you, them


T, who is Black British, has visited Australia and has Australian friends. She said she got into a conversation about the word "wog" with some Aussie mates. I jumped in at that point. I said, I know. In Australia it means something different. Here it is "golliwog" and very derrogatory but there it is specifically about Greek- and Italian- descent and isn't anything like as bad. Though it is derrogatory.

She said she explained the golliwog thing and tried to explain why that is so offensive. They exclaimed that "Britain is such a politcally correct place!"

I've heard Australians do that kind of thing before. A close relative refused to change her use of the word "Paki" while she was in London because she refused to acknowledge that it would be more offensive here in a British context than in Australia. She retained her "right to offend".

I told T to tell them to fuck off. What is the point in explaining to a person who is choosing not to listen, why something is offensive to you, or to people you might not want to offend. It's really simple. You are either choosing to be offensive, to humiliate and subject another human being to degrading language, or you choose to respect their humanity and use language that reflects respect. I don't think there is any half way house on this. You either repsect a person or you don't.

<< | >>