In Defence of Jeremy Clarkson

by craig on May 1, 2014 11:25 am in Uncategorized

I only today realized that the “Eeny meeny” rhyme contains the word nigger – despite having said it many times in my childhood.  I really attached no meaning at all to the word then – I though it was just nonsense like “eeny meeny’.  I certainly had no idea it meant a black person.  I had only ever met two or three black people, and did not think of them as any different.

Once I did know the word “nigger” and its hateful sense – probably from TV – I never made the cognitive connection between it and that old nursery rhyme.  Absolutely not until today when I read about Jeremy Clarkson.  I then closed my eyes and said the rhyme.  I was genuinely astonished – and horrified - to find myself saying:

Eeny meeny miney moe

Catch a nigger by the toe

If he squeals let him go

Eemy meeny miney moe

I am quite sure that was the version I chanted as a child when counting out a random choice.  It was just a counting rhyme.  I had as a small child  no associations at all with its meaning, any more than I associated “ring a ring of rosies” with bubonic plague, or “Here we go round the mulberry bush” with pagan fertility rituals.

Clarkson said the rhyme in the context of making the point that there was nothing to choose between two cars, as a way of indicating the choice would be random – an entirely natural context for the rhyme to spring to mind.  Plainly he realized what he had done, and recorded another version.  Clarkson is even older than me.  I might very well have made the same error.  He denies he ever said the word “nigger”.  I can conceive I might have done it without realizing it is there, until too late.  If that sounds incredible, I think it is because you are not taking into account the way children learn and continually repeat rhythmic counting rhymes.

Naturally I hope that version of the nursery rhyme is never used again.  There can be few things harder to eradicate than ancient playground chants, but parents and teachers must explain why it is wrong if they hear it.  I don’t know if children still use it.  But while we may deplore attitudes of the past, we have to exercise wisdom in dealing with people who were products of a very different environment.  Like Clarkson.  Oh, and me.

Which leads me to a further thought.  I am pretty sure I had no concept of people’s colour as a small child, and the following I know for certain. My elder children attended a primary school in Gravesend in which a little over half the children were Sikh.  By age seven, they had absolutely no conception of any racial difference between themselves and any others in their class.  It is a slender piece of evidence, but I am generally fairly convinced that racial difference is a taught construct.

 

 

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75 Comments

  1. It’s about time we got the idea that racism is about context and intent. Not raw words. UKIP is careful about its language but racist to the core. Clarkson is just a twat.

  2. I was born in the early 80′s and always heard / taught the rhyme with the word ‘Tigger’, as in the Winnie the Pooh character.

    Further, er, “discussion” here: http://www.lawoftheplayground.com/browse.php?type=subject&id=2012

  3. “Plainly he realized what he had done, and recorded another version.”

    Sadly you’re wrong. If you watch the version which was actually broadcast you’ll hear that it is in fact the very same clip in which the word “nigger” has just been very deliberately replaced with the overdub of Clarkson saying the word “teacher”. The dubbing is very very crude and obvious – so obvious in fact that it can only have been done deliberately in a standard Top Gear stab at humour & was intended to be noticed and chuckled at by those “in the know” – much as with the more recent “slope” remark.

  4. When I was a kid, I thought the opening words to Sesame Street were “Friendly Niggerhood, the air is sweet”.

    There were lots of black kids there. Why wouldn’t it be?

    Also, “Nig-Nog” was used as the mildest of insults, to each other, sometimes to us by our teachers. I know now it comes from “Love Thy Neighbour” but at the time it was just a funny word.

    In neither case was there any emotive context.

  5. “Nig-nog” wasn’t a racist insult at first: it meant someone clumsy and unco-ordinated.

  6. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    Talking of kids, if any kid worth his salt thinks that a word is out-of-bounds and that using it gets adults riled…he’ll use it.

  7. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    …I guess much the same goes for Clarkson – and he gets paid for it.

  8. Tedious, just as the debate on the establishements vogue and lefty fads of the last century. Now if there is nothing else to report here.

