racist to say : 'Stop talking flippin' Greek?'

I think your medication may need topping up. Or you are taking the mickey. Oops ....... sorry, that's racist as 'mickey' could be construed as an insult to the micks ..... I mean Irish.

Bon Voyage on the HMS Outrage.

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:12
Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease especially if there are professionals with vested interests. Want PC language, OK expurgate Shakespeare: it's been done before. Oh, best not mention the prophet in case you give offence. Restrict language at your peril.

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 22:14
Introducing a reference to race, which is irrelevant to the exchange.

Although I see you now agree with me that the original comment by the boy in question was in fact racist (by your own definition).

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:24
He was 7 years old. Let's break a butterfly on your righteous wheel. Bullying, is it bad? What would be the price of eliminating it? Worth paying? Words have been thrown at me with intent to hurt, so have punches, that is the nature of people. People do often intend to hurt. That little 7 year old boy though? Who are you that you can think like that, and the teachers. In defence of humanity you have lost your own?

charliegolf
29th Nov 2014, 22:28
He was 7 years old.

Was he? I thought he was in the comp? I'd expect different standards of behaviour from an 11-12 year old.

Or have a missed a plot twist?

CG

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:30
Think I'll adopt a female alias and go and dispense some justice!

perthsaint
29th Nov 2014, 22:30
He's in year 7, so 12ish.

Checkboard
29th Nov 2014, 22:30
He was eleven. Please read the article before commenting.

.. and his age is relevant how? Is it not better to catch him early on the wrong path, when it is easy to correct rather than let him continue?

Since when was Hindu a race?
Would it be racist to say : 'Stop talking flippin' Greek?'

"reference to race" - and if the girl was Greek, then yes, of course. :confused:

Bon Voyage on the HMS Outrage.
I am sitting on the couch, watching The Expendables, drinking peppermint tea (I don't like caffeine after 6pm). I have made several references to not thinking this is a big deal. I think you are making an error if you are reading "outrage" in anything I have said.

charliegolf
29th Nov 2014, 22:30
I did not know so many men would be on Mumsnet.

Know your enemy Miss, know your enemy!

CG

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:35
7v 12. You could be right but does it make a difference? A 12 year old racist makes a 7 year old racist plausible. Leave playground language alone, even between adults. There is real racism out there but this plays into the hands of the National Front and their like. If you call me a scouse b*stard what is the intent and the legal possibilities. Call me a black scouse b*stard and was your intent any different? Nope. If teachers were listening however.....

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:40
Can't think of an effective alias....Miss Understanding?

G-CPTN
29th Nov 2014, 22:49
An Indian girl was talking very quickly in English to him and being silly.

He said "stop talking flippin' Hindu".

:confused:

charliegolf
29th Nov 2014, 22:51
Mr O,

I don't think it was racist, but inappropriate. If a person is fat, I consider it inappropriate due to meaness for a child to call the person, 'Fattie'. It is not a hanging offence when it happens; but it IS an opportunity to speak to the 7 year old and counsel him or her. If I do that, then I should expect my 11 year olds NOT to do it; or at least not to get caught!

CG
Primary Head (Retd)

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:51
Not that easy.. Miss Ogynist, Miss Carriage....

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 22:56
Charlie golf, not sure. Maybe keep a watch eye on it would be enough in case it was truely evil and not just the normal rough and tumble. But if you go hands off and a fellow staff member observes, disagrees and puts in a report.....you sure the possibility of that wouldn't be a factor in your decision. Oh how we smirk at the Stalin era informers and the Stasi. Obviously they were completely different to us and no comparisons could apply.

Mr Optimistic
29th Nov 2014, 23:08
Here we go, how to destroy what you think you are defending....

But most of these 'racist incidents' are just kids falling out. They don't need re-educating out of their prejudice - they and their teachers need to be left alone.'

Under rules introduced in 2002, schools must monitor and report all racist incidents to their local authority.

Teachers are required to fill in special referral forms detailing the incident and punishment.

According to the report The Myth of Racist Kids, around 280,000 incidents have been reported in England since full records began.

Many involve pupils still at primary school, it said.

Out of 5,000 incidents in Yorkshire in 2006/07, for example, the majority were in primary schools.

Meanwhile Essex County Council figures show that most of the children involved in reported racist incidents were between nine and 11.

