Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Half of a red tongue

‘You ain’t English – you’re black!’

That was the rant of a racist English woman on board a train in London. The 2.16 minute video posted on youtube was titled ‘My tram experience’, and boy, wasn’t it the experience for the unlucky passengers.

She had a child sitting on her laps and was surrounded by staring people but she didn’t care. F-words tumbled out of her mouth like the waters of Victoria Fall.

“ You ain’t English! you ain’t English either! Get back to your own %*#& country. Do you know what? Sort out your own countries don’t come and steal mine. Go back to where you come from. It’s my British country”.

For a woman who laid so much emphasis on being ‘English’, her vocabulary was highly impressive. It consisted of:

80% F-words

20% mumbo jumbo that could just pass for English

I felt sorry for the little boy sitting on her laps. He was visibly cringing with embarrassment – especially towards the end of the clip when he bowed his head in shame. Poor boy; he was probably willing the ground to split open and swallow him.

Poor passengers likely on their way home from some menial, demeaning job that most ‘English’ people won’t be caught dead doing. The woman stabbing her finger at them has possibly not experienced life beyond the borders of Europe or even UK.

Luckily for the passive passengers a confident woman on the train did not take it quietly on the chin, she told the racist woman to watch her words. A shouting bout ensued.

‘You’re not British.’

‘I am British.’

‘You’re not English; you’re black.’

Apparently black and British are two irreconcilable differences. Maybe white and British would go down better? Or maybe not. The woman did not spare Polish people in her tirade against the immigrants ‘overtaking’ her country.

If she was aware of history she would probably know that invasions are a characteristic of today’s world, shaping countries and redefining their boundaries. Indeed Britain has had several waves of invasions, and has itself invaded a vast number of countries.

Countries that invaded Britain

700/600 BC The Celts invade.

43BC Emperor Claduis invades (Romans)

450 The Anglo-Saxons invade

410 The Romans leave

793 The Vikings invade.

1066 The Normans(French) invade

1688 By the Dutch

Read more at wiki answers.

Countries colonised/invaded by Britain:

The Gambia Sierra Leone Nigeria British Togoland (1916–1956, today part of Ghana)Cameroons (1922–1961, now parts of Cameroon and Nigeria)British Gold Coast (now Ghana) Nyasaland (now Malawi) Basutoland (now Lesotho) Swaziland Egypt Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1899–1956) British Somaliland (now part of Somalia) British East Africa: Kenya Colony Uganda Protectorate Tanzania : Tanganyika Territory (1919–1961) ZanzibarBechuanaland (now Botswana) Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) British South Africa South-West Africa (from 1915, now Namibia)

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.

The wave of immigration is just another form of invasion without the violence. And nobody likes to be invaded. The woman had grievances that she needed to get off her chest, and she did it in an extremely rude manner.

The last time I checked the news she had been dragged before a judge and remanded behind bars. Her application for bail was rejected. That response, to me, is equally extreme.

Even though there are many friendly, open-minded English/British people, there are also many who share her mindset. This might sound extreme but clamping down on their freedom to express themselves is a form of repression. Repression might work temporarily but it can have far-reaching consequences.

Am I supporting racism and bigotry? Not in anyway. Racism is distasteful in all its manifestations and must never be tolerated. And that’s why political correctness is a good thing. It curbs peoples’ excesses and forces them to tolerate others of differing backgrounds, views and orientations.

Definition, political correctness: ‘The avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalise or insult certain groups of people.’

However political correctness on the other end of the spectrum can be overwhelmingly ridiculous.

In 2007, Santa Clauses in Sydney, Australia, were forced to revolt for the right to say “Ho Ho Ho”, the traditional laugh of jolly old St. Nick. It turns out that their employer, the recruitment firm Westaff (that supplies hundreds of Santas across Australia), told all trainees that “ho ho ho” could frighten children and be derogatory to women. Why? Because it was too close to the American (not Australian, mind you) slang for prostitute. Instead, the Santas were instructed to lower their voices and say “Ha ha ha”. Westaff relented only after the story broke nationally, deciding to leave the belly laughs “up to the discretion of Santa himself “.


The sad part is that political correctness does not give people a chance to air their feelings and debate issues they feel affects them. Many white British people feel they are being outnumbered in their own country. They also feel that their voices are being unfairly silenced because of a social obligation to treat minority groups with respect. That is not healthy for democracy. Rather the British government – and all governments opening their doors to immigrants – should foster a public sphere for debate.