    Peaches Geldof most likely killed by heroin overdose
    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/leute/peaches-geldof-starb-an-heroin-ueberdosis-berichtet-die-times-a-967102.html

    love at first sight, Merkel tries the touchy feely approach, whilst he’s not sure how to take it….
    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/merkel-besuch-bei-us-praesident-obama-ukraine-und-nsa-sind-thema-a-966871.html

    china and Russia announce navy sea manouvres in the South China sea end of Mai. Now this is news with implications, it will send tensions between China and Japan sky high.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/china-und-russland-planen-manoever-im-ostchinesischen-meer-bei-shanghai-a-967104.html

    So what was that about this car mad exhibitionist, he’s a racialist stereotyper, what a revelation, all those contemplating voting for UKIP are as well, maybe this hot air Uebermensch could join forces with him, a marriage made in heaven.

    oh yes I forgot the Yawn

  9. Clarkson does have history. As he is a member of the Chipping Norton set and a friend of Brooks and the Freuds, you can keep him.

    He is coining it thanks to BBC Worldwide with all the spin offs.
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/jul/16/jeremy-clarkson-top-gear-bbc-worldwide
    ~~

    In the Fifties, ‘Nigger Brown’ was a name given to the colour of clothes and shoes. Dreadful.

  10. Yes – I was rather more interested in whether others childhood experience resonates with mine, than the general worth of Jeremy Clarkson. Though I must say that Top Gear’s pastiche of the opening sequences of 70′s or 80′s detective series made me laugh more than anything on television in decades.

  11. That’s certainly the version I learned, I don’t even know the PC version.

    However, Clarkson should have been sacked about a decade ago simply because he is such a reactionary git. He has made far more sack-worthy comments than this current one.

  12. Mary,

    Do you even read the posts? All you seem to have seen is your own preconceived thoughts of Clarkson.

    Instead why not take the opportunity to reflect on your own use of ill considered racist language?

  13. Growing up in the 80s, it was ‘goblin’ for me.

  14. Craig 1 May, 2014 – 1:16 pm
    “I was rather more interested in whether others childhood experience resonates with mine”

    I grew up in a place and time where the Irish where the butt of racist jokes. I became actively anti racist politically at the age of seventeen and have remained so for decades. My missus is Irish. Still though, when faced with stupidity, in my head I begin the sentence “that’s really Irish”.

  15. Correction:…in my head I WILL SOMETIMES begin the sentence…

    I have consciously expelled it from regular use.

  16. I’d never in my life heard the remainder of the rhyme, beyond the first line: ‘eeny meeny miny mo’ and thought that was all there was to it. I don’t think ‘ring of roses’ has anything at all to do with bubonic plague, it’s another urban legend, the symptoms in the rhyme don’t resemble bubonic plague in any way. I’ll trust to your insider knowledge on pagan fertility rites however.

    Clarkson is an odious oaf, part of the David Cameron/Rebekah Brookes crooked set too and there is much to criticise him for justifiably, including his execrable TV programs, but this seems a contrived case, intentionally courting controversy. Bring back William Woollard I say by just repeating 70s editions of Top Gear pre-JC, but better still just give up television and its BBC license fee racket entirely, you’ll be better for it. Join the majority who happily want no knowledge of Clarkson or any other pampered superfluous slebs latest stunts.

    I think there are vast pockets in the UK where a dark-skinned man or woman is still a fairly rare sight and many have grown up and continue to live in completely non-integrated mono-cultural environments, but that alone couldn’t account for racism. Superficially cohesive groups tend to bind together more when under stress, and establishing themselves in a strange hostile and alien place is far from stress free, but the agglomeration in order to form communities offering mutual support and sense of community from their closeness and commonalities, means that integration is only superficial and these isolated pockets accentuate differences or percieved difference, forming disparate tribes. Fairly focussed hate targetting some group having either discernible visible difference and also others who are in no way any different at all is very much a learnt thing though, inculcated in children by institutions such as segregated education systems and to a greater degree by their parents and from their peers who’ve been taught to hate by their parents.

  17. Rob Royston

    1 May, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    It’s an unfortunate rhyme that will hopefully die out with us. I work in Africa and I’ve caught myself using the first four words many times when choosing something while surrounded by my African colleagues. Thankfully, English is about their second, third or fourth language so there is a good chance that it means nothing to them, but it makes me feel guilty as hell as I love the African people.

    We had another unfortunate saying when Scotland was an industrial country, “Do you think I came up the Clyde in a banana boat?”. I was very guilty of using that one, so much so that my son got checked for using it at his work.

  18. Like Craig, I learned the words merely as sounds and never paid attention to the meaning. Just as I never sniggered when I read things like: ‘I say, that was a close shave!’ Biggles ejaculated.

  19. ‘It comes days after a producer of the show apologised for a “light-hearted” joke made by Mr Clarkson that sparked a complaint of racism.

    An episode of the show filmed in Burma and Thailand, and shown in March, featured a scene in which the presenters built a bridge over the River Kwai.

