Saturday, April 08, 2006

(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing

If you have a racist friend
Now is the time, now is the time
For your friendship to end
Be it your sister, be it your brother
Be it your cousin, or your uncle, or your lover
Be it your best friend, or any other
Is it your husband, or your father, or your mother
Either change their views
Or change your friends

So say The Specials. Wives, children, aunts and grandparents should really be added to the list.

Yes, lads, I've followed this throughout my life. I've never knowingly had a racist friend. But are family really friends? Isn't it a fact that you can choose your friends but not your family or your workmates. And just how racist is racist? Because most of the people I know are racist to differing degrees. And how the fuck am I supposed to change their views?

"So I phoned the number and I was put through to India. I had to ask him to speak slowly, couldn't understand what he was saying. Finally got the answer then he asks me is there anything else he can help me with..."

"Yeah. You can learn bloody English for a start."

And these are people I like. I wouldn't call them friends but I find it very difficult to make friends. Even more difficult to meet women in the past, as soon as they uttered the words "Paki shop" that's it for me, I'm afraid. Whatever slight interest I had just disappeared. And then there's family. Ah, family...

My grandparents had a black dog they called Nigger. That was many years ago, before I was born so they had an excuse.

As did my grandad when he always used to say that Britain would one day be "overrun by Pakis" as "they breed like rabbits." He had the excuse that he was born in the 19th century.

My so-called socialist dad used to say, when angry about some bastard big businessman, "Hitler was right about the Jews." But my dad had the excuse that he was born before the Second World War.

And it continues. There are the conversations I have where I am asked questions which always start off, "But don't you think that THEY...?"

There are the "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD" conversations..."You used to have a golliwog, Geoff. You had one of those Robertson jam badges."

Yes. How old was I? Did I ASK for a golliwog? Yes, I probably did, but I didn't know any better. What's your excuse? Ah, you were born before the War!

But I don't speak out. I keep quiet amongst my groups of all-white people (yes, all-white because that's the way it's been for me for the past 20 years, don't tell me we're an integrated nation).

One day, though I did speak out. Pathetically.

He'd been to Australia on holiday and loved it. "Met some lovely people. But you know what? They've got our problem over there, too. There are less immigrants over there but immigration is becoming a worry." (By which I assumed he meant non-white immigration).


Of course I said nothing of the sort. I just went very red and said I couldn't listen to this rubbish anymore and I stormed out into the kitchen. I didn't even pick up a knife.

I can't do it, Specials. I can't spend my life arguing.

Still, I can get on my anonymous soapbox, can't I?


  1. I followed a car today with a sticker for Oldham Athletic FC. Part of the sticker was the Cross of St George. Far be it for me to put two and two together but in the light of Oldham's recent dalliance with Nick Griffin's bunch of sub-moronic child molesters and their mis-appropriation of a national symbol, I was bothered.

  2. Good for you Geoff - I am so GLAD you wrote this (even though you are probably preaching to the converted)..... and reminding me of the wonderful Specials. if it´s achieved nothing else it will make me go through my old tapes. ´Anyone remember tapes?´. Not sure I still own anything I can play them on.

  3. Richard - I've just gone onto Woodlands Junior School site where they say it's unlikely that St George slayed a dragon and EVEN MORE unlikely that he visited England. They don't mention the likelihood of his actual existence, though.

    Kaz - The Specials were special, weren't they? You see you can bring politics into music and make it fun and danceable.

    p.s. Why have my links sunk to the bottom of my blog? Can anybody help?

  4. When I used to have a job, the boss of the other team in the dept. came out with the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" one day...

    The three of us within hearing told him very clearly it wasn't acceptable. He blamed his age. He's only fucking fifty.

    Luckily there were no non-white people around to take offence, because of course HE HAS NEVER HIRED ANY!

    (I always wondered why some people had their links at the bottom. Sorry, can't help.)

    And I've still got tapes too.

  5. There are some charming phrases out there, aren't there?

  6. Kapitano5:43 PM

    Ah, racist family members. My father spent his 20s going around the world, and all his heroes are black jazz musicians. Maybe that's why he feels entitled to lecture me about "the white man's burden".

    Yes, all about how foreigners are too stupid to look after themselves, so us white folks have to nobly do it for them.

    In younger days I tried reasoning with him. Now the sentence "You are an idiot" suffices.

  7. My dad cried when Al Jolson died.

    Presumably Hitler would have given him a pardon.