Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Politics of the playground

Opinion seems to have been divided on the court case where a 10 year old boy was prosecuted under the Public Order (Offences) Act for allegedly calling a schoolboy a 'Paki' in the playground. Bloggers who one might expect to be forthright in their approval of the judge, suck as the Devil's Kitchen, have not failed to disappoint, while the more wishy-washy denizens of the Guardian's comment blog have been precisely as muddle-headed and self-contradictory as expected.

The latter piece mentioned, by one Cameron Doudu, has managed to stir a languid reptilian eyebrow at its more obvious inanities. For a piece generally decrying the omnipresence of racism directed against blacks, it might be considered a touch impolitic for Mr Doudu to say:

It is about time white people learnt that you can not feel the full impact of racist abuse unless you are the victim of racist abuse yourself

Can you imagine if a Telegraph piece began with "It is about time black people learnt..."? They'd be accused of cutting holes in bedsheets before you could say "race-baiting." But I suppose I welcome the second half of the sentence, not for its truth, which is obvious rubbish (You cannot understand the science of pathology unless you have been a victim of it. You cannot understand the mechanics of glacier erosion unless you are 15 miles long and made of ice. You cannot understand the Guardian unless you have had your sense of irony surgically removed...oh, wait) but for its impact on the Reptile.

I can now, on the strength of this article, hold myself out as a pre-eminent expert on both racial abuse and racial violence, on the grounds that I have experienced both myself. All those chaps who've gone off to do ghastly sociology and racial awareness courses have been wasting their time. All they needed to do was get hauled out of their car at a roadblock by a crowd of panga-wielding maniacs. So if anyone has anything they don't quite understand about the politics of racial tension and the history of inter-communal violence, I am apparently the man to ask. Fire ahead.

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