    As an Asian man walked over it Clarkson said: “That is a proud moment, but there’s a slope on it.”

    Somi Guha, an actress who complained to the BBC, said the use of the phrase was an example of “casual racism” and should amount to “gross misconduct”.

    Top Gear’s executive producer, Andy Wilman, said: “When we used the word slope in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.

    “We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word slope is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

    “If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused.”

    In response to that accusation of racism, Mr Clarkson, who has 3.3 million followers, tweeted on March 28: “I’m not a racist. I am currently sitting in a bar with a man who lives quite near Wales.”‘
    http://news.sky.com/story/1252985/jeremy-clarkson-denies-n-word-on-top-gear

    Very droll Jeremy.

    Not a word in my vocabulary.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=slope13

  20. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    At my execrable boarding school, PC was a term yet to be invented. A Jewish lad’s only nickname was ‘Yid’, and a a half-Indian friend of mine was often called ‘Wog’ – though not to his face, as he was not the forgiving sort. He’s now a respectable solicitor, I believe. There were other epithets, not racial, but equally unacceptable today. The ‘eeny, meeny’ rhyme was taught to me at infant school, as I remember. Or it may have been my grandmother. It was traditional, and no insult was even considered to be implicit. Our paedophile geography teacher devoted a lesson to the life and times of ‘Bongo of the Congo’. It was one of a series, and I am happy to say I forget what names he gave the stereotype Eskimo and Red Indian Native American. He’d be a UKIP candidate today, I guess.

  21. Good post Craig. I can think of many older relatives who would refer to ethnic minorities by very non-PC terms such as Wog, Sambo or Mick. The latter being used most frequently by my uncle to describe the Irish members of his family! I don’t think there was ever any malice associated with these terms as it is something which they grew up hearing and which entered into their vocabulary. Most are now aware that those terms should not be used but I can understand why they did so.

    Also worth noting that one can be racist or sectarian without resorting to vulgar slang or nicknames. For instance issuing sweeping generalisations about an entire race or religious grouping should be scorned just as much as using non-PC descriptors.

    As for Clarkson I hope this will all blow over. No coincidence that it is the Daily Mirror going after him. He is not exactly well liked by that section of the media and being part of the ‘Chipping Norton set’ does not help either.

  22. A good line from Medialens.

    ‘The three Jeremys of the Apocalypse: Paxman, Vine and Clarkson.’

  23. I had no idea that the N-word was such an offensive label, before living in America for a few years. There, it’s establishing the old relationship between the slave and master. Putting a black man “in his place”. It conjures up centuries of hatred and injustice, letting the recipient of that insult know he is getting no apology for it.

    Like Craig, I had no awareness of non-whites while at school. The only people of colour were those we saw on TV (Huggy Bear and Captain Dobey spring to mind).

    It seems very likely indeed that racial prejudice – just like hatred of gays, those of a different spiritual persuasion (or delusion, depending on your point of view) and so on – has to be taught, preferably at an early age. Make them become the hated “other”. Nothing makes a black person “the other” more effectively than denigrating him to the rank of “nigger”.

  24. What’s the plural of Jeremy?

  25. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Nothing makes a black person “the other” more effectively than denigrating him to the rank of “nigger”.

    I’d give that an even chance with being physically different, wouldn’t you? Appearances are all.

  26. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    What’s the plural of Jeremy?

    Haemorrhoids.

  27. doug scorgie

    1 May, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    Mary
    1 May, 2014 – 12:52 pm

    “In the Fifties, ‘Nigger Brown’ was a name given to the colour of clothes and shoes. Dreadful.”

    Yes that’s true Mary. In those days knitting-wool shops had balls of wool labelled ‘Nigger Brown’

  28. As a child I learnt this rhyme and it was used in choosing who would be in your team. It was not said offensively but children are not generally offensive until taught by adults. There were no blacks in the pit-village in which I lived but all the miners came home black. At that time Charlie Williams, who later became a comedian, played, I think, centre-half, for Doncaster Rovers. He was the only person of black origin I had seen.

    There was also a rhyme about “Ten Little Nigger Boys”, not the Agatha Christie book, which might better have been replaced by “Ten Green Bottles” my mother said. As to literature this from Hariet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    “No; she can’t bar me, ’cause I’m a nigger!–she’d ‘s soon have a toad touch her! There can’t nobody love niggers, and niggers can’t do nothin’! I don’t care.”

    And from Freemason Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”

    “It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d a knowed it would make him feel that way.”

