Musing on racism


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Racism is a very touchy and subjective topic. For example: Most folk will laugh at a joke about the Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman but add a Pakistani or Negro into the joke and it becomes racist. Is it not just as racist to poke fun at everyone or is it permissible to poke fun at everyone providing they are not coloured? I, personally, get piss*d off at people who say the eastern Europeans come over here and steal our jobs; whereas in reality they are mostly working in low paid jobs that no-one else will do. So, how do we decide if a comment is funny or just plain racist? I don't know the answer but would welcome thoughts from others on the subject. Is this a racist or a funny joke: "Rumour has it that one Scotsman is so mean that other Scots are beginning to notice!" You might say "Racist! Get off with you!" but what if I now tell you that the joke came from a Scottish friend of mine....is it racist now? Comments please.

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Not exactly racism but discrimination which can be equally offensive to the person its directed to. A true story about my husband who is Sicilian. His family had a good business in the small village w

Well I'm a mongrel! A bit Cornish, Irish, Jewish and a sprinkling of other bits. So I like all races and hybrids like myself. Most English people are mongrels and better and stronger for it  No 'us an

Why is it people spend so much time and energy on the things that are different instead of what joins us together. None of us are pure bred , whatever that is. We are all a mixture  but most important

As far as I'm concerned the problem lies more with political correctness rather than racism as such.  Over here I don't care if somebody calls me a 'Limey' it has always been said in fun as far as I am concerned and if it isn't its the other guys problem not mine.

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Jessie Lee Peterson, a black clergyman states there's no such thing as racism, just stupidity, he has a weekday daily live show on Youtube. Here is a man who speaks none PC, and calls a spade a spade.

He is well worth watching, and he puts his money where his mouth is, he helps young black kids to take the straight and narrow in impoverished black neighborhoods.

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It all goes back to not being so bloomin' sensitive.  Gets ridiculous when the guy in the air force (Guy Gibson?)  gets his words in a movie 'Dambusters' censored because he called his black Lab a name which the PC crowd now tell us is offensive.  I don't think he meant it that way. and no doubt the dog liked it.  Folks need to lighten up.

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Visited the grave in the 90s, courtesy of a friend who worked at Scampton on the civilian staff. Gibson was a very strange character but he surely loved his dog! In fact, he admitted that he preferred animals to people. Can't say I disagree with him.

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3 minutes ago, Ayupmeducks said:

calls a spade a spade.

Not the best choice of words given the subject Ayup but I take his point.

 

Compo asked if it needs colour to be racist, no, not really. The Englishman, Irish etc. jokes are about national characteristics not race. Had the joke been 'a Caucasian, an Oriental and a Negro then racial difference comes to the fore and becomes the subject depending on what follows.

There is also the question of the teller. If a Pakistani tells a joke about two Pakistani men and a Pakistani woman then a Pakistani audience would not scream racist (sexist maybe). If a white guy did the same he would quickly be made to see the error of his ways. It's a question of perception and perspective

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It was a saying years before blacks got the nickname "spade" , and it referred to spades and shovels, not to humans of a different colour.

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Dave, when I worked at Beeston Boiler company, I worked with one of the greatest people I've ever met and worked with, his name was Oscar, he was a black Cuban, one hell of a nice gentleman who used to relate his young days in Cuba to all of us.

One thing he used to say was "I don't need reminding I'm black, I see it everytime I look in the mirror to comb my hair.

We were on regular night shift on the BMD plant there, I was the maintenance electrician and he was a cleaner and greaser. One night he was telling us what happened on his way home the previous morning, it was about a black dog that seemed to dislike black folks, he sad the mongrel chased him up his street, but he said the odd thing was the dogs name, N#@@!r... That man was hilarious. It was summer, and I used to spend an hour or two sleeping in the backyard, and was getting a nice tan, Oscar said to me one night, nice tan John, yeah trying to catch up with you Oscar, Hmmmm, but I've got a good start on you John....That's the way the man went one...One of life's true gentlemen.

He related how his Son, who was a day shift welder at BBC, he couldn't seem to "get it", when Oscar was in the pub, everyone was friendly with him, and his Son seemed to be ignored, that's when he said the story about the mirror, basically saying, when your relaxed about your colour, everyone else will be.

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When you think about it we are all colored to a greater or lesser degree.  I'm Caucasian, born in the wilds of Mansfield.:Shock:  I'm not as white as a sheet.  Funny pinky brown color.  Gets darker in the Georgia summers spent among the veggies. I don't care,  it's what's inside a man or woman that counts.  There is a large black population here, especially in Atlanta, but it is the white owned media that constantly seem to be drawing attention to it in their attempt to stir up trouble.  it isn't even talked about much in the circles I move in.

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Not exactly racism but discrimination which can be equally offensive to the person its directed to. A true story about my husband who is Sicilian. His family had a good business in the small village where they lived, one of my husbands brothers contracted Typhoid and with no national health service had to pay for all hospital fees until at the end they were forced to sell their business to pay for his stay. 

