The thin line between banter and harassment.

You do realise use of the word 'coloured' is racist right?

Not joking.

Well, it is funny.
But I’m pretty sure that at one time referring to people of colour as “coloured” was seen as cutting edge political correctness (although it might have been long enough ago to predate that classification!). I remember one of those confrontational debate-type TV programmes- possibly Central Weekend?- when an elderly woman spoke from the heart against racism against “coloured people”. She obviously believed she was a paragon of progressive reason and was mortified and puzzled in equal measure when Nicky Campbell gently informed her that her language was now regarded as offensive.
Sometimes people should be judged on their likely intent rather than any unintentional indiscretion they might make. And old people in particular- who might be lazily accused of casual racism- might just be guilty of failing to keep up with the shifting sands of acceptable language.
 

P.O.N.T.I

War Hero
It seems many posting here think that banter (aka harassment) is OK and that it hardens the recipients. No it doesn't: it's bullying and has no place in the Forces these days.

I, too, remember the 1980s and would not in any way want to return to the misogynist, homophobic and racist past. And yes, psyches can change - and do. Otherwise marketing wouldn't work. .

"I, too, remember the 1980s and would not in any way want to return to the misogynist, homophobic and racist past. And yes, psyches can change - and do. Otherwise marketing wouldn't work."

Are you sure the Household Cavalry were really that bad...........
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
But I’m pretty sure that at one time referring to people of colour as “coloured” was seen as cutting edge political correctness (although it might have been long enough ago to predate that classification!). I remember one of those confrontational debate-type TV programmes- possibly Central Weekend?- when an elderly woman spoke from the heart against racism against “coloured people”. She obviously believed she was a paragon of progressive reason and was mortified and puzzled in equal measure when Nicky Campbell gently informed her that her language was now regarded as offensive.
Sometimes people should be judged on their likely intent rather than any unintentional indiscretion they might make. And old people in particular- who might be lazily accused of casual racism- might just be guilty of failing to keep up with the shifting sands of acceptable language.
And yet the preferred term in the US these days is "person of colour". This takes in everyone who doesn't have a European or Anglo Saxon lineage.
 

Yokel

LE
Good point.

My new policy with those ethnic monitoring forms is to put "pink/beige" in the "other" box.
Do you also put 'Blobby - Mr' into the name and title sections?

Anyway, would people consider spreading rumours behind the back of an individual, claiming that he had been convicted of serious offence in order to cover up management wrongdoings that led to the individual pursuing a complaints procedure, to be harassment, bullying, or what?
 
But I’m pretty sure that at one time referring to people of colour as “coloured” was seen as cutting edge political correctness (although it might have been long enough ago to predate that classification!). I remember one of those confrontational debate-type TV programmes- possibly Central Weekend?- when an elderly woman spoke from the heart against racism against “coloured people”. She obviously believed she was a paragon of progressive reason and was mortified and puzzled in equal measure when Nicky Campbell gently informed her that her language was now regarded as offensive.
Sometimes people should be judged on their likely intent rather than any unintentional indiscretion they might make. And old people in particular- who might be lazily accused of casual racism- might just be guilty of failing to keep up with the shifting sands of acceptable language.
Probably a throwback to the US when signs like this were very common.
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morsk

LE
As I always say, there's banter and there's banter at which point you need to STFU.
But rarely actually shut up. Just think it. Am I wrong?
 
But I’m pretty sure that at one time referring to people of colour as “coloured” was seen as cutting edge political correctness (although it might have been long enough ago to predate that classification!). I remember one of those confrontational debate-type TV programmes- possibly Central Weekend?- when an elderly woman spoke from the heart against racism against “coloured people”. She obviously believed she was a paragon of progressive reason and was mortified and puzzled in equal measure when Nicky Campbell gently informed her that her language was now regarded as offensive.
Sometimes people should be judged on their likely intent rather than any unintentional indiscretion they might make. And old people in particular- who might be lazily accused of casual racism- might just be guilty of failing to keep up with the shifting sands of acceptable language.
I wonder what the percentage of the world's population is classed as white
Edit in bold
 
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Awol

LE
But I’m pretty sure that at one time referring to people of colour as “coloured” was seen as cutting edge political correctness (although it might have been long enough ago to predate that classification!). I remember one of those confrontational debate-type TV programmes- possibly Central Weekend?- when an elderly woman spoke from the heart against racism against “coloured people”. She obviously believed she was a paragon of progressive reason and was mortified and puzzled in equal measure when Nicky Campbell gently informed her that her language was now regarded as offensive.
Sometimes people should be judged on their likely intent rather than any unintentional indiscretion they might make. And old people in particular- who might be lazily accused of casual racism- might just be guilty of failing to keep up with the shifting sands of acceptable language.
In the post being referred to, I used 'coloured' intentionally. Not for any reason other than to show my exasperation with the politically correct hijacking of our language.

I want a Guardian reading type to explain to me two things, firstly how 'coloured' is suddenly now offensive, when it was the preferred term for the best part of a generation. This was during a period when coloured people were receiving more positive recognition than ever before, and the term certainly didn't fall out of favour due to any racist use during that time (in contrast to the 'N' word for example). Secondly, I'd like this token Guardian reader to explain how the term 'coloured' isn't acceptable, whereas 'person of colour' is, when anyone can see they mean exactly the same thing.