    In those days the word never had the racial connotations it subsequently acquired. My own theory is that the word may well have developed from those poor people made slaves from Nigeria, but I don’t know.

    There were other children’s books I remember that contained the word Piccaninny referring to curly-haired black children, and here again there was no racism involved. To us they were children who were just as important as any other children, whose mothers loved them as much as any other mothers. But the books that stands out for me in the list are the Epaminondas books of which this is one.

    http://lifeonalimb.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/that-noodle-head-epaminondas.html

  29. As to Jeremy Clarkson he is not somebody I would want as a friend. Piers Morgan, who I respect because he was one of the few editors who opposed the illegal war in Iraq, published Diana’s letter about the establishment wanting to murder her and more recently opposed the stupid gun mentality of Yanks, had several confrontations with Clarkson, whose language is so foul-mouthed in mixed company it would make a miner blush. Clarkson, after pouring a glass of water over Morgan on a plane ended up punching the editor at an award ceremony. He is a childish thug and should know today that nigger is an inappropriate term, which I’m sure he must have done.

  30. doug scorgie

    1 May, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    The word wog was common in 1960’s Leeds, West Yorkshire. In the late 60’s a black-man called David Oluwale, when arrested by the police for disorderly conduct, had his details typed on the arrest sheet by a station officer, who filled in Nationality: Wog.

    He died in suspicious circumstances.

    See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Oluwale

    The book, Nationality:Wog, The Hounding of David Oluwale by Kester Aspden (ISBN 0224080407) is well worth a read.

  31. Still think thread on Alex Salmond supporting Putin on Ukraine when the referendum hangs in the balance would be more timely and justified.

  32. I knew that rhyme, but my parents told me it as “catch a tiger by the toe”. Defending Jeremy Clarkson is a waste of effort though. The arrogant, rude, insensitive, smug, over-privileged idiot will just say something else moronic thirty seconds later. And pretend to be talking for the “average person” and standing up against “the elite” while playing tennis with his best friend, a Prime Minister who went to public school and worked in public relations.

  33. I’d always assumed that “nigger” was a corruption of “negro”.

    But anyway, what you’re all describing is structural racism manifesting itself in the language.

    No individual knowledge of meaning required.

    Craig has made the argument that the elites of the British Empire were liberal or leftist, but what he forgets is that even were that the case it was necessary that these elites instilled in their armies and peoples an inherently superior attitude to “foreigners” and racist language was openly encouraged and even celebrated in British television up until the 1970s.

    Whilst the elites themselves benefitted from wealth extracted, the troops and peoples were paid in status uplift.

    That residue of British Empire nationalism is very much alive in Britain today despite the PC sanction, and I suspect that progs like Clarkson’s are a nod and a wink to that important demographic for the BBC, in much the way Littlejohn’s column operates.

    I think that the import of American PC into Britain in the 1980s ought to be considered in light of Britain adopting a neo colonial Atlanticist approach to empire, a marked shift away from the tactics employed by Britain when it was running its own show.

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    1 May, 2014 - 7:40 pm

    “My own theory is that the word may well have developed from those poor people made slaves from Nigeria, but I don’t know.”
    ___________________

    “Nigger” derived from “Negro”, and I think – but am not sure – that the latter word existed before the development of slavery (hence no connection with “Nigeria”), probably derived from a Spanish or Portuguese adjective denoting dark colour? Were the Spanish and Portuguese the first European countries to make contact with Black Africa through exploratory voyages and the like?

    MY OED doesn’t give the etymology of the word.

  35. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    1 May, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Dreoilin

    Thx for the link. Do you have anything to underpin the Spanish/Port origins of the word eg, exploratory voyages?

  36. Edward Stourton is a BBC ‘people like you’ toff twit like Jeremy Clarkson. It’s hard to decide whether their accents or their racist opinions are more offensive. No doubt they serve as nob camouflage to the Zionist subterfuge.

    When I say racist, I mean the plummy English assumption that in spite of its faults, the UK represents the best of all possible alternatives in spite of its worse components , the status quo of royalty and class.

    If ordinary listeners are unaware of the underlying prejudices which are part of the patter of older upper classes, these guys know only too well what they are saying.

    They should be kept in a Museum. Or Mausoleum.

  37. Clarkson has issued an apology according to the 10pm News. He was ‘mortified’. It did not sound like an apology. Laughing in our faces.

  38. Some people will do anything to get some attention.

    Others are more than happy to give it to them.

