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To be incensed

32 replies

Oforgodssake · 15/05/2013 19:39

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?

OP posts:

BonaDea · 15/05/2013 19:43


But yabu for reading that rag in the first place.


Oforgodssake · 15/05/2013 19:50

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

OP posts:

Oforgodssake · 15/05/2013 19:52

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.

OP posts:

squeakytoy · 15/05/2013 20:12

Noun 1. 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 · 15/05/2013 20:32

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!

OP posts:

LaGuardia · 15/05/2013 20:34

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


squeakytoy · 15/05/2013 20:34

I am not offended by it.


HairyWorm · 15/05/2013 20:38

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


hwjm1945 · 15/05/2013 21:48

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 · 15/05/2013 21:54

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 · 15/05/2013 21:56

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 · 15/05/2013 21:56

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


Lottashakingoinon · 15/05/2013 21:57

I am not offended by it.

Bully for you Squeaky Are you white by any chance?


McNewPants2013 · 15/05/2013 22:01

isn't the PC term for white Causasian :)


Lottashakingoinon · 15/05/2013 22:04

No McNewPants it's Caucasian Wink


hwjm1945 · 15/05/2013 22:21

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


BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM · 15/05/2013 22:28

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 · 15/05/2013 22:40

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 · 15/05/2013 22:52

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


HomeEcoGnomist · 15/05/2013 23:07

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 · 15/05/2013 23:14

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 · 15/05/2013 23:42

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 · 15/05/2013 23:47

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 · 15/05/2013 23:50

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...


chipmonkey · 16/05/2013 00:14

Throwing a Paddy = losing your temper like an Irish person as we are known for our tempers.
Which any Enid Blyton reader can confirm. Oh and we all have red hair too.

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