One teacher told researchers that anti-racist interventions had led to 'an absolutely awful atmosphere around the school'.

'Children who used to play beautifully together are starting to separate along racial lines,' the teacher said."

More on mumsnet.

charliegolf
29th Nov 2014, 23:23
Teachers are required to fill in special referral forms detailing the incident and punishment.

I never sent a single one to the LA. My school, my problem. Making racists of young children was not my chosen way.

CG

bcgallacher
30th Nov 2014, 08:57
There is more absolute nonsense talked about racism in this country than any other aspect of our society. Too many people are desperate to be offended by some innocuous remark sometimes made in jest or with no intent to offend. My 2 youngest are a mix of Scots,Irish,Filipino and Chinese - their generation does not seem to have any problem with race,religion or colour.They are far more tolerant of others than my generation or even my older children's generation. On one occasion we received a letter from my sons school saying that he had been 'racially abused'- it turned out that he had been addressed as Chinky by another pupil - when asked about this my son was puzzled as to the fuss 'it's my nickname'. If he had worn glasses he would have been 'Specky' or 'Titch if he had been small.We wrote back telling the school to have a little common sense. No doubt it went down in the records as a racial incident - made those involved feel all self righteous at combatting racism.

ShyTorque
30th Nov 2014, 09:06
I've noticed in the past that it's very often the folks without kids who are the ones who think they are the most knowledgeable about them.

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 10:50
You do know that this is irrelevant, don't you? :ugh: No, it's not. It's entirely relevantYou can play a show in black-face to other white people - they laugh etc.
That is racist - using a person's race to belittle them. It doesn't matter that no black people were present - it only matters that they would be offended should they hear about it.This is what is irrelevant. He said it to her, who is of that heritage, not to her parents. It's quite possible to show up in black-face to black people and them not be offended either. That other black people might be offended by that is their problem, and that's why you wouldn't do it to them.
That's what this boy did - he didn't make a comment to the girl about what she was doing, he made a comment about her race to belittle what she was doing.Nonsense.
Granted, it's not setting up a camp to murder a few million of a particular race - but it's still racist. Clearly there is a lot of education about what constitutes racism required in the JetBlast community. :rolleyes: You said it. You need to educate yourself as to what it means. If the person to whom you are directing the comment is not offended even though they could be then it is not racist. Offense is a feeling, a personal thing.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 11:15
There is more absolute nonsense talked about racism in this country than any other aspect of our society
Yup. A friend of mine has been accused of being 'racist' because when a group of us were discussing going out for a meal and Indian was suggested, she said she didn't like Indian food. So she's racist, of course.

If I say I hate 'xyz' people, I don't think that's racist behaviour. It may be a stupid, irrational, ignorant, blinkered, prejudiced view. If I went out of my way to treat 'xyz' people badly, show my contempt for them, and was rude towards them, that's racist behaviour. I feel to see how expresssing a view can be racist.

Whilst I'm grinding an axe :
Nationality is not the same as race.
Not wanting to go to Israel because of the policies of the Israeli regime does not make someone 'anti-semitic'.
Arabs are also semitic people.

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 12:05
If I say I hate 'xyz' people, I don't think that's racist behaviour. It may be a stupid, irrational, ignorant, blinkered, prejudiced view. If I went out of my way to treat 'xyz' people badly, show my contempt for them, and was rude towards them, that's racist behaviour. I feel to see how expressing a view can be racist.Given that racism is prejudice solely on the basis of race then expressing a hatred of a race is, by definition, racist. Racism is commonly considered to extend to nationality as well.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 12:10
Racism is commonly considered to extend to nationality as well. Being 'commonly considered' doesn't make it correct. Would you say, for example, that the Swiss are a race?
expressing a hatred of a race is, by definition, racist. I believe it has to be more substantial than simply expressing an opinion and that there has to be some action or actual behaviour to successfully prosecute.

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 12:38
Capetonian - I know it doesn't make it strictly correct, but common usage has a way of gradually becoming what people understand, and given that language is about conveying meaning then common usage can often become the meaning of a word. "Nice" is a good example of that.

I personally wouldn't say you were racist for saying something against the Swiss, I would say you were prejudiced against the Swiss. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't be commonly considered a "racist" comment.