  39. I prefer “Dip, Dip, Dip….”

  40. It’s OK in Britain, apparently, to call someone a “cunt,” but not OK to call them a “nigger.” Obviously that is a preposterous distinction. Why is it made? Britain used to be a free country, a country that prided itself on the freedom speech, and where people lived by the maxim that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

    Well I’ll answer my own question because no one else here is likely to do so.

    PC is the new state religion, a religion being a set of rules of conduct to which people attach great emotional significance. Those rules acquire emotional significance because they are the subject of endless brainwashing in school, from the British Broadcorping Castration, and the Corpo. media, and because there are anti-blasphemy laws that jail people who say “nigger” in the wrong context, or even “niggardly” in the right context (The latter, being reminiscent of Victorian prudery, which, it is said, sometimes went to the extreme of covering the “legs” of a table.)

    The particular set of rules that constitute the PC religion have a purpose, naturally. PC is the religion of the NeoLiberal global empire (about to be blown apart by ethnocentric nationalism, quite likely beginning with a UKip landslide in the EU Parliamentary elections). PC is part of the machinery of NeoLiberal-driven universal genocide — the destruction of the ethnic, cultural and religious identities of the subject peoples of the Euro-American empire.

    Notwithstanding the above, I fully recognize that if you call an African a nigger with intent to insult, you better be prepared to accept whatever’s coming to you (from the African, I mean, not from the stupid, brainwashed PC idiots, although come to think of it, they are probably more dangerous than the person you insulted). And if you start a riot, by the use of insulting language, any language, then sure you will by liable for prosecution and punishment for actions liable to cause a breach of the peace, but that has nothing to do with the insane PC idea that no one can ever, under any circumstances, call someone a nigger, without risk of judicial punishment.

  41. Stourton I’m sure it was absolutely nailed NuLab’s Margaret Becket in a radio interview as part of the program ‘The Summer War in Lebanon’ (about 2006), having her absolutely squirming under pointed questioning. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge him on the basis of his perceived accent, it might even be the case that he’d been demoted or shelved after that watershed interview for laying bare the barking-mad and murderous Zionist mania of the NuLab mafia. Becket appeared to go doo-lally and disappear off the face of the earth after that interview, I’m sure it damaged whatever could remain of a war-criminal’s career as their personal judgement day nears, damaged it terminally and if it didn’t then it certainly should have; the same fate awaits anyone foolhardy enough to continue standing by Blair and his cancerous clique.

  42. @ CanSpeccy 12:25 above: Re your comment “I’ll answer my own question because no one else here is likely to do so”; your question being “why is it OK to call somebody a “cunt” but not a “nigger””.

    CanSpeccy, I’ll answer your question – The “N” word goes far beyond a reference to a persons origin or skin colour. It is pejorative and insulting in the extreme, and meant to be – it carries horrible baggage with it.

    Let me give you an example of how a word (or symbol) can change its meaning from neutral to evil. The other day I looked at an old Kipling book that had been given to my Great Aunt Lillian in 1905. On the cover was a “Swastika”. Now in 1905 the Swastika was seen in a good light, as a symbol of religious purity, of goodness, of Hindustan; but that is not how the Swastika is seen today after the Nazis forever changed its meaning into a symbol of mass murder. And this is what has happened to the “N” word; its meaning has changed – when it’s used it’s used in a derogatory fashion and meant as an insult. It is grossly unfair.

    Strangely enough my Gt. Aunt Lillian had been in St. Petersburg in 1917 and picked up some rather nice jewelry. My wife and I had to sell this to survive because of a retired “Cunt” who authorized the professional spreading of very nasty lies about me and is one of your neighbors in Victoria

  43. Roderick, of course “Nigger” can be, and usually is, used as a pejorative. But, as usual, you miss the point, which is that “Cunt,” as you demonstrate by your use of the term, can be just as much a term of abuse as “nigger” but it’s not un-PC. Why is it not un-PC? That was the question I raised, and I answered it. You’ve merely muddied the water, with an irrelevance.

  44. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    2 May, 2014 - 7:34 am

    re “Cunt” :Why is it not un-PC?”
    ________________

    Probably because for most people (men and women) cunts are usually associated with pleasure; also, perhaps, because cunts are not usually considered as a minority group to be discriminated against and insulted (statistically their possessers are a majority of the population)?

  45. Jeremy Clarkson most certainly is a racist. Moreover, he plays to an appreciative audience of racist right-wing arseholes. The recent incident was probably deliberate. Getting his name in the media makes him money. Does the latest story help his brand or not?

