Deary me. Such a silly little TV programme causing such a stir. Let me just mount my “I haven’t been watching it this time” high horse, and we can get started.
Firstly I’ll state that I’m not interested in who said what, as my firm belief is that any kind of racist statement is a deplorable outcome of ill-education.
Secondly I’ll state that whilst I haven’t really been following this, it does seem to be very much a “reap what you sow” kind of situation, with the sickening implication that Channel 4 are probably, privately, pleased with the increased viewing figures and profile for the show.
Thirdly, it would seem that the main conflict isn’t race but intellect*.
After an exchange of words with Shetty, in which Shetty told Goody she needed elocution lessons, Goody launched into an expletive-ridden rant to Lloyd and O’Meara in which she said “fake” Shetty needed “a day in the slums”. [via]
The key issue, for me, is not how we correct this now, but how we MUST act to correct this for the future. And yes, as ever, it’ll be back to that old adage, education, education, education.
We visited my Gran last night, and she was talking about how her mother was a bit of a stickler when it came to talking properly. She constantly picked up on slang or lazy pronunciation, and I guess part of that has filtered down, through my Mum, to me. I know that I’m very aware of how my nieces and nephews speak.
Why is this relevant? Because I firmly believe that you don’t need to be highly educated to understand how to be civilised.
I’ll take a wild shot in the dark and suggest that there is a chance that certain people in the Big Brother house have been, well not led astray as such but certainly influenced by the media, or the culture in which they surround themselves.
I guess my point is that, whilst I would never condone it, if you hold the view that every single Pakistani should be shipped back to their country of origin, then that’s fine. It’s an ill-educated opinion but you are entitled to your own beliefs.
However, and this reaches out beyond racism, maybe there is a need not to educate people that racism is wrong, but simply to educate to the point of understanding that, if you have an opinion and you cannot state your opinion without resorting to inflammatory language, then you need to keep that opinion to yourself.
Maybe then we can rid ourselves of all the thick, ill-educated twats in the world…
In all seriousness, the declining standard of education, coupled with the underlying racist tones in our culture and the increasing lack of respect for each other, continues to bemuse, perplex and worry. Whilst this current furore was started on a TV programme, one which is largely looked down on by the rest of the media, it does nicely encapsulate a lot of what is presently wrong with the UK. A culture in microcosm if you will.
Unfortunately, it seems our culture is a bit of a car crash and while you know you shouldn’t keep watching, you just can’t take your eyes from the microscope.
* I have some experience in this area, as it’s very easy to alienate yourself from others by attacking their intellect. I’ll happily admit I’m a bit of a snob, but I’m certainly not the best educated person (not that the two are mutually inclusive), however nothing is as distasteful as the know-it-all. I realise this post may be seen to be in that vein, but it’s merely my humble observation.