Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A nice video of Johann Hari taking a slice out of Richard Littlejohn

I think Johann raises a very good point; publications like the Daily Mail that constantly stir up bile against immigrants and Islam and whatever else they happen to hate that week create a climate in which that kind of behaviour is acceptable. Littlejohn's response tells you a lot about the man, he had no arguements with which he could defend himself so he had to resort to being patronising.

This article gives a good summary of quite what makes Littlejohn such an unpleasant individual. It includes this segment which quotes from one of Littlejohn's own columns:

But when another genocide was being perpetrated – this time by black Hutus against black Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 – he wrote, "Does anyone really give a monkey's about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them."

Note the (possibly subliminal) use of the word ‘monkey’. Note the implicit idea that black people’s ethnic identifications are ridiculous – from a man who constantly ridicules the “smelly” French and “dictatorial” Germans.

I find this kind of bigotry disgusting; the fact that he is completely unable to empathise at all with the plight of fellow human beings absolutely appals me. That anyone in modern bBritain could so easily dismiss the brutal murder of over a million and the rape of even more speaks volumes about how far we still have to progress as a society.

Wikipedia has a list of incidents involving him and people who share the same low opinion of him that I do.

Here's another quote from Johann Hari's article:

The brilliant Marina Hyde of the Guardian has helpfully compiled a log of Dick’s references to homosexuality. In 2003, he referred “24 times to gays, 17 to homosexuals, 15 to cottaging, seven to rent boys, six to lesbians, six times to being "homophobic" and four times to "homophobia" (note Richard's scornful inverted commas), twice to poovery and once to buggery. That's a mere 82 mentions in 90-odd columns.” In 2004, he excelled himself, and “referred 42 times to gays, 16 times to lesbians, 15 to homosexuals, eight to bisexuals, twice to "homophobia" and six to being "homophobic" (note his scornful inverted commas), five times to cottaging, four to "gay sex in public toilets", three to poofs, twice to lesbianism, and once each to buggery, dykery, and poovery. This amounts to 104 references in 90-odd columns.”

I think it is an important role of the Labour Party to fight against the casual homophobia that permeates through society. Many times I have heard people casually throw out homophobic slurs such as "poof" or describe someone or something as "gay" if they do something stupid or "unmanly".

The use of slurs creates an atmosphere in which those slurs are acceptable, by doing so it brings violence against oppressed groups closer to the main stream. it is for this reason why we as believers in equality must do more than simply believe in it. We must speak out against intolerance, not just in speeches or at political gatherings but in public and social settings as well.

This recent ad makes the point very well:

(What would we do without Youtube?)

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