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To be incensed

(33 Posts)
Oforgodssake Wed 15-May-13 19:39:31

I read the article by Liz Jones in today's Daily Mail on the new fashions at M&S overseen by Belinda Earl , described by LJ as 'the great white hope ' of M &S.
Am I nuts to be incensed by the use of this phrase? Surely Ms Jones is aware of the racist animus of the term? I'm aware she likes to shock and is valuable to DM precisely on that basis - but isn't this a step too far?

BonaDea Wed 15-May-13 19:43:44


But yabu for reading that rag in the first place.

Oforgodssake Wed 15-May-13 19:50:22

Oh I know. I'm really ashamed... And almost wish I hadn't !!

Oforgodssake Wed 15-May-13 19:52:44

Oh and thanks BonoDea for validating. Like an idiot I have been watching responses on DM website and not one person has alluded to the phrase.

squeakytoy Wed 15-May-13 20:12:57

Noun1.great white hope - someone (or something) expected to achieve great success in a given field; "this company is the great white hope of the nuclear industry's waste management policy"

Oforgodssake Wed 15-May-13 20:32:55

Squeakytoy, you obviously got that without any difficulty from the internet dictionary and without any original thought. Sorry, don't think that is good enough.
Since you can use the internet why don't you look into the real meaning and history of the term?
There is a deeply offensive subtext to the phrase, Ms Jones must be aware of it, it's offensive how she is paid vast sums to deliberately, if sometimes subtley, offend - and so this usage on her part - a knowing nod to racism - is both clever and daring .
And apparently unchallenged.
Oh well, clearly I am AIBU to even bother!

LaGuardia Wed 15-May-13 20:34:11

Why is it racist? Can't we say 'white' anymore? I am white. Is that racist?

squeakytoy Wed 15-May-13 20:34:54

I am not offended by it.

HairyWorm Wed 15-May-13 20:38:14

I'm offended by Liz twunting Jones and The Daily Mail period.

hwjm1945 Wed 15-May-13 21:48:34

I think it is a reference to the few white boxers who might be able to beat the very successful black boxers who were starting to dominate the sport...Will do more research and report back

hwjm1945 Wed 15-May-13 21:54:00

Yes it originated then.early part of twentieth century in America,the phrase encapsulates the racist attitudes at that time to successful black boxer.not convinced that to use is as Jones has is she suggesting that we now have a white fashion buyer who will beat prior black incumbents?no.I Don't think the phrase itself is racist.but I am open to correction

Lottashakingoinon Wed 15-May-13 21:56:17

No godsake YANBU. It's a bit like the phrase that used to be bandied about quite a bit back in the day ''I'm free, white and over 21' meaning that you are your own person, (corollary being that if you're missing one of these things then you're not). Fair makes my skin crawl and I am all three!

But Liz Jones is no better than she should be so you'd be daft to take anything she says seriously. Bit like Katie Hopkins imho

Bowlersarm Wed 15-May-13 21:56:21

I think you are making a fuss about nothing, and it shouldn't be making you 'incensed'

Lottashakingoinon Wed 15-May-13 21:57:41

I am not offended by it.

Bully for you Squeaky Are you white by any chance?

McNewPants2013 Wed 15-May-13 22:01:32

isn't the PC term for white Causasian smile

Lottashakingoinon Wed 15-May-13 22:04:18

No McNewPants it's Caucasian wink

hwjm1945 Wed 15-May-13 22:21:08

Am a bit disappointed no-one has joined thread as it is quite an interesting point

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Wed 15-May-13 22:28:46

I'm 34 and have never heard the saying confused

I do think certain sayings are used so often that they become ingrained to the point of innocence - so 1st generation knew the exact meaning, 2nd had an inkling and then 3rd/4th etc have it as part of their vocabulary and have no reason to question it, so it becomes "just" a saying.

However, once challenged and explained, to continue to use it becomes offensive.

I recently became aware that "throwing a paddy" was offensive, I had never realised the origin (and had no reason to question it)

SodaStreamy Wed 15-May-13 22:40:04

So if it's racist does this mean M&S has been pulled down by black/brown designers and this is 'the great white hope' that will save it?

No of course it doesn't , some people are too sensitive to any statement that involves colour

Perhaps the statement 'the great white hope' refers to fighting againest giants, winners in there field M&S fighting againest , I don't know Next, Monsoon ,Gap ...worthy competitors in the field .

I think the phrase was used in the 70's in boxing with 'white' heavyweights competing with 'black' heavyweights ......and in boxing circles it's not considered racist (as far as I know)

Bearbehind Wed 15-May-13 22:52:29

oforgodssake your name says it all really.......

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 15-May-13 23:07:14

This reminds me of a thread I recently saw in another forum...lots of outrage over the term 'Chinese wall' (meaning confidential division between different business areas etc)


Shenanagins Wed 15-May-13 23:14:14

Slightly off topic but can i ask why throwing a paddy is offensive? This is a genuine question and not aimed at starting a debate on the phrase.

Purple2012 Wed 15-May-13 23:42:25

Never heard the saying 'great White hope'

I wouldn't have found it racist reading it but only because I've never heard of it. If it is a phrase because of the White/black boxing thing I wouldn't automatically think it has racist undertones but just a poor choice of words.

I don't like Liz Jones so never read her stuff.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 15-May-13 23:47:49

It's a well known saying, maybe only older people know it, and it did relate to America looking for a white heavyweight boxer, as all the greats were black.
If so many people on here haven't heard it must mean that hardly anyone says it any more.

SparkyUK Wed 15-May-13 23:50:35

I've heard the saying all my life in the media and only recently found out its origins. I really didn't believe them at first as the phrase is so maintstream...

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