I believe it has to be more substantial than simply expressing an opinion and that there has to be some action or actual behaviour to successfully prosecute.I said nothing about successful prosecution, and even the CPS says that "not all racist or religious incidents are criminal offences" (source (http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/rrpbcrbook.html#a03)). An opinion which is derived solely on race is a racist opinion pretty much by definition.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 13:03
Thanks PTT, that seems perfectly reasonable, although I don't entirely agree. I am just curious to understand what people consider 'racist' since the term is bandied about with gay abandon ( oh .... that may upset someone too!) when it is entirely unjustified.

Effluent Man
30th Nov 2014, 13:48
I see a big difference between racism and religious discrimination. The former is to do with something you can do nothing about. The latter is about which particular fairy stories you subscribe to. If you want to believe in something for which there is no logic,or any form of proof of it's existence then you are quite welcome to do so. Just don't ask me to make allowances.

And if your particular fairy story tells you to cut the heads off or blow up those who don't wish to partake in your own brand of insanity then don't expect anything other than condemnation.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 14:08
I see a big difference between racism and religious discrimination. .......... The latter is about which particular fairy stories you subscribe to.Many years ago, when I sometimes gave a stuff about what I said, I applied for a job (which I didn't much want or need) and had to fill in the dreaded application form.

One question was 'religion'.

I left it blank.

The interviewer handed the form back to me and said I hadn't completed it correctly, as I'd left the 'religion' box blank. I said that is correct, I have no religion. He asked me to fill it in so I ruled two diagonal lines across the box and wrote 'VOID' as was my custom when voiding air tickets in the old days of paper tickets.

"That's wrong", he said.

"I am an atheist" I said.

He said smugly : "Then that's your religon." He clearly didn't know what it meant and handed me back the form.

So I wrote 'atheist' and underneath that I added :
Atheist means someone who doesn't believe in fairy tales about God and Jesus and immaculate conceptions.

I was ushered out of the office very fast!

Flying Lawyer
30th Nov 2014, 14:49
PTT

I don't share Checkboard's astonishment that he is only poster on this thread to "recognise that this is clearly a racist incident". I suspect a significant majority of people elsewhere might consider it ridiculous to regard the boy's comment as racist.

However, there is a difference between what many/most people might think and (UK) government policy following the Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in 1999 which defined a racist incident as "any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person."
Note: 'Perceived', and also that intention is not an element in the definition.

You said earlier (in response to Checkboard): If the person to whom you are directing the comment is not offended even though they could be then it is not racist.
Note: "or any other person" in the definition.

Effluent Man
I too condemn cutting off heads and blowing people up in the name of religion.
I disagree with everything else in your post.


CapetonianHe said smugly
If he was, then it seems to me that there were two smug people there that day. ;)

I don't think people should be precluded from jobs either because of their religious beliefs or because they are atheists unless the position sought has a direct or indirect religious aspect.
However, people with religious beliefs who try to live according to them are often precluded.

cockney steve
30th Nov 2014, 15:36
Oh Dear, All my adult life 'I've ben abused! an unwitting victim of slanderous attacks. I've been belittled and denicrated.......
How have Imanaged all these years, being called a B.....dy cockney, Cockney Git, etc. oh, my poor, precious feelings, traumatised beyond belief......

These cnuts want to start growing up and get a f:mad: g life.

Last time I made the journey south, I almost needed a translator....by 'eck they do speak funny down there.

I can well understand a kid listening to a load of heavily-accented babbling, to be frustrated and assuming the other child was, in fact, speaking in it's parent's mother Tongue.

Jeez, most of the "adults" on this Forum,get readily confused between Moslem and Islam/ islamist.

In that particular instance the "broad brush-stroke" referral to unintelligible ,Asian- sounding language, was no different to me being referred to as "Cockney" purely because my speech- pattern closely aligned with "the South"....likewise, North- Easteners are likely to be labelled "Geordie" irrespective of their precise origin......but I bet these self-righteous t:mad:@s
would be quite happy to identify that area's dialect as Geordie.

Maybe if teachers actually concentrated on the important things, they'd turn out better young adults.

charliegolf
30th Nov 2014, 15:44
Maybe if teachers actually concentrated on the important things, they'd turn out better young adults.

Yeah, then parents could really absolve themselves of any responsibility. Many already do.

CG

Bronx
30th Nov 2014, 17:28
These cnuts want to start growing up and get a f:mad: g life.self-righteous t:mad:@s

Age 67?

