I live in Newark, a small though growing market town in the East of England. It has a very small population of what are termed ethnic minorities. There are some black people in the town most of whose original family members arrived here in the 1950's. More recently Eastern Europeans have become resident in the town and I understand are working locally often in posts whch do not reflect their qualifications. Perhaps we should not be surprised that these newcomers are now attracting vilification from some people in the indigenous population that their black counterparts did some fifty years ago. The critical comments have not changed much over time for example:
- Large numbers share accommodation
- They take our jobs
- But they won't work and are after every benefit they can get
I was in the local working mens club the other night talking to a group of people. Another man joined us and said he had a racist joke to tell which he had had relayed to him on his mobile phone. The "joke" was unfunny and offensive and went like this.
Two old men had been playing bowls, and having put their bowls in the boot of the car set off home. On the way they had an accident and knocked a young black boy off his bike and killed him. Not knowing what to do they put the bike and his body in the boot and carried on. They were then stopped by the police who asked to look in the boot. The officer who did this was heard to radio in to his station, "we've discovered a n*****s nest, ones hatched out and he's already stolen a bike". As I said an unfunny and vile story. But think, this kind of thing is being spread like a virus through mobile phone texting, mostly eliciting sniggers, but in some cases possibly underpinning or encouraging a propensity to engage in racial violence.
The teller of this "joke" then went on to inform us that blacks are unable to "retain" information. "You mean like Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell and Nelson Mandella" I said. "Right f*** it! I'm off, I've had enough", he said and walked out leaving nearly a whole pint.