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« Instruments of attainder | Main | Millions may refuse to have an ID card »

Playing the race card

Bit of a to-do over at Councillor Bob Piper's. The good councillor has gone and posted a picture of David Cameron photoshopped to look like something out of the Black & White Minstrel show. Tory Diary and Prague Tory are outraged and are letting their feelings be known.

sortitrr.jpgNow let's not kid ourselves. A Conservative couldn't do anything like this and get away with it. They would be hounded out of office, with every left-wing blog in the country snapping at their heels like a bunch of rabid mongrels. But let's also not kid ourselves that Bob Piper is some sort of racist. Foul-mouthed and offensive, yes, but it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that this was targeted at blacks. 

Mind you if I was black, I wouldn't be desperately impressed at being reminded that my ancestors had been looked down on in this way, and I might well be tempted to make a complaint to someone. There are some episodes of history which it would be better to consign to history. How are the scars of the past ever going to be healed if the left keeps trying to open them again for their grubby little political ends?

It's instructive to compare Bob Piper's pictures to a very similar photo of Joe Libermann which was put out by Jane Hamsher, a supporter of Ned Lamont, earlier in the year.

liebermanhamsher.jpgAs Outside the Beltway said at the time:

As political satire, it’s incredibly risky, period. But to use it in the context of a blog post that has nothing to do with [...] race relations in general is just inexplicable.

Hamsher later issued an apology (of sorts) and withdrew the picture. The Lamont campaign made strenuous efforts to distance themselves from her. I would imagine that Bob Piper would be best advised to do the same thing before the Labour party decides to distance itself from him.

 Even stranger though,  was this picture of Michael Steele, the Republican candidate for Maryland senator, also done out in blackface and also the production of a left-wing blog. Strange because, if it's not obvious from the photo, Michael Steele is black anyway.


Why is it that left-wing commentators feel free to use this kind of photo which must be offensive to millions of black people? What is it they hope to acheive? To me it marks them out as crude, unthinking people. Who would want to vote for people with minds so corrupt? They must be pretty desperate to let the mask slip like this. 

Labour has accused the Conservatives of playing the race card whenever they have raised the subjects of immigration and multiculturalism. We should be clear that discussing immigration and multiculturalism is not playing the race card. This is.

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Reader Comments (4)

The image, and actually, it wasn't mine but I referred to it though so I don't mind answering for that, is not aimed in any way at black people, or racism, or even David Cameron very much. The creator intended it to be a spoof of the Tory 'Tosser' site which described working people who got into debt or who owned plasma televisions with a euphamism for masturbation. But if a Tory had posted the same lampoon of the 'tosser' site I think I would have linked to that too. The clue in Unity's spoof is the Ali G. 'Is it 'cos I's black' line. Perhaps a bit tooo subtle.

I would, however, like to take issue with your reference to me as foul-mouthed. That is a very unnecessary slur which I would prefer you to retract.
Dec 9, 2006 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Piper

The description of you as foul-mouthed was based on this exchange at Ministry of Truth. It was pretty foul-mouthed if you ask me. Do you think differently?

Dec 10, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBishop Hill
A little uncouth, I grant you, but in the context of someone suggesting they were 'coming to get you' at least partially justified.

I hardly think one or two occasions of bad language on a site which positively encourages the odd swearie makes me foulmouthed.

In nearly three years of blooging I can hardly recall any instance of bad language on my site, and would only even consider it on a site where the blogger themselves uses it.
Dec 11, 2006 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Piper
And Outside the Beltways wrong in thinking that the image was used outside the context of race relations - it just wasn;t used in the usual mealy-mouthed apologetic fashion, BH.


Risky, yes. But instructive... and not a risk any of you guys on the right could have taken.
Dec 12, 2006 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterUnity

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