My husband eventually, as he was the eldest, had to work to help keep the family. He started working at 11 yrs of age . He went to Liguria to help on the fishing boats with his uncle. Eventually he was able to bring his family up to Piemonte. He started looking for work and was refused in many places because he was Sicilian. He's white and hasn't got the characteristic appearance of a sicilian ( dark skin , hair and eyes.)

He was even refused entry to a bar in the village. He was so angry that he made a promise to himself that one day he would buy this bar. Eventually he decided to go to England.

He worked in many places starting out as a commis waiter and went to Jersey and from there to Nottingham where we met. A Year after we married we decided to live in Piemonte. He worked in a factory which he hated and he and his brother worked weekends at a beautiful restaurant high up on the hills. ( La Morra) the restaurant had a lot of tourists and he was able to be interpreter for the english and his brother for the french.

We eventually came back to Nottingham and from then on he opened 5 restaurants. When, once again we came back here he fulfilled his promise that he would buy this bar. It was up for freehold so he bought it to the anger and surprise of the very same people who had, years previously refused him entry.

Sicilians may have seemed under priviledged people or even criminals but they certainly had respect for the " northeners" .

Thank goodness things have changed for the better.

This last week the village in Sicily and our village have just been twinned. About 90 locals went to the ceremony  and have come back to say how well the sicilians have treated them and all want to go back again. The locals have never ever experienced food and celebrations like they had in sicily and are full of praise.  A lot said they were ashamed of their previous behaviour. Hes proud to be Sicilian and I'm proud of him for not giving up. Hes worked hard all his life and in 49 yrs hes only been out of work 2 weeks.

Sorry its gone on a bit but I can't see the sense in racism.

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Great post, nonna.  Thank you for sharing your husband's (and your) story.  I'm pleased that at least  in your part of the world, there are people who can see beyond skin colour or ethnicity.  Thank you again xx

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Wow! Inspiring story. Do you mind telling us the names of the restaurants, I might have eaten there? You may remember we met at a reunion at the pub on St. James Street, Chulla was there. I said “ciao” (like a pratt!) and you replied with a stream of beautiful Italian! Put me in my place - in a nice way.

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Oh, and I am as white as white, but my great-grandfather was described in the local press (I’m afraid he was a bad lad, to say the least) as a “coal-black, West Indian.”

 

When my uncle introduced his future wife to my grandma she later said, “Eric, you didn’t tell me your mother was black!” He said, “Is she! She’s just my Mum!”

 

That’s shaped my views on racism.

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Affergorritt, Yes I remember you standing behind us and when asked your name I really thought you had forgotten it. 

The restaurants were 1st

La Buca on Thurland St

The old Bridge on Trent bridge ( think that was the name ) In partnership with Carlo Slaviero of " Valentinos"

Da Vinci West Bridgford also in Partnership with the chef Pasquale Sorrentino

Puccini's Radcliffe on Trent

 In Italy

La Barca which was more like a banqueting place . We did weddings , christenings etc.

Just thought when you said ciao to us I probably thought you could speak Italian. Sorry if I had misunderstood. I reply in whatever language I hear as long as it's English or Italian.:rolleyes:

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No problem, Nonna. Once I learn two words in a language I tend to think I’m fluent. Especially if I’ve had

a drink. I even go to the Thai takeaway, bow politely and say, “sawat di, khrap”. When they give me my order I bow again and say, “kobh khun, khrap”

 

They are polite enough not to laught until I’ve left.

 

I’m afraid I haven’t eaten at any of your restaurants, but often went to La Capanna, La Contessa (?) downstairs off St. James Street, and one which was upstairs almost opposite Sisson and Parkers on Wheeler Gate (or was that perhaps La Contessa when they moved?)

 

All so long ago, now, though I believe La Capanna is still going strong in Sherwood.

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Hope they are the correct words in Thai.

The ones that own La Capanna worked with my husband at various places. Giorgio who was there sadly died a while ago, he was our chef for a number of years. La Contessa ( originally Trattoria Conte) my husband worked there and again when it transferred to Wheeler Gate. I can't remember what the name was then. So you may have crossed paths with my husband.

La Capanna will always be popular at least I hope so as the chef there is very good.

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Superb steaks nonna. :hungr:

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All that group knew how to choose their steaks. My husband went to the butchers he uses to buy a supply of steaks. The butcher had a frozen shoulder and couldn't cut the meat, so my husband went behind the scenes and cut them himselfsmile2

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Just realised what time it is nonna. We put the clocks forward las thing last night. I'm going to get my head down for another couple of hours !  :sleeping:

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Not looking for publicity, although wouldn't do much good now. Cliff Ton

Hope I didn't repeat myself too much , I'd hate to be boring.;)

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