Well, well, well, what a rum lot this year’s Celebrity Big Brother contestants have turned out to be. We’ve had seven series of ethnically diverse non-celebrity contestants on Big Brother without nary a shout of “racism”. Or even much sexism or homophobia, come to that matter.
And all it takes are a trio of D-list celebrities ganging up on someone who’s different to them all – and yes, it is racism. They wouldn’t be making jibes about her cooking or the colour of her skin, never mind referring to her as Shilpa Poppadom if she was from Denmark. I just love this quote of justification from Jade Goody:
“She is Indian, thinking of an Indian name and only thing I could think of was Indian food. Wasn’t racial at all.”
But it has all gone just a little too far, what with burning effigies and the British government being forced to comment as one. Probably when they haven’t even seen it!
If this was just one isolated incident of celebrity racism, then you could dismiss it. But hot on the heels on the revelation of an English National Ballet dancer being a member of the British National Party (despite the fact her partner is a Chinese-Cuban with whom she has kids, kids presumably that her fellow BNP members would have beaten up in the playground in the past), you do have to ask yourself what is going on with our celebrities.
Time was they could be depended on to go on any knee-jerk march to support popular causes such as anti-racism and anti-facism. Now it seems the new cause du jour is either racism or at least, being proud of your ignorance:
“I’m not too proud to say that a lot of it went over my head but some of the things they mentioned were the things I think about all the time, mainly mass immigration, crime and increased taxes,” - Simone Clarke, Mail on Sunday
What surprises me is the unstated thought that most people thought racism had been somehow largely eradicated. Obviously not.