    Never forget that Clarkson was one of the inspirers of Anders Breivik, the ‘cultural nationalist’ who murdered 88 people in Norway. In his ‘manifesto’, Breivik repeatedly quotes both Clarkson and Melanie Philips with approval. Had Clarkson been genuinely ‘mortified’ about inspiring a right-wing mass murderer, he would not have called shortly afterwards on British TV for strikers to be shot.

    Long before the present “nigger” incident, he made racist comments about gypsies (“pikeys” – a word now also applied with hatred to many poor working class people) and Asian people (“slopes” – standing for “Silly Little Opium Peddling Easterners”).

    With you, Craig, it would have been an accident. But justlook at Clarkson’s form.

    He has even called Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.

    Of course racial difference is a taught construct. Fuckers like Clarkson teach it.

  46. That statement by Jeremy Clarkson’s executive producer Andy Wilman is a lie! “We” used the word “slope” in “light-hearted” reference to an Asian man’s ethnicity, but “we” didn’t realise it is “considered by some” to be offensive? Bullshit!

  47. John Spencer-Davis

    2 May, 2014 - 8:16 am

    I agree entirely with N_ , if you are aware of the word “slope” at all, as applied to humans, you cannot fail to be aware that it is offensive and racist, that’s just nonsense.

    Charles Hamilton used the word “nigger” frequently in his school stories in the British publication The Magnet, in which he wrote from 1905 to 1940. I am not sure of his earliest use of the word but it cannot have been later than 1920. He always put it in the mouths of arrogant and racist characters, and he never failed to make it clear that the word was offensive to black people.

    Incidentally, the first time I saw the whole of the “Eeny meeny miney moe” rhyme was in a tale by P.G. Wodehouse, probably about thirty years ago, and the second line really shrieked at me. Perhaps it’s more obvious when reading it than when saying it.

    Kind regards, John

  48. To cap it all, Poison Gove was acting as Clarkson’s PR on Sky News just now. Jeremy this and Jeremy that. ‘Would never want to insult’…. blah, blah. Are they perhaps best mates? I think we should be told.

  49. There was a brand of marmalade which produced little enamel badges for children to collect. The tokens were on the labels. I think the advertising slogan was ‘By Golly, it’s Robertson’s’.

    ‘In a statement reported by the BBC, Virginia (Ginny) C. Knox, previously brand director for Robertson’s and later Chief Operating Officer of the Culinary Brands Division of RHM, told The Herald Newspaper in Scotland in 2001 that the decision to remove the Golly symbol from Robertson’s jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, although it still appealed to the older generations. “We sell 45 million jars of jam and marmalade each year and they have pretty much all got Golly on them,” said Ms Knox. “We also sell 250,000 Golly badges to collectors and only get 10 letters a year from people who don’t like the Golliwog image.” Today, Robertson’s Golly badges remain highly collectible, with the very rarest sometimes selling for more than £1,000.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golliwogg

    So that’s alright then Ms Knox. No relation we trust.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1136016/How-golliwog-went-innocent-childrens-hero-symbol-bitter-controversy.html Innocent children’s hero!!

  50. Anybody who would like to excuse the fourwheeled twat and his PR antics, Radio Norfolk is giving him some publicity via Norfolks erstwhile public broadcaster, Nickolas Conrad.

    just ring 01603 617321 and you can defend or speak up for this twatspat, giving it further publicity.

  51. Anyone remember that awesome piece of TV light entertainment, the Black and White Minstrel Show? Now that was a class act. Not.

  52. “decision to remove the Golly symbol from Robertson’s jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, ”

    I though that was retaliation against Iddi Armine for taking the picture of the Queen of their stamps.

  53. “Anyone remember that awesome piece of TV light entertainment, the Black and White Minstrel Show? Now that was a class act. Not.”

    Al Johnson and G H Eliot.

  54. “Sadly you’re wrong. If you watch the version which was actually broadcast you’ll hear that it is in fact the very same clip in which the word “nigger” has just been very deliberately replaced with the overdub of Clarkson saying the word “teacher”. The dubbing is very very crude and obvious – so obvious in fact that it can only have been done deliberately in a standard Top Gear stab at humour & was intended to be noticed and chuckled at by those “in the know” – much as with the more recent “slope” remark.”

    And evidently done before the murder of Ann Maguire. I hope. Of course Clarkson likes to pose as a champion of anti PC free speech (much like Farage) and will doubtless be surrounded by armies of supporters determined to bash in the faces (metaphorically) of anyone opposed to their hero’s antics. It seems the thugs will always be with us.

