Racism-a difficult question to answer

#1
Has anybody out there come accross this before. I am so called Ethnic minority black British.

I joined the Army in 1969 aged 15 as a Junior Bandsman and left in 1993 I also served as a TA soldier for 2 and half years. I served in a County Infantry regiment then I DWR now 3 Yorks... I didn't enjoy my time in the Army I loved it.

A couple years ago I had to call in a Plumber who happened to be a young Asian lad to carry out repairs at my flat. When he had finished he was looking at my Army photographs on the wall... the first thing he said to me was there any racism in the Army...the thing was I couldn't give a definite answer I think he expected me to say yes..but to be trueful I couldn't, I was also asked the same question at work by an Asian woman (middle manager) the same question once again... I couldn't give a definite answer.

To be fair there was a lot of piss taking which I loved, I gave back as much as was given, I was known as a piss taking little Bastard.

I do except that there may well have been racism in some other regiments/corps... I do know that one regiment didn't want me based on the colour of my skin, but that worked in my favour 7 months gardening leave not to be sneezed at.

Has any body come across something similar...
 
#2
The first black chap I met in the Army was the incredible 'Chalky' SNU in Para Sqn RAC. One of the good guys by more miles than there are in Wales; he did 5 'P' Coys back-to-back in '73 ('P' Coy staff didn't believe that wogs should serve in the Bde in those days) and they finally passed him on the 6th because his obvious excellence was getting embarrassing. In the Sqn he was initially a curiosity but once they got to know him he certainly suffered no stupidity from anyone. He was one of the Sqn's best blokes in any and every circumstance, and woe betide the clown from outside who took a dig at him. If he's reading this; wotcher, mate.
 
#3
Not experienced it personally (as I am white - not that white people do not get racially abused of course, just not likely in the army), although I have had to deal with soldiers complaining of racism. Nothing along the lines of hardcore Combat 18 extremism, just name calling and property damage. That said, this was a couple of years ago and have had nothing since - perhaps because there are not many black/brown/yellow soldiers in my current unit.

I suppose it is like any sort of discrimination - it is out there if you either look hard enough or subscribe to common misperceptions of army life.
 
#4
Everybody gets abused in the Army whether your black, white or some other mong from some third world country. it''s character building stuff and great.

The good thing about squaddies is that they can spot bluffers 10 ks away and they are well adapted to taking the piss out of anyone and anything. Nobody escapes any abuse or piss taking.

If you don't like it - DON'T join. It's really that simple.

BT.
 
#5
Do I detect a hint of Journo ordure in here?
 
#6
I'll never forget my first posting out of Bordon to the Grenadier Guards LAD.
Said the ASM, ''You have to be doubly careful here, first of all, you wear a different cap badge, and secondly you are black." How far wrong was that ASM, the Bn reached out to welcome me.Later the Coldstreams took over, and maintained the same relationship. I was always made to feel as an integral part of these units, and the many other units I happened to serve with subsequently. Regardless of colour , if you are a looser ,a waster and a trouble seeker, you will always be given a rough time by your colleagues.
I could write a book on racism, outside of the Army and outside of the UK.
 
#7
There was this chap of Anglo-Caribbean descent in an Infantry Unit , who was
despised, but tolerated, by both the Blacks and the Whites in the unit. When he was with the whites, he considered himself black and when he was with the blacks, he saw himself as white. No wonder that he was nicknamed "Weekend" ......after the brand of chocolate that was half white and half black.
 
#8
ASHFORD_OLD_SCHOOL no hint of journo on my part, most of the comments have been quite hearting. I would have thought any 'journo' reading this would have got a fairly good impression.

I regarded all the people thaot I served with as the 'salt of the earth' sadly I can't say the same of most of the people that I have encountered since I left the Army.

Sadly, there is a misconception in respect to the Army among certain sections of the community that it is a Racist, Homophobic, Misogynist organisation.

As I stated this is what I have come across since I have left the Army once again as stated by one other...I could write a book about the Racism that I have come across in Civvy Street
 
#9
I had a young jamacian lad posted into my old troop and initally the troop didnt know how to take him untill we went into the bar, got pissed and realised that he was and still is a quality lad who could take the piss just as well as recieve it. The question of him being black never came into it.
A knob is a knob whatever colour it is!!!
I think people get too hung up on colour and make an issue of it when there really is none. I have not ever come across racisim within the Corps i think its a dying trate that no longer has a place within the army any more especially in the current deployments that now face people.

How can you be racist when you have to rely on someone to help when the shite hits the fan ????
 
#10
Brew_Time said:
Everybody gets abused in the Army whether your black, white or some other mong from some third world country. it''s character building stuff and great.

The good thing about squaddies is that they can spot bluffers 10 ks away and they are well adapted to taking the urine out of anyone and anything. Nobody escapes any abuse or urine taking.