Is it your school teachers' fault that after all these years you still can't express yourself without swearing?

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 17:35
Flying Lawyer - absolutely aware of the law on the matter, but I wasn't talking about prosecution and only brought up the CPS as evidence that even the people who prosecute think that an incident can be racist without it being a criminal offence. The current law on the subject is, imho, tripe, and I was offering my opinion on dealing with offensive statements with the sentence you quoted.

Krystal n chips
30th Nov 2014, 17:38
" If I say I hate 'xyz' people, I don't think that's racist behaviour. It may be a stupid, irrational, ignorant, blinkered, prejudiced view. If I went out of my way to treat 'xyz' people badly, show my contempt for them, and was rude towards them, that's racist behaviour



Well in that case, and by your own proud boast as to how you addressed a certain French lady, along with your eternal detestation of the French per se.........that would make you......

Flying Lawyer
30th Nov 2014, 19:25
PTT I wasn't talking about prosecution Nor was I.

You said earlier: An opinion which is derived solely on race is a racist opinion pretty much by definition.
Some years ago, a famous parliamentarian was asked by an equally famous interviewer if he was a racialist. (Now 'racist'.)
His answer: It depends on how you define the word 'racialist'.
If you mean being conscious of the differences between men and nations, and from that, races, then we are all racialists.
However, if you mean a man who despises a human being because he belongs to another race, or a man who believes that one race is inherently superior to another, then the answer is emphatically 'No'.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 19:29
That was, I suspect, the late Enoch Powell, a man who made so many predictions at which people scoffed at the time but which turned out to be so correct.

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 19:56
Flying Lawyer - Your question is a false dilemma, and frankly I would have expected David Frost to probe Enoch Powell further on that answer. There's a whole world of degree between "being aware of" and "despise" which is ignored in that quote. I stick with what I said (slightly caveated): to form an opinion of another man based solely on race where it is unreasonable to do so* is, I believe, the basis of racism.

* where there is insufficient evidence to suggest that race is an arbiter of the quality under consideration.

Checkboard
30th Nov 2014, 20:51
where there is insufficient evidence to suggest that race is an arbiter of the quality under consideration. Could you give a couple of examples (or just one) in which you feel there IS sufficient evidence that membership of a particular race defines a personal quality?

G-CPTN
30th Nov 2014, 21:02
I was warned (before I went to the Far East to engage in business) that the Chinese were 'inscrutable' - and didn't like to lose face in negotiations.

PTT
30th Nov 2014, 21:13
Could you give a couple of examples (or just one) in which you feel there IS sufficient evidence that membership of a particular race defines a personal quality?I don't think I said personal qualities. The caveat is largely there because I am not willing to say that there is absolutely nothing which cannot be discerned by racial qualities.

Flying Lawyer
30th Nov 2014, 21:58
PTT Your question is a false dilemmaNonsense.
You, for some reason beyond my comprehension, have found yourself in a dilemma.
I did not ask for a 'Yes' or No' answer.
Your response reminds me of Margaret Thatcher trying to dodge a question when being interviewed by Sir Robin Day (another outstandingly skilful interviewer) although, with respect, she used to do it much better: "That's a very good question, Sir Robin. An even better one is ........" She then posed her own question and answered that. When appropriate, Day used to press for an answer to his original question.

slightly caveated
I wouldn't describe the qualification you have now added as slight.

I would have expected David Frost to probe Enoch Powell further on that answer.I can't now remember the details of the interview but Frost certainly probed Powell extensively, as he did all his interviewees. (It's probably available on the internet.)
What I do remember is that many people were looking forward to the Frost v Powell 'battle' and they were not disappointed. The live interview was so gripping that a decision was made whilst it was on air to extend the usual time for a Frost interview (40 minutes) to an hour. There was a break for 'News at Ten' and then the interview continued.

The interview was widely regarded as a success in many different ways. In Frost's case it was, and still is, widely regarded as one of his finest. Powell benefited because he was widely regarded by objective observers as having emerged very well from a Frost interview - a rare event. Viewers had an opportunity to hear Powell's opinions for themselves rather than other people's edited versions/interpretations of what he'd said.

I am not willing to say that there is absolutely nothing which cannot be discerned by racial qualities. I agree, although I would say 'characteristics' or 'traits' - simply to avoid the risk of 'qualities' being misunderstood.
There are, of course, always exceptions to generalisations.
That, I assume, is why they are called generalisations.