  55. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:16 am

    Hero of the famed ‘Dam Busters’ raid, Guy Gibson’s dog was called ‘Nigger’ and that was the codeword Gibson chose to signal the successful breaching of the Moehne dam…it all depends on context.

  56. This keeps happening to Jeremy Clarkson! It’s amazing how one ends up having to defend the daft car-loving daft person!

    But it’s true. The first racist comment I ever made was a deliberate “it’s not fair” grumble to a girl in my class who was taller, far more elegant and cleverer than most of us and we were all desperately trying to get a sun tan and she was standing there being the colour we were all trying to become. In the ensuing conversation, I learned the word “racism”. It was probably the first time I noticed the fact that there were different skin-coloured people in our class and to some people it was more significant than different eye- or hair-colours. How can it be that in the second half of the 20th century, some of us grew up in pretty thoroughly non-racist environments and now we’re all constantly struggling with it?

  57. Pity!

    Noone defended Donald Sterling when he said: “Israel treats Blacks like dogs.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/04/29/sterling-israel-treats-blacks-like-dogs/

  58. What is this about? A list of Clarkson’s gaffes. Boasting? Laughing in the licence fee payers’ faces?

    Top Gear: A vehicle for controversy?

    BBC taking Clarkson clip ‘seriously’
    Hammond: We’ll keep making Top Gear
    Top Gear admits staging road jam

    Top Gear is one of the BBC’s most popular and profitable series, but it has a history of controversy.

    /..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27255690

  59. I always thought it was “catch a rabbit by the toe”. At least that is what we sung. I never heard of the nigger thing till this Clarkson case.
    So if he says he said rabbit, I would believe him.

  60. There are those in Britain who use the phrase, “political correctness gone mad.”

    Readers can form a view of how many of that group will also be voting for the new kid on the block party in the forthcoming European elections. I think there’s quite a correlation.

    The Clarkson piece was filmed back in 2012, and the show broadcast in early 2013.

    It’s just a hunch of mine, but I think this will reinforce the siege mentality of those people and so make them more likely to turn out and vote for someone who’ll stand up to all this PC nonsense.

    So, how come the story broke this week?

  61. re “Cunt” :Why is it not un-PC?”
    ________________

    Probably because for most people (men and women) cunts are usually associated with pleasure

    Don’t be a twat. By your logic, “golliwog” should not be un-PC, since golliwogs used to be owned and loved by millions of children.

    “nigger” and “golliwog” are un-PC because Europeans are denied the right to denigrate other groups, whereas others are free to denigrate Europeans, e.g., by calling them “whitey,” “cracker,” etc.

    PC is, among other things, about undermining ethnonationalism of the European peoples. Whitey is to understand that he’s a dirty racist and Nazi son-of-a-bitch unless he’s for his own extinction.

    The end result of political correctness is likely to be a violent back-lash when Europeans become fully awake to the fact that they have been targeted for destruction, just as nationalities in the Soviet Union, the Tartars, for instance, and the peoples of the Baltic states, were targeted for destruction by Stalin. The genocidal methods of the American empire may be gentler than those of Stalin, but no less deadly.

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 8:40 am

    CanSpeccy

    “Probably because for most people (men and women) cunts are usually associated with pleasure

    Don’t be a twat. By your logic, “golliwog” should not be un-PC, since golliwogs used to be owned and loved by millions of children.”
    _____________________

    Normally I’d be tempted to unpick and demolish your comment as above, but having read the rest of your post and taken note of such observations as “PC is, among other things, about undermining ethnonationalism of the European peoples” and “when Europeans become fully awake to the fact that they have been targeted for destruction”, I doubt that you’d be susceptible to rational argument. So I shan’t.

    Have a nice day nevertheless!

  63. Clarkson is on a warning we are told. One more strike and he’s out. As if!

    I liked this by Matthew Norman – Jeremy Clarkson is the Robin Reliant on the intellectual forecourt of national life. One wheel short of the full set, adored by lovers of the comically retro, and very, very slow. ….

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/top-gear/10804253/Top-Gears-Jeremy-Clarkson-is-a-Robin-Reliant-on-the-intellectual-forecourt-of-life.html

  64. Typical racism-counter-racism.

    Black people can call each other niggers all the time, fine and dandy; walk in a US street in some places, you get caled cracker and more.. but that’s Ok too, huh?

    This wasn’t even aired and this moronic storm in a teacup arises..

