Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Frankie Boyle: "antifascist" and racist

Frankie Boyle’s "racist" libel action against the Daily Mirror continues. Unable to conceive of any context in which a white person can use the “n-word” to describe black people in a non-racist context, I will welcome his defeat.

Frankie Boyle in BBC's Mock the Week
Boyle has long been a darling of the left for his scathing misrepresentations of working-class attitudes and values, so it’s significant that he was taken to task by the left-leaning Mirror – followed closely by none other than the Guardian. Perhaps the Savile scandal has reminded them that celebrity does not coat bigots in Teflon, in which case the mighty will fall in such numbers that we’ll need brollies.

The Guardian’s Bim Adewunmi – a bystander in Diane Abbott’s racism scandal – points out that "racist" has become a problematic word. It was once applied to people and behaviours that made, for example, the lives of many black people a misery.

But it’s problematic because of its misappropriation to be applied to whoever the politically correct disapprove of. So-called antifascist movements call, for example, the English Defence League racist, when all we demand is equality under one law for everybody: as the British Freedom slogan goes, it’s about culture, not colour.

All the more reason for Boyle to react with fury and fear at the appellation of "racist". As a self-confessed so-called antifascist, he helped torture the term into its present meaning, and knows well that in his circles if somebody is called "racist", the speaker means "fascist", ie "not one of us".

I make no apologies for talking about an ongoing case, because the BBC made none for appointing itself judge and jury on Question Time, 9 February 2012, over John Terry while his (unproven) case for allegedly using racist language was ongoing. As institutions and individuals are relearning, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Comedian Frankie Boyle sues Daily Mirror for libel over 'racist comedian' line - Daily Mirror, 15 October 2012

I hate racism, Frankie Boyle tells libel case - Daily Mirror, 16 October 2012

The Frankie Boyle 'racism' case makes me question the language we use - The Guardian - Bim Adewunmi, 16 October 2012

Click to go to Question Time (9 February 2012) to see a discussion of the John Terry racism case when the case was ongoing and adjourned - discussion begins 43m 05s.

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