did everyone know this was a racist song? (am i the only one who didnt?)

(147 Posts)
deakymom Mon 12-May-14 00:39:56

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-27360884

okay so basically the sun has got his hat on has the n word in it i never knew that i spoke to someone about it and they gave me the look hmm "everyone knows that don't they?" no i didnt blush we used to sing it in school i really dont remember that word being there?

am i the only one who didnt know?

Ludways Mon 12-May-14 01:25:32

Apparently he was offered his job back but didn't want it. That's what it days on Wikipedia, so it must be true! Lol

GarlicMayHaveNamechanged Mon 12-May-14 01:34:31

I think the BBC were rotten not to let him apologise. This - the BBC's decision - is "political correctness gorn mad" and I hope that's what the guy was referring to in his comments. I hear the BBC is rather unkind to many of its employees, especially older ones, and don't doubt that being fired for something a singer sang in 1935 added to an existing (work related) stress related condition.

Clarkson hasn't been fired, has he?

Caitlin17 Mon 12-May-14 01:38:16

CorusKate It's not a terribly well written piece but it says later down

The ITV1 evening news show broadcast the line: "He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu, now he's coming back to do the same to you."

It's quite breathtaking.

DoJo Mon 12-May-14 01:38:43

Tilly - I don't share your interpretation of what he means by walking a verbal tightrope. I took it to be a description of exactly the sort of situation that has happened here - someone makes an innocent mistake, and instead of applying rational thought and making a decision based on the most likely explanation, people have a knee-jerk reaction that fails to take into account the wealth of facts which would suggest there isn't anything untoward going on.
I am a big fan of political correctness in general, and agree that it is often derided by those who hold objectionable views. However, given the circumstances of this comment, I think he is probably right to feel as though some form, albeit a misguided version of 'political correctness' was a factor in the regrettable over-reaction on the part of the BBC.

GarlicMayHaveNamechanged Mon 12-May-14 01:39:02

I'd rather hear it in a song from the thirties, used in a way that was in common parlance and is outdated rather than in rap when it's been put in specifically because it's that word if that makes sense.

Agreed.

GarlicMayHaveNamechanged Mon 12-May-14 01:40:14

Not breathtaking for 1935, Caitlin. Back then, it was considered [lighthearted].

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 01:43:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LettertoHerms Mon 12-May-14 01:48:07

Ludways, he first wrote an apology and asked for the chance to apologize on air. They refused him, and told him he could not have his job back.

Eventually they realized they might have made a mistake, but he did not accept the job as the stress caused by the incident was all too much, exacerbating his previous stress-related health condition.

ComposHat Mon 12-May-14 01:51:58

Okay one bbc presenter with a track record of not do much flirting with bigoted language, but humping bigoted language's leg, gets a meaninglessness slap on the wrist after footage emerges of him mumbling nigger, straight after using slope to describe an Asian man. When caught out changes his story in an effort tovsave his skin

Another bbc presenter inadvertently plays a song which very few of us knew had the word nigger in it and the offending word is broadcast. At worse careless, but no malice or offence intended. Yet is sacked on the spot.

Is it any surprise that the one who kept his job presents a tv programme that is a big revenue earner, whilst the other is an obscure local radio DJ who appears to be expendable?

Funny how the BBC is very quick to forget their principles when revenue may be affected. This is nothing to do with' pc gone mad' but of a greedy and hypocritical BBC.

Caitlin17 Mon 12-May-14 01:56:50

garlic I meant breathtaking from a modern day pov that it was ever acceptable.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 12-May-14 02:06:01

But then this was banned at the time. Now a high proportion of songs we hear are about actual sex, not just hinting at it. Different priorities and levels of knowledge of other people, that's all.

GarlicMayHaveNamechanged Mon 12-May-14 02:07:37

Ah! Yes, Caitlin smile It's interesting how the meaning attached to words (as well as their actual meaning) changes over time, very often quickly. I've lived long enough that I had to stop saying 'black' and replace it with 'coloured', then 'black' again, and I'm buggered if I'm going to say 'person of colour' now, it's too bloody long-winded.

I gasped (well, slightly) on Friday, when Nikki in East Enders joked she'd "bring back a ladyboy" for Terry from Thailand. Presumably the ever-vigilant BBC didn't notice that was at least two kinds of wrong!

It might be time for a revival of 'Til Death Us Do Part. We could do with some ironic perspective ... Maybe!

GarlicMayHaveNamechanged Mon 12-May-14 02:11:58

Oh, good find, Polka!

And "Je t'aime... moi non plus", that was banned for being sexy grin

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 02:16:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 02:19:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chottie Mon 12-May-14 05:38:11

OP - I didn't know either. I didn't know there was a second verse, I have sung this song to my DCs for years too.

ApocalypseThen Mon 12-May-14 06:16:04

I'm astonished at how many people are tripping over themselves to say that it's all fine, he's 70 so can't possibly know the content/understand what's wrong with it...

The fact is, the song has genuinely racially offensive language. I understand that in these days of barrier pushing ukippery it may not be the thing to constrain your use of this kind of language, but it should be.

meditrina Mon 12-May-14 06:26:12

The word is there in older songs and books because it was normal speech then.

And although films such as The Dambusters would now be broadcast only in the edited form, I bet there are loads of original versions.

Ditto Dorothy L Sayers books.

I too dont get why it's ok to use the word in modern songs, no one gets sacked wben they're played.

Don't think anyone's said it was OK to have played it - it was a horrible error - but a lot of people are saying that it was an understandable and forgiveable one under the circumstances. You can distinguish between the gravity of the outcome and the moral culpability of the perpetrator.

Icimoi Mon 12-May-14 06:52:12

I think though that you can see where the BBC was coming from. Where Clarkson didn't enunciate the word, recognised it was wrong, and went to some trouble to see it was not broadcast, this DJ actually brought the record in from his own collection and ensured that it was broadcast. It's reasonable to assume that he had heard it in the past, and it is surprising that he didn't check it, if only to see whether it was broadcast quality if it was an old vinyl record.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 12-May-14 07:09:05

Sorry but of all the ways that the word can be used, saying that the world turns and the sun shines on everyone (to paraphrase the song) isn't really worth getting that worked up about.

It was a one off airing in the context of an Oldies show.

What were the BBC worried about? Do they think Nazis tune in to local radio oldies shows and might actually <clutches pearls> sing along? Lots of elderly people know all the words and happily sing along. It doesn't make them racist. Sorry, I really don't think there is such a thing as racist words and we need to stop being so lazy and look at context, intent and audience. This song is a good example of the word being used in a non racist way.

Anyone thought of what the word for black is in Spanish?

Oh no, I can see it now, Lowe will become a UKIP mascot and the song will be their anthem. Not because of the merits of the song, but because of this political football, to make a point.

meditrina Mon 12-May-14 07:17:35

Actually, is the full version of the 1955 Dambusters still shown?

Why would it be wrong (in period context, and historically accurate) in that film, but included in (far more recent) Samuel L Jackson films?

Icimoi Mon 12-May-14 07:38:45

Clearly the BBC's worries have nothing whatsoever to do with any fear that people will become racist, and everything to do with the massive fuss people will make if they are seen to ignore this, particularly certain sections of the media which are obsessed with finding excuses to attack them to an absolutely astonishing degree. Poor sods are damned whatever they do.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 12-May-14 07:45:32

Or maybe he was ill and an expensive employee and they were looking for an excuse to sack him.

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