Capetonian
30th Nov 2014, 22:10
David Frost and Enoch Powell interview.

Both are true gentlemen despite differing viewpoints and both come out of it with utmost dignity.

eKPze0dRgW8

Gertrude the Wombat
30th Nov 2014, 22:23
"That's a very good question, Sir Robin. An even better one is ........"
Well yes, one goes on the media because one has something to say, and sometimes the interviewer gets in the way of that, and just wants to spin their pre- (and mis-) conceived ideas about something you haven't even said yet.

So it's a game. On leaving the studio once I said to the producer sitting outside "I make that one a draw". She giggled and agreed. The presenter did have me back on his show on future occasions, so no hard feelings.

That's when it's live. Once during a pre-rec I said to the interviewer "OK now, I've answered your questions, now I'm going to say my bit, I expect it will get edited out but I want you to film it anyway". So they filmed me saying what I'd gone there to say, grinned and said "no chance" ... but in fact that bit was actually broadcast!

So it's always worth a try, having a go at actually telling your electorate what you're actually doing for them, regardless of the media's best efforts to stop you.

PTT
1st Dec 2014, 00:11
Flying LawyerNonsense.
You, for some reason beyond my comprehension, have found yourself in a dilemma.
I did not ask for, nor did I expect you to give, a one word 'Yes' or No' answer.And yet your question was:
Do you agree?That's a pretty good example of a closed question right there: you gave me the option to agree or not agree with the statement quoted.
Powell's quote only provides two possible definitions of the word in question: there are plenty of others. Your apparent attempt to limit me to those two options is the false dilemma to which I alluded; false dichotomy might have been better wording. I provided one more option.

I have not seen the interview, but will likely watch it tomorrow with thanks to Capetonian for linking it.

I would agree that characteristics or traits would have been better wording.
There are, of course, always exceptions to generalisations.
That, I assume, is why they are called generalisations.Of course. The question is whether the generalisations are themselves valid.

Nervous SLF
1st Dec 2014, 01:00
I have reached the stage now where if I haven't known someone for at least 20 years I am virtually silent when meeting
new people. I am extremely guarded if asked any questions so that this way I am unable to cause offense. I cannot therefore
be accused of being either a racist or anti Semitic Etc, if they think that I am stupid then tough luck I don't care. The downside
is that now and then I am offended by comments and situations but I just keep silent and suck it up.

Flying Lawyer
1st Dec 2014, 01:39
GertrudeWell yes, one goes on the media because one has something to say, and sometimes the interviewer gets in the way of that .......I don't think that, from viewers'/listeners' perspective, it is as one-sided as you suggest.

There are occasions when I wish the interviewer would shut up and allow the interviewee to answer the question.
On others, I wish the interviewee (almost always a politician) would actually answer the question instead of trying to use the interview simply as a broadcasting opportunity. On those occasions, the effect it has upon me is the opposite of that which the interviewee clearly intended.


PTT
It didn't occur to me that you would treat it as a closed question.
A child or other vulnerable person would, but an intelligent adult which you clearly are?

Mechta
1st Dec 2014, 02:03
I have reached the stage now where if I haven't known someone for at least 20 years I am virtually silent when meeting
new people. I am extremely guarded if asked any questions so that this way I am unable to cause offense. I cannot therefore
be accused of being either a racist or anti Semitic Etc, if they think that I am stupid then tough luck I don't care. The downside
is that now and then I am offended by comments and situations but I just keep silent and suck it up.

Nervous SLF, how, unless the other person already knows you, can you be offended? From what you describe, unless the speaker has prior knowledge of you, they can only be commenting on an assumption?

ex_matelot
1st Dec 2014, 02:33
Could you give a couple of examples (or just one) in which you feel there IS sufficient evidence that membership of a particular race defines a personal quality?

OK...Now it's impossible to define a whole race on a whole but - it is possible to define certain races with regards to how they are perceived, as immigrants, based on the law of averages and how their fellow countrymen get along.

"Irish traveller" - Now recognised as a race as far as discrimination laws go. They are thieves.

Poles - Hard working, straight to the point, reliable.

Indians (and Sikhs) - Hard working, proud, trustworthy.

Pakistanis - Hard working but only within their own enterprises. Isolationalists. Untrustworthy of others outside of their community.