If you don't like it - DON'T join. It's really that simple.

BT.
That's pretty much my take on the 'issue', if indeed there is an issue.

I know when I first joined up I needed beasting because I was not very well motivated, as such I thrived on it, and eventually got by sh!t together to the extent I was able to move up the ranks - had I been treated with kid gloves (or worse still, indifference) I have no doubt I would have walked at the first opportunity instead of doing 9 years.
 
#11
Racism in the forces isn't treated as so due to the majority of peoples attuitude to taking the piss out of each other, its what we do. There are plenty of times I have made comments which could have been constituted as Racist but have not been intended to be. Each time I've made a comment I've recieved equal incoming back.

We have a more relaxed view, alot of what we say and do is taken in jest. Something the civilian workplace has lost.
 
#12
In five years service in TA Inf in two different units I only recall one serious racist remark when a Cpl (in an all white unit) stated "the day one of them joins I'll leave" or words to that effect. I think he meant it although I somehow doubt he would actually have left. Other than that I can't recall anything. In my previous unit there was only one black soldier and he was the SPSI. He got my back up but not because he was black. Was probably a pretty good soldier in all fairness.
 
#13
My previous unit had a Jamaican OC and SSM. Best Sqn in the Reg.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#14
Oatmeal_Block said:
Brew_Time said:
Everybody gets abused in the Army whether your black, white or some other mong from some third world country. it''s character building stuff and great.

The good thing about squaddies is that they can spot bluffers 10 ks away and they are well adapted to taking the urine out of anyone and anything. Nobody escapes any abuse or urine taking.

If you don't like it - DON'T join. It's really that simple.

BT.
That's pretty much my take on the 'issue', if indeed there is an issue.

I know when I first joined up I needed beasting because I was not very well motivated, as such I thrived on it, and eventually got by sh!t together to the extent I was able to move up the ranks - had I been treated with kid gloves (or worse still, indifference) I have no doubt I would have walked at the first opportunity instead of doing 9 years.
9 years? F*cking nig.
 
#16
The thing I love about the army is that people will set each other straight, dish out instant bollockings and indulge in frequent bouts of piss-taking and all this is infinitely preferable to the kind of bitching and back-stabbing that you come across in most civvie workplaces, where giving offence to someone seems to be the worst crime you can possibly commit.

The irony is that I have come across far worse racism on civvie street than in the army. I suppose it's due to the fact that if you don't like black people then walking around with them on the same bit of carpet for eight hours a day won't make much difference. Whereas in the army, if you don't like black people (or white people for that matter) it is irrelevant because you will see your comrades first and foremost as fellow soldiers, not skin colours.
 
#17
My first CSM on joining battalion was Asian and that was in the mid 1970's.

Apart from banter, which on any topic the army does in ways which civvies might find a bit shocking, I can't say I ever same accross it. I am white, but I have an older Black half brother and I reckon I have a good antenae for these things.

I married a Chinese Malaysian. Some of my former colleagues had fought mainly Chinese Malaysians in Malaya, so if racism was usual you might expect them to have some problems with her. To the contrary they welcomed her into the family and have always been kind to her and respectful of her culture. So kind that I was genuinely moved.

Rarely, very rarely, I have heard individuals make nasty racist remarks, but I have never found it part of Army culture. Equally rarely I have heard people blame racism for thier lack of promotion or success, invariably they have been misguided although I think they genuinely believed race was a factor.
 
#18
There does seem to be a misunderstanding among civvies about the extent of "racism" in the Armed Forces.

In my last unit we had people from all over - Canada, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Jamaica, Trinidad, Mauritius, Ireland, Hong Kong and even one geezer from Cornwall. Everybody came in for flack at one time or another. But then again so did the Scousers, Jocks, Taffs, Geordies and all the rest of them, wherever they came from. And, as has already been said, each gave as good as he got.

I can only remember one Sergeant who was posted in and remarked that he didn't like blacks and he was quickly "set straight" a couple of times. He applied for a posting out and left shortly after that. End of.

I think the main cause of the lack of racism in the British Army is that we're with these people 24/7 and you quickly learn that everybody's the same basically. And if your mucker in the next scratcher's driving you up the wall with his snoring, it's not because he's (insert nationality), but because he snores.

MsG
 
#19
I hear racist remarks every day from civillians, but I can only think of one instance during my time where somebody made a remark that shocked me.
 
#20
One night this Guardsman came into the bar and was buying me drink after drink. When I enquired why, he told me that someone had told him that he and I had a scrap in the bar the night before and this was his way of saying sorry. The truth of the matter is that the night before we both had in a surplus of De Roches brandy, and while greeting each other across a table, it broke and everything fell to the ground,making it appear as if we were scrapping. A Taff friend used to accuse me of being a racist............simply because I was one of those gentlemen who prefer blondes. :D
 

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