Dear Musa Okwonga,
I have read your post on your blog with interest [LINK].
The first point is that you claim he has said the word Nigger. This he did not. At most he mumbled. True maybe he was saying the old original english version that contained the word Nigger, something that has been repeated by children in England for many years. So Maybe he simply avoided saying it as he knew it would offend. But neither you nor myself can say what his thoughts were. If we could read minds of men and women we would probably rule the world with such power.
But what was the context of the rhyme?
Well it was to choose between two cars.
He certainly was not calling anyone the name was he?
Should in 2014 allow a word have such power?
Are you really ‘horrified’ by it anyway? Can you honestly say that you feel dehumanised by this?
I myself was born in Zambia. Zambia is a great country. I was not offended by the term ‘Bongo Bongo Land’. Yes the chap who said it came across as a twit. By the way I am no UKIP supporter, and hope they loose elections. But that does not mean I am going to get hot and bothered about this name. What affects me more is the constant media news that the whole of Africa is some poor starving place full of dying people and nothing else. That affects the view of African countries far more than anything.
The danger is, one can see ‘casual racism’ in everything. I have met some people who seek out ‘casual racism’ in everything to the extent its not healthy. For example some make a huge issue about a ‘blackboard’. Finding ‘casual racism’ does not help anyone. It simply makes people victims. It allows some to opt out of everything, claiming they are victims and as such society will not give them a chance and so why should they bother at school.
“Clarkson’s casual racism is the kind of thing that landlords think when they are deciding not to let properties to black people”. Its not. Its far more complicated than that. I know landlords that fear that if someone is black then they will rip out the walls and turn the place into a weed factory, and thats due to news reports on TV. Some employers fear taking on black, and women and gays, just in case they have to fire them and fear being sued. These things are complex, and (no pun intended) not a black and white issue.
In one of your twitter posts you say “What, those same jokes that stop black guys getting cabs at 2am? Yes, I take them all the time”. I would suggest its fear. People live in fear, and sadly they feel they are more likely to be mugged by a black person than a white person. Again fear that has often been fed by the media.
In deed I would suggest that this fear did not exist a few years ago. It is something that has arisen in recent years sadly due to the gangs (often they appear to be London based). In fact I am many miles from London, and that fear I would suggest does not seem to exist where I live. I would even suggest as an experiment that you spend some time say in Leeds and see if you have the same problems at 2am getting a taxi as in London as I suspect (I could be wrong) that the fear does not exist.
One of the problems is that those who clearly are not racist who are white, often have a panic attack when talking to anyone black in case they say somthing that may offend them. Some conversations become bizarre as you can see the strain in there faces as they analyze each word before saying it. Trying to be a politically correct as they can. We need to stop trying to be police and finding faults with others or we simply do not move on. Accusing someone of being a racist is huge. You see you nor I know if Jeremy Clarkson or indeed anyone is a racist, as we cannot see into their minds. And to be honest I do not think anyone has the right to go about saying someone is a racist or not.
Lets try to stop being victims all the time.
By the way, there are things I would like the BBC and other stations to do. And that is stop just promoting black people just as only great singers and sports people but also great at business and science and so on. This is something I hardly ever see. And also stop just showing African countries as poor and starving all the time.
But just finding ‘casual racism’ all the time simply winds people up. It simply pushes people apart rather than bringing them together. Sometimes its best to bite ones tongue rather than jump up and down seeing who can be the biggest victim and demanding everyone to be sacked. All it does is feeds those who have negative views towards black people more ammo to feed their negative views even more.