Somalis - Has anyone been aware of one instance of a Somali immigrant bringing some form of benefit to the UK? Is there just one instance of a Somali bringing more value than has been taken?

ex_matelot
1st Dec 2014, 02:35
As for mumsnet - read this brilliant thread which was started as a hoax by a member of the arrse website trolling there:

My Partner is Watching Clown Porn | Mumsnet Discussion (http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1531802-My-Partner-is-Watching-Clown-Porn)

:D

Mechta
1st Dec 2014, 02:38
Somalis - Has anyone been aware of one instance of a Somali immigrant bringing some form of benefit to the UK? Is there just one instance of a Somali bringing more value than has been taken?

Mo Farah???

RJM
1st Dec 2014, 02:47
You'll be delighted to know that things haven't sunk to such a miserable state in my neck of the woods (an obscure location in southern Australia).

Are people really so helplessly vulnerable to the smallest of unintended slights?

There seems to be a connection between the witlessly censorious responses to the kid's actions and a collection of forces presently infecting Western society - feminism, environmentalism and socialism.

Each of those isms - not bad things in their basic forms - includes a vocal, influential group of adherents who would remake the world in their finger-wagging, authoritarian image.

The malaise seems at its most virulent - by design, in my opinion - in the artificial, controlled society of the school. Worryingly, that's where young people are most likely to be moulded into society's future adults.

''The long march through the education system" of this new Puritanism seems to have occurred against little resistance.

Hence, the young Hindu girl, in response to her training, formed the opinion that she'd been racially attacked and reported to her parents. Then the whole absurd, humourless machinery began to turn, resulting in the boy being 'outed' as a racist.

**** 'em. Is the future of humanity to be organised by these bleak-minded autocrats into - what? I hate to think.

**** 'em again, I say. Respond to their demands with an extended finger and go your way.

probes
1st Dec 2014, 05:50
Are people really so helplessly vulnerable to the smallest of unintended slights?
it seems much of it is fuelled by the need to get 'attention'. Whyever that's good (=to be 'noticed' as someone who was outraged or had a totally different 'opinion'), beats me*.


* unless it's the salaries of the writing and talking lot, and I'm not sure it's healthy to be paid for that

Capetonian
1st Dec 2014, 06:41
ex_matelot (http://www.pprune.org/members/111944-ex_matelot) : Not all you referred to are races, some are nationalities. That said, I agree with you on all.

Irish Traveller : So my friend Padraig who's doing an RTW in First Class with the money he just unlocked from his pension is an Irish traveller and therefore a thief? (Don't worry I know what you mean!)

We can carry on about nationalities if we want to stereotype :
Nigerians : Scammers.
French : Pompous and sly, lazy, self-centred, nationalistic, always on strike.
Germans : Hard working, decent, reliable, punctual.
Swiss : As above but more so, and paranoid.
Greeks : Invented the word chaos.
Dutch : Great linguists. often misrepresented as mean,
etc ...............

PTT
1st Dec 2014, 07:06
Flying Lawyer - I didn't treat it as a closed question: I offered you a full answer which you then claimed was a dodge. I did, however, point out that the form of the question was closed. I would have expected you to recognise this as you are normally very precise in your wording, presumably at least partly due to your profession, hence my not unreasonable assumption that it was deliberately so. It would have been simple enough to not ask "do you agree?" and instead ask "what is your opinion on that?".

ex_matelotit is possible to define certain races with regards to how they are perceivedHow they are perceived by individuals or within stereotypes and how they really are may not be the same thing. As I said to FL, the question is whether the generalisations are themselves valid.

Gertrude the Wombat
1st Dec 2014, 12:44
I don't think that, from viewers'/listeners' perspective, it is as one-sided as you suggest.
Of course not, I was giving the politicians perspective :-)


From the viewers'/listeners' perspective I agree with you - either party can hinder communication.

Flying Lawyer
1st Dec 2014, 14:03
Gertrude

Point taken.

When I was a member of the Bar Council in the 1990s, it was suggested that members designated to be interviewed by the media should be sent for specialist training. The majority view, including mine, was that it was unnecessary because speaking publicly and answering often challenging questions is a normal part of a barrister's job. (Avoiding Judges' questions is not a realistic option. They must be answered – with a qualification/explanation as necessary.) However, we accepted the offer of a free training session for a couple of people.
The training company's assessment, accepted as fair by our guinea pigs, was that they had not performed very well in (unfamiliar) role play: They kept answering the question asked - instead of using it as a vehicle to repeat the message they wanted to convey.

