Saturday, 10 January 2015

If Rozanne Duncan is allowed to say she doesn't like the look of ginger people she should be allowed to say she doesn't like the look of black people

A UK Independence Party councillor was expelled from the party for saying she had a problem with “negroes” because there was “something about their faces”, it has been reported.

Professor Robert Bartlett, an expert in medieval history at St Andrews University, says the discrimination dates back to Ancient Egypt, where the god Set was often depicted with pale skin and red-coloured hair and associated with terrible events such as earthquakes, thunderstorms and eclipses. Human sacrifices of redheads to appease his rage were supposedly made by worshippers.

Historically, Britons were more tolerant, he says. He cites the reign of the 11th-century King William II, nicknamed Rufus due to the colour of his tresses, as an example, while the crusaders willingly followed Richard the Lionheart into battle against Saladin despite his burnished complexion. Not to mention the beloved Gloriana herself, Tudor Queen Elizabeth I, under whose rule Britain prospered.

But for non-royal redheads, life was harder. In the 15th century, people with ginger hair were accused of being witches and burnt at the stake, while others were persecuted for their pale skin, which was seen as a sign of vampiric tendencies.

The late art historian, Dr Ruth Mellinkoff, discussed the plight of redheads in her book, Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Age. She claims that red hair and ruddy skin were considered suspect, impure and dangerous and condemned as opening a path to sin. 

If white people can be so mean to other white people with red hair, surely Rozanne Duncan can say she doesn't like the way black people give  her dark looks or the way Oriental people (or chinkies , if you prefer) look at her askance through their slitty eyes? It may not be politic to say so, of course, as a politician of a multicultural and multiracial Britain, especially if you are a member of a party that is suspected and accused of racism, but we have to make allowances for the very small and shallow puddle of talent that UKIP is now desperately recruiting from.

Another one bites the dust for UKIP, but it was a bit of an anticlimax as far as I am concerned.

If I can say about someone of my own race that I don't like the way they look, why can't I say about someone of another race that I don't like the way they look?

I have always thought that racism means thinking someone is inherently superior or inferior to you on grounds of race. Not liking the way someone looks is irrelevant as to whether you think they are superior or inferior to you.

1 comment:

HG said...

She lived in the generation when we really did have freedom of speech