I am writing this piece in response to a recent post, and the subsequent responses to that post by the well known Blogger Twenty Major. You can view the post below:
In this Post TM describes a person who works in his local shop who he has taken a dislike to. The ins and outs of their dealings are largely irrelevant here, except for his describing The said shopkeeper as:
" He’s a rather swarthy looking individual ..."
Whether or not TM was aware of the exact definition of the word 'swarthy' are unclear to me. If he had used the word in error, and meant to use another word say sleazy, or smarmy or whatever, then there would be no issue.
However Swarthy is defined as being of a Dark complexion, dark skinned. I cannot understand how it could be construed as anything else, it cannot be used to describe any trait or way of acting, it describes skin complexion, full stop.
OK so then the comments on the Page about the post turn a bit nasty and start to discuss the N word, which is used as a derogatory manner to describe black skinned people. It should be noted at this point that, the Twenty Major Blog is not a place for the faint hearted, commenters regularly use vulgar language, and the blog itself contains gratuitious bad language sex jokes etc.
How ever I was amazed to hear Twenty Major in the comments himself berating, and even threatening to ban from the site a commenter who was using the N word.
My point in all this is that TM had referred to somebody who he doesnt like(the swarthy shop keeper), and he has quite categorically told us that he is dark skinned. So was he not being racist himself? As it happens I dont think so. I have only been reading his posts for six months or so, and find it to be funny and entertaining, often the most entertaining parts coming in the commentary. He talks of imaginary(certainly hyperbolic) friends and situations and things that get on his nerve etc. and every so often gives us nice little writings with twists in the tale(often violent but always funny) I hope he just slipped up and used the wrong word, and then forgot to tell us,
I wanted to comment but I missed the thread, and then wanted to post in todays blog, but I think my comment might be too long, so I will mail him the link and he can comment or not
"its all the fucking same to me"
Just to very importantly point out, I am not a sandle wearing, flower in the hair love and peace type, or anything like it. I am probably as racist as the next fellow(its in our nature to protect our own tribes) but civilisation asks things of us, and to belong to civilisation we must behave in certain ways, and the most important ways we do that is by treating each other with respect. I had always gotten the impression that TM was a major advocate of Civilisation(amid all the coarse language and smut) and so I hope that there was no double standard here. I Fully agree that the "N" word is wholly unacceptable, but so in my opinion is describing a swarthy person who you dont like(be he real or imagined)
Thanks for *Reading
* I dont mean the place outside London, not that there's anything wrong with reading, or anybody from there, its just that I was thanking you for Reading(verb) this article.