That was in the very early 90s when media training was still relatively uncommon except amongst (Parliamentary) politicians. How times have changed!

PTT
1st Dec 2014, 14:38
Capetonian - an interesting interview, thank you. Both came off well at certain points, and Powell said some sensible (and some not-so-sensible, imo) things, while Frost pushed well but sometimes was found wanting. I liked Powell's answer to Frost's question at minute 35.

RJM
1st Dec 2014, 14:56
They all do it. Here's Mathias Cormann doing it to the ABC's Waleed Aly:

WALEED ALY: Letís look at the beef exports part of this, because thatís raised a lot of attention. 18 years it will take for us to see tariffs halved and even then they will be nearly 20 per cent on our frozen beef, 23.5 per cent on chilled beef. Itís not quite free trade is it?

MATHIAS CORMANN: What was announced today and what has been signed today is a historic agreement, which the previous government failed to deliver. It will deliver significant benefits in particular to agricultural producers and it will deliver benefits to both our countries and will help us grow a stronger, more prosperous economy, which will be able to generate more jobs. Itís very good news.

WALEED ALY: Yes, I understand that is your categorisation. But the specific thing I have asked you about there is that it doesnít seem that great a benefit. Indeed some within the beef industry are unhappy about it.

MATHIAS CORMANN: It is a great benefit because it is much better than where we were. It is quite an unprecedented deal that Australia has been able to sign with our friends in the Japanese Government and it will deliver significant benefits to agricultural producers and exporters in the coming years.

Checkboard
1st Dec 2014, 16:53
Here you go FL - all you need for a media training course...

...eight ways to deal with difficult questions:


Attack the Question. 'That's a very silly question, how can you justify the use of the words, "above the law"?'
Attack the Questioner. 'How many years have you spent in government?'
Compliment the Question. 'That's a very good question. I'd like to thank you for asking it. Let me reply by asking you one.'
Unloading the Question. Most questions are loaded. They are full of assumptions such as 'A lot of people have said that you consider yourself above the law'. There are two possible replied to such loaded questions:
a) 'Name ten.'
b) 'Surely in a nation of 56 million people you can find a few people who will say anything, no matter how irrelevant, misguided, or ill-informed.'
Make It All Appear An Act. This approach only works for live TV interviews: 'You know, I've come to the conclusion that I don't agree with what you suggested I should answer when you asked me that question downstairs before the programme began. The real answer is...'
Use The Time Factor. Most interviews are short of time, especially live 'on air' interviews. Reply: 'That's a very interesting question, and there are nine points that I should like to make in answer to it.' The Interviewer will say: 'Perhaps you could make just two of them, briefly.' You say: 'No, it's far too important a question to answer superficially, and if I can't answer it properly I'd rather not trivialise it.'
Invoke Security. 'There's a very full answer to that question, but it involves matters that are being discussed in confidence. I'm sure you wouldn't want me to break a confidence. So I'm afraid I can't answer for another week or two.'
Take Refuge In a Long Pointless Narrative. If you can ramble on for long enough, no one will remember the question and therefore no one can tell if you answered it or not.


...I summed it up...: if you have nothing to say, say nothing. But better, have something to say and say it, no matter what they ask. Pay no attention to the question, make your own statement. If they ask you the same question again, you just say, 'That's not the question' or 'I think the more important question is this:' Then you make another statement of your own. Easy-peasy. (Yes Prime Minister II, pp. 67-8)

Yes Prime Minster Dealing With Questions - YouTube

Gertrude the Wombat
1st Dec 2014, 20:11
The training company's assessment, accepted as fair by our guinea pigs, was that they had not performed very well in (unfamiliar) role play: They kept answering the question asked - instead of using it as a vehicle to repeat the message they wanted to convey.
Yeah, I've done one of those. I thought I came over crap on the video (because I didn't get all my message across) but everyone else in the room said I'd done very well (because I did get a fair chunk of it in).

Nopax,thanx
1st Dec 2014, 21:34
Hang on a minute, are you suggesting that Guinean people are pigs???

How shocking, wait til I tell Mumsnet about you :p

Flying Lawyer
2nd Dec 2014, 12:06
Gertrude
There was a specific reason that the barristers did not perform well. (See my previous post.)