    They need to get a life, there’s more to make a fuss over than this. Do some REAL reporting for once – cover some of the scum-filth politicians!

  65. I was the age for childhood chants in the 50s in Glasgow when we sang:
    Eenymeeny miny mo
    Sit the baby on the po
    When it’s done
    Wipe it’s b*m
    Eenymeeny miny mo
    This is still the one used by Glasgow kids today

  66. Hope Clarkson does not make any racial slurs in Barbados.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/jeremy-clarkson-n-word-row-causes-3493629

  67. how does Clarkson explain this other secret footage showing him rehearsing racist jokes? http://youtu.be/HVg7Zm6wOF8

  68. I formed the view that Jeremy Clarkson is a congenital wanker from the time he expressed contempt for “working class vehicles” with emphasis on the term “working class”. That moment defined him as a comfortably arrogant prick.

    But I did enjoy Top Gear until I came to realise that the Clarkson and Co were fakes and that the show was scripted, rehearsed, edited and styled to produce a glamourous work of low-brow fiction — much like World of Wrestling but without the theatrical authenticity and dignity of that art form.

    As a child, I also used the eeny-meeny rhyme with the word “nigger” not knowing what it meant. And I had a friend who would use the word ‘Jew’ as in “don’t be a jew, give me some lollies”. For some years, I thought that “jew” meant “stingy person”.

    So when Clarkson is caught out using the word “nigger” it’s pretty obvious to see from his previous form that the incident has been contrived to generate the usual kind of publicity that follows his antics to promote Top Gear and reinforce his image of being a likeable regular bloke who always cops flak from uptight lefties.

    But it is no wonder why there is such controversy when it has become popular sport in the media to ritualistically humiliate celebrities when they misspeak.

    Just recently, an American owner of a basketball team had his very private thoughts recorded and subsequently leaked to the media. Whether his thoughts were right or wrong is subjective, but they were certainly lawful. However, the response to the media reports has been to effectively punish him in a way that is normally reserved for the courts. Did this man commit anything worse than anybody else who says bad things in private about other people? What this incident has proven is that in the age of cheap technology, it is no longer safe to release your private thoughts in the privacy of your own home. People can be selectively whipped into an hysterical overreaction to minor things that barely justify a moment’s thought let alone impact on their personal lives. It’s a powerful weapon and I don’t believe that such reports are innocently made for the public’s benefit. Anybody wanna by a basketball team at a heavily discounted price?

  69. With the serial parasite Patten finally now on the way out of the revolving doors at the BBC, time for a new top dog at the BBC Trust, would J Clarkson make a suitable candidate, he could hardly be any worse than the present incompetent incumbent.

  70. Similar but different outcome.

    ‘But the DJ said the row had exacerbated a stress-related condition and he would not be returning to the corporation.

    Mr Lowe said he had been “compelled to pay the ultimate price” for falling foul of “today’s unforgiving obsession with political correctness”.

    The second verse of the song, recorded by the UK dance band Ambrose and his Orchestra, features the line: “He’s been tanning [N-word] out in Timbuktu, now he’s coming back to do the same to you.” Later versions of the song omit the offensive word.

    The BBC took action after a listener heard the song broadcast on Mr Lowe’s Sunday night programme and complained.’

    BBC Radio Devon DJ David Lowe loses job over racist word
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-27360884

    Clarkson’s value to the BBC is obviously greater than Mr Lowe’s.

  71. The BBC needs to be totally dismantled Parky.

  72. An excellent analysis here from the Medialens editors.

    Eeny, Meeny Madness – Beyond Racism

    12 May 2014
    http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/764-eeny-meeny.html

  73. Good comments followed that alert, especially those from ‘Glorious Revolution’.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1399989855.html

  74. Fury at Kenny ‘joke’ spreads
    Nicola Byrne and Martin Bright, home affairs editor
    The Observer, Sunday 15 September 2002
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/sep/15/world.race

    ‘The familiy of Patrice Lumumba, the assassinated first Prime Minister of Congo, have demanded an apology from the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, who called the revered African liberation hero a ‘nigger’ in a racist joke.
    Disgust at Kenny’s recent remarks spread last night to Britain, where he was condemned by race campaigners, including the powerful Commission for Racial Equality watchdog and British political parties.

    In a remarkable twist, The Observer has discovered that members of Lumumba’s family – including one of his six sons and seven of his grandchildren – are living in Tallaght in west Dublin, after fleeing political persecution in the former Zaire in 1997.’

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