Patrick Mercer MP
He’s been hastily removed from the front bench for “racist” comments… I agree that his comments were badly phrased and that some were out and out unacceptable for an MP… but I think he has a point about bullying in general that is incorrectly labelled as racism:
(from the bbc)
Patrick Mercer MP told The Times: “They prospered inside my regiment, but if you’d said to them: ‘Have you ever been called a nigger,’ they would have said: ‘Yes.’
“But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time – a far harder time than a black man, in fact.”
Mr Mercer, MP for Newark, added: “But that’s the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you’d get people shouting: ‘Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'”
All the furor over this misses a truth thats often ignored, bullying in this way is, sadly a part of (army) culture.
People will always pick on the differences when being aggressive, is this actually racist? Surely it’s just as bad to be picking on ginger haired people becuase they have ginger hair… or fat people because they’re fat (actually that should always be fair game… go on a diet! – JOKING!)… what makes it worse to say black bastard?
You could argue they’re all genetic differences… would anyone bat an eyelid if I was called a scrawney funcker? How about pastey (phon: paste-ee – spelling anyone?) funcker? Surely you could argue these are genetic racial differences…. my anglo-saxon blood (pretty fair bet, seeing as my family tree goes back to 700AD – thanks gran) makes me tall and pastey… surely the same could be said for ginger hair? It must be prevalant in a certain genetic (racial) group?
I stand by my theory that we abolish racism as it highlights problems not solves them. An assault on another human being should be treated the same irrespective of who they are, random assaults should carry a harsher sentence no matter if the “reason” for that assault was colour, football team or being in the wrong place.