We clearly hold very different views about the practice but I'm not a politician, nor even a local councillor.
Television/radio interviews during which politicians are questioned and challenged are (or used to be) a valuable part of our democratic process; they are not meant to be party political broadcasts. If politicians were confident that they could justify their actions/policies then they would have nothing to fear by answering the question. Won't answer usually means can't answer or, at the very least, gives that impression.
Behaving in such a slippery manner may impress other politicians but, except to very stupid or naive viewer/listeners, it simply fuels the widely held poor opinion of politicians.

Nopax
You're right! :)
Can't be too careful these days.


Checkboard have something to say and say it, no matter what they ask. Pay no attention to the question, make your own statement.
Margaret Thatcher was the first to use that device, in the early 80s, and she did it very effectively.
The late Sir Robin Day, the 'Great Inquisitor', once told me that there had come a point when he was very tempted to begin one of his television interviews of her by simply saying: ‘Prime Minister, what is your answer to my first question?’ He was joking, but I wish he had.
They were both very able people and, on occasions when she engaged in a proper 'debate', well matched - which made those interviews more interesting and informative viewing.

Others copied the technique, or went on training courses to learn, and it became SOP for all politicians. The regrettable consequence is that what used to be informative dialogues, during which Prime Ministers and other front-line politicians were vigorously challenged, have largely been reduced to opportunities for politicians to give a series of rehearsed sound-bites.
I never listen to or watch interviews with local councillors but, based upon what Gertrude has said, it appears to be common practice even at that level.

Flying Lawyer
2nd Dec 2014, 12:12
PTT I liked Powell's answer to Frost's question at minute 35.

Does that mean you agree with what he said in that answer?

Or -

What, apart from liking it, is your opinion about what he said in that answer?

PTT
2nd Dec 2014, 12:19
I like that he defined his terms, for starters. It is, imo, a more nuanced answer than the dichotomy he gives later in the interview which you quoted. I agree with his comment that people should not be discriminated against due to race or colour, but that he could envisage (as can I) cases where a job, for example, might require a person of a certain race.

As an example, I imagine the casting for the lead of "12 Years a Slave" would be such a case where an actor of particular race was required: the audience is only willing to suspend disbelief so far, as John Wayne's turn in The Conqueror illustrates.

Gertrude the Wombat
2nd Dec 2014, 12:44
We clearly hold very different views about the practice
Depends, doesn't it.


If I've issued a press release about a new policy, and in consequence am invited onto a show to talk about the new policy, I expect to be able to talk about the new policy. Surely that's reasonable??


On the other hand, if there's some scandal, and I'm invited onto a show to explain myself, then I do expect to have to answer the questions.

Checkboard
2nd Dec 2014, 13:57
I agree with his comment that people should not be discriminated against due to race or colour, but that he could envisage (as can I) cases where a job, for example, might require a person of a certain race. The Act allows for this:
Genuine Occupational Qualification (GOQ) or Genuine Occupational Requirements (GOR)

The Race Relations Act provides for specific situations in which race discrimination in the employment field is allowed, for example in relation to actors, models, personal welfare services and jobs involving work where food or drink is provided for which a person of a racial group is required for authenticity (eg. An Indian restaurant). FL - An other method for media questions is to bumble about obfusticating the answer in such a way as to speak for 30 seconds and say nothing. Boris Johnson springs to mind, and in Australia the master of this was Sir Joh Bjelke Peterson. It's the same skills exhibited by the free-form rappers ;)

Flying Lawyer
2nd Dec 2014, 16:39
GertrudeDepends, doesn't it.

For me, it depends upon whether it's main-stream politics or local council 'politics'.
Apologies for not making my position clearer.

I intend no discourtesy to you when I say that I'm entirely relaxed, to say the least, about what local councillors do or do not do when they are interviewed on local radio/television.

Checkboard
Agreed re Boris appearing to bumble. He does it in an amusing way.
He's many things but, in stark contrast to his contrived image, he's no fool. Far from it - as his opponents concede privately.

Mr Optimistic
5th Dec 2014, 00:46
Nah it's all to do with women. They would like all insults deemed illegal, no mess room banter from now on please. Any sophistication or fine points are , I am afraid, deceitful obfuscations. Please be nice to me - or else.