Our language has been weaponised, and I'm pretty sure that it is the usual suspects and not 'coloured people of colour', that are doing the weaponising.
 
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In the post being referred to, I used 'coloured' intentionally. Not for any reason other than to show my exasperation with the politically correct hijacking of our language.

I want a Guardian reading type to explain to me two things, firstly how 'coloured' is suddenly now offensive, when it was the preferred term for the best part of a generation. This was during a period when coloured people were receiving more positive recognition than ever before, and the term certainly didn't fall out of favour due to any racist use during that time (in contrast to the 'N' word for example). Secondly, I'd like this token Guardian reader to explain how the term 'coloured' isn't acceptable, whereas 'person of colour' is, when anyone can see they mean exactly the same thing.

Our language has been weaponised, and I'm pretty sure that it is the usual suspects and not 'coloured people of colour', that are doing the weaponising.
Certain people have to be professionaly angry.
Therefore they must keep changing the terms.
I do my best to ignore them.
 

endure

GCM
Certain people have to be professionaly angry.
Therefore they must keep changing the terms.
I do my best to ignore them.

Wot 'e said. Afua Hirsch has made a career (apart from the one as barrister, author, TV presenter and producer obvs) of being the poor hard done by black woman.
 
Back in 1986 we had a VM Full screw posted into 7th Armd Wksp in Fally.
He had Prince Charles ears so in the mess I asked him ,'what do you want to drink wingnut?'
Silence followed by, 'don't like that name'.
So we didn't use it and called him Keith (or whatever his name was) after that.
Several months later 7 DG were doing a firing camp and 3 of there blokes came into the mess.
One grabbed Keith by the ears and danced around him singing, 'we won the cup, we won the cup'.
Keith had a huge ear to ear grin on his face.
Banter can be weird.
 
Don't remember saying anything about racial abuse.

Apart from some blokes in a Securicor depot in Kent calling one of their mates 'Chico Mendez' for growing a Mexican style moustache.

I suppose that might be seen as racist. But then again, you can't have it both ways. It's not possible for a white man to be 'racist' towards a Hispanic/Mexican because they are also classed as 'White' - just look at the FBI statistics!

I'm not being flippant here. Latinos/Latinas are classified as Caucasian in all those reports. And good luck with trying to tell a Mexican he looks 'Black' - then you will come to know real 'racism'.

Besides, our chap there in the deepest darkest depot in Kent, was in fact 'White'. So I still don't see how it could be 'racist'. I guess you can always find a way if you look hard enough.

Racial abuse is wrong. There's a time and a place for it. For banter I mean. But 'abuse' as such is wrong. That's why it's called abuse. But many people get abused every day, causing them great trauma, but it never gets as far as someone taking responsibility for it. Usually, the abuser will be someone in a position of true power, who knows the person they abuse can not kick back. I just got abused by my bank - the TSB. Left me on the verge of suicide after being suicidal for many years. Sought out greater advice, got it, yes, you have been abused, these people must pay for what they have done to you. Could I get someone to take it on? Can I afford physicallly, mentally, financially to take it on? No. Time to move on.

Abuse comes in many forms. We all know when it's unsavoury.

I was working the skip one day in St.John'sWood. By where all the Jar Head yanks had a base. Didn't like me and my long hair. Happened to have a black girlfriend at the time. No one at work knew. Didn't hide it. Didn't broadcast it.

Cockney lad kicks off about a blonde blue eyed bird that gets walked home every day by her black boyfriend. Or 'n***er' boyfriend as he called him. My blood rose. "So what about me going home to my 'n***er' girlfriend?". Fight.

I choose my battles well. But that was a good one. Bit of fisticuffs till I got sacked the next day. No biggie.

So I don't tend to like people who have hate in their heart. But I'm more than happy to crack up laughing when my black and half-black mates go on about '******* Niggers this', '******* Niggers that'. Taking the piss out of racists. Some who happened to be our good friends, believe it or not. They even mimicked a Cockney accent perfectly. Banter? Who knows? I think it went beyond that to some other place of higher metaphysical comedy, that I still can't explain to this day. A white racist, in full view, in a room full of black people, using the 'N' word? And them all cracking up in hysterics. I think context and intent is the trick here.

Some people are ignorant, and some people are malicious. And most people can tell the difference.

I know that some people see me as a racist for using the 'N' word. But it's ingrained in to me. I grew up around black people and used that word around them.

But I also see those that call me a race-traitor for having a black girlfriend, and not tolerating their use of the 'N' word when it is used maliciously.

I ******* despise racists. And their pitiful black hearts. But I also understand why it's probably not a good idea to flood a country with a totally different demographic that will not integrate. Many people like to conflate the two. I make the distinction.

I want to be able to go back in to my group of black friends and interact with them with a clean conscience. But I've known a few black racists too, btw - maybe for another day that one.


To answer your question: No racial abuse is never acceptable and it's never character building. When it's true racial abuse.

I read the other day in the news they are banning people from wearing Sombreros to fancy dress partys now. "Chico Mendez" probably isn't happy.

Whatever next? Stopping people from eating Leeks because it's just taking the piss out of the Welsh?

We aren't special little snowflakes. We can take it. Don't pretend to speak for me.



There probably is a fine line between banter and harassment. But most decent people know where that line is drawn.
Superb post.
 

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