Public sphere

Here’s a wikipedia definition:

“The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action.

It is "a discursive space in which individuals and groups congregate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment."

If a platform for discussion is not created people will continue to feel hard done by. It is the only route for enlightenment and reaching a better solution. British people, for instance, do not realise that many of the immigrants ‘swamping’ their country come from former colonies whose wealth was once carted away to develop Britain. Many come from former colonies whose slaves laboured to build up Britain as we know it today. But that awareness can only be achieved through enlightenment. How to go about creating a platform is another matter on its own.

However, what the UK and other governments need is open, honest debate. Let people air their concerns. Let there be a rational discussion. It is an opportunity for both the government and the people to be enlightened.

What are your views? Your comments will be appreciated.

Funny list of PC terms culled from

Bald - comb-free
Bald - folically independent

Bald - follicularly challenged.
Battle Fatigued - shellshocked
Body Odor - nondiscretionary fragrance.
Broken Down Automobile - mechanically challenged
Broken Home - Dysfunctional Family

Cannibalism - Intra-Species Dining
Cheating - Academic Dishonesty
Corpse - Permanently Static Post-Human Mass
Corpse / Stiff - Terminally Inconvenienced

Dishonest - Ethically disoriented.
Drug Addict - Chemically Challenged
Drunk - spacially perplexed

Fail - achieve a deficiency.
Fat - gravitationally challenged
Fat - horizontally gifted
Fat - person of substance

Gang - Youth Group
Garbage Man - sanitation engineer
Geek, Nerd, whatever... - socially challenged
Ghetto / Barrio - Ethnically Homogenous Area

Hamburger - Seared Mutilated Animal Flesh
Handicapped - Differently Abled, Handi-Capable
Homeless - residentially flexible
Homelessness - Mortgage-Free Living
Housewife - domestic engineer
Hunter - Animal Assassin
Hunter - Bambi Butcher
Hunter - Meat Mercenary

Ignorant - factually unencumbered
Insane People - Mental Explorers
Insane People - Selectively Perceptive
Insult - Emotional Rape

Lazy - motivationally deficient.
Learning Disability - Self-Paced Cognitive Ability
Library - Educational Resource Center

Old - chronologically gifted
Old Person / Elderly - Senior Citizens

Panhandler - Unaffiliated applicant for private-sector funding.
Paper Bag - processed tree carcass
Plagiarism - Previously Owned Prose
Po' - financially inept
Poor - Economically Unprepared
Poor - monetarily challenged
Pregnant - parasitically oppressed.
Prisoner - client of the correctional system
Prostitute - sex care provider
Psychobabble - constructivist feminist psychotherapy

Racist - genetically discriminating
Runny Nose - nasally gifted

Ugly - Cosmetically different.

Unemployed - Involuntarily leisured.

Tube tirade


  1. There is a saying that goes-a racist is another's patriot.I want to concur with you Oluchi that in the absence of a healthy discussion on racial issues or the wider topic of immigration, leads to an intellectual vacuum where ignorance and naivety lead to bigotry and hate.The problem is striking a balance between facilitating healthy debate on sensitive issues such as immigration and preventing that forum from being highjacked by hateful bigots.political correctness I think is counter productive in the sense that the perceived preference, protection and therefore promotion of minority groups leads to resentment and political backlash by majority groups.I believe the UK sociopolitical landscape is in urgent need of an all encompassing public debate on immigration and it's impact on the country.

  2. That's true, Will. Striking a balance between healthy debate and bigotry will be a challenge if a debate on immigration is to hold.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is a masterpiece. . .I enjoy how you have used real life situation to illustrate an issue which would consume all of us if not properly handled. Indigene/non-indigene, migrant/non-migrant, settler/native, . . .Then CITIZENSHIP, are burning issues that need to be addressed using a global platform to enable it to be settled once and for all.

  4. A great balanced article which once again confronts a sensitive issue head on. The truth is that racism, ethnicity, tribalism or any form of discrimination is part of human existence. It's always happened and always will happen.

    Ignorance is what propagates the tendency to be racist. Like you rightly said the cure for this will only come through education and enlightenment.

    Immigration and race related issues only take a centre stage when elections come around and sadly it's always exploited for political gains.

    However, I think people already have opportunities to air their views but most of what I see and read is driven by emotions/sentiments instead of facts and reason.