Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Black and White Minstrels

The BBC scores yet another victory over the forces of evil as its new “diversity czar” (sic) berates the news team for hiring too many white faces.

Obviously, in these enlightened times, it goes without saying that it is somehow wrong that the faces on TV should in any way reflect the population of the country that employs them. If they’re white, that is. It might not be immediately clear as to why that is, but we can take it on trust, because a ridiculously overpaid professional grievance-monger has told us so.

But the BBC is on the case! Before you know it we’ll have a steady diet of Hutu genocidaires reporting on sub-saharan Africa, and sword-waving jihadists providing the latest updates from Samara. If none of those fascist bourgeois types who actually pay their TV licence fees can understand a word they’re saying, so much the better for “diversity”.

In any case, what such people lack in English language skills they generally make up for in body language, especially throat-cutting gestures of the unmistakable ear-to-ear variety.

But why stop there? Enough of this anthropomorphic chauvinism, I say! Let’s skip the minorites, and have the evening news presented entirely by squirrels rounded up from the bushes outside Broadcasting House. That’ll teach us…


“And now on the BBC, the News for the Deaf.”

18 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Just when I think I'm going to have a crappy day, I pop in here.

. . .and confirm it.

Cheers.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

It's interesting (sorta) that Mary Fitzpatrick, the new diversity czar is herself quite unabashedly, one might say luridly, white.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Or is she...? And does it make a difference if she is or if she isn't? It's a question. Does what she suggest amount to racism?

Personally I think it's a bit daft to suggest a white reporter can't accurately report on conditions in another country, but that's me. I know nothing. I think the woman's sincere and well-meaning but, as my granny always used to say "May God preserve us from the well-meaning."

Desargues said...

I suspect that not only is she white, but also of middle class origin. God save us all from these people -- from Robespierre to Marx to Trotsky, they're the worst kind of fanatical ideologues (a wily peasant, Stalin was the man of action, letting others squabble over matters of doctrine).

If she's also a graduate of some "Cultural" "Studies" program that have cropped up all over the English-speaking world, then I guess she's beyond redemption by now.

Note how La Fitzpatrick supports her argument with the alleged ground that "[i]t feels more authoritative and more involved" when a black person reports from Africa. That the way a person feels is not evidence for any normative claims never crosses her bien pensant little brain. But again, they don't teach logic in Cultural Studies. Logic is obviously a political artifact of a bunch of dead white guys in the West, used to repress and put down countless minorities across centuries. It's time to replace it with feelings -- of unmitigated hatred for all things white, of irrational optimism over alien cultures.

Desargues said...

Anyway, for a fire-breathing PC enforcer, Mary seems oddly comfortable with the term 'diversity czar. Shouldn't that be 'czarina'? Or maybe, as the Russian autocracy of the Romanovs was a paragon of minority oppression, we should discard that reviled term altogether, and replace it with some barbarism more to their liking -- 'diversity coordinatrix,' perhaps?

Ivan the Terrible said...

Given the BBC's political orientation, "Diversity Chekist" seems more appropriate, no?

Aunty Marianne said...

France has just discovered diversity in the newsroom. They've a rather suave new newsreader from Martinique replacing PPDA. They're hoping it'll speak to the disaffected yoof and cut down on the car fires.

Mum says she never gets ethnic minorities booking her holiday cottage in Dorset. While some British ethnics attain high level urban jobs, they don't leave the cities, as they perceive country folk as racist. This is because they don't see any ethnic minorities in the countryside on telly. So urban ethnics miss out on rural fun and picture-skew landscape, and the countryside misses out on urban cash.

I have a sneaking suspicion that diversity on the TV screen is important. It's not just about reporting from your region of origin (where language issues are a factor). It's also important on everyday British issues. Black presenter lassie on Countryfile? I'm all for it.

Seamus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seamus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ivan the Terrible said...

I'm not so sure that the minorities in question are playing with a straight bat there, Aunty. They're mostly first or second generation emigres from rural squalor in their own countries, and are genuinely disinterested in visiting the British countryside anyway. After all, if they associate their native rustics with poverty and ignorance, they probably assume the same of ours (not always without justification, natch).

The National Trust tried to get rid of all its volunteer walking guides for being white, and spent a fortune promoting themselves to ethnics to bump up its stats. Result - no more volunteers, and zero extra ethnic visitors...

Oh, and Seamus - I'm stumped. Maybe Des can think of one.

Desargues said...

Erm, what?

Cantemir said...

Anyone who confuses uninterested and disinterested should have to appear before an unintersted judge :)

- Dimitrie Captiousmir

PI said...

On the BBC it is a rare day to find an announcer that is luridly white or non Scot(sorry Sam - no offence xxxx)
One of my friend's grand-sons can't get in the police because he'd the wrong colout - white.

Foot Eater said...

I lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a year and was outraged that the local BBC news bulletins on TV had smooth types spouting RP night after night. My experience of the city was tarnished. Where were the lads in Toon Army shirts greeting me from the screen with 'Howay man'?

Ivan the Terrible said...

A spot of burnt cork and he'll be a chief constable on no time, Pi.

And Footie, real Geordies can't be newsreaders. Real Geordies can't read.

Rob said...

I deal with indians every day. They all speak & write the most impeccable english. As opposed to most pasty-white english people I know.

Aunty Marianne said...

Yes, bring on the Indians.

Anonymous said...

I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site.
I really hope to check out the same high-grade
content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities
has inspired me to get my own site now ;)

My web page :: organic coffee