Thursday, April 12, 2007
It's interesting what you can and can't say. US radio star Don Imus described the Rutgers women's basketball team as 'nappy-headed hos' and has now been sacked. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer defended the team. 'They are young ladies of class, distinction. They are articulate, they are brilliant, they are gifted. They are God's representatives in every sense of the word....We have all been physically, mentally, and emotionally spent, so hurt by the remarks that were uttered by Mr. Imus.' Imus was stupid, though I suspect he is no racist; Stringer was absurdly over-the-top. But that is the way of these stories, they must be conducted as legalistic zero-sum games. Meanwhile, in Germany (thanks to Kuala Lumpur Chris), the Scottish writer A.L.Kennedy gave an interview to the Berliner Zeitung. She said, 'When I take a look at the UK, it reminds me of the Nazi era. Blair is a delusioned war criminal. And I have little hope that Brown is any better. Once more we're stigmatising a single religious group, this time it's the Muslims. One part of society is labelled criminal. That really gets my back up.' And from what sources does she derive these radical insights? 'I've stopped reading the papers. An online service sends me a daily overview of the most important reports, mostly from American sources.' I won't do a Stringer here. But I will observe two things. First, her use of 'we' is odd since the Nazis were German and, secondly, her ignorantly disproportionate historical sense is an affront to six million Jews. But what Kennedy says is, in the eyes of the world, okay; what Imus says isn't. Funny old world.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:28 am