Monday, February 11, 2008

Eldery Race Hustler Makes Desperate Bid For Relevance

Oh dear! Looks like someone at the BBC has finally grown a spine and yanked the feeding tube out of one of Britain's most sucessful shakedown artists:
Lenny Henry launched a scathing attack on the "Alf Garnett" generation of programme-makers last night and claimed racism still exists in TV.
Apparently racism is so deeply engrained in British TV that he can't find any examples from the last quarter century. It's that common!

Y'know, if a conservative tried to make a point by citing The Sweeney as an example of modern pop culture, we'd never hear the end of it. Maybe it's just that TV people don't want to hire a guy whose metaphors are old enough to have little metaphors of their own ?
Britain's most famous black comedian lambasted the BBC and ITV for not employing enough black staff behind the screen as well as on it.

Giving a Royal Television Society speech, he said: "TV producers of the 1960s and 1970s missed a great opportunity.
1960s and 1970s ? Yep, I'm guessing the ol' grievance mine is tapped out.
"Rather than reflect the reality of multi-ethnic Britain they chose a more xenophobic route - emphasising points of difference instead of similarities.

"If they had been more truthful in their observations, who's to say we couldn't have encouraged more young black kids at school or prevented the Brixton riots even?"
See ? He's not just another sleazy shakedown artist - giving him money will help heal our broken society.

Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing black underachievement at school might have less to do with what their grandparents watched on TV, and more with prominent black public figures tacitly excusing outbreaks of mass thuggery and continually telling kids that The Man will keep them down whatever they do.
Henry singled out 1970s comedy Till Death Us Do Part for its racist main character Alf Garnett, claiming the creation was "adopted as a hero by the very people he was satirising".

He said: "Writer Johnny) Speight tried to ensure that in each storyline, Alf came off the worst.

"But when I went to school the next morning, it was always me who came off worst.

And then I parleyed my modicum of talent and my whiny claims of victimhood into thirty years living the life of Reilly off of your licence fees
Actually, I added a bit to that quote. It's by way of making a point. OK, we'll buy into the young Lenny being traumatised by people laughing at him - at least that doesn't happen these days - but only if we can do the rest of the story, the bit about him going on to become filthy rich and having three decades plugged into the free money spigot. In Earth cultures this is known as a 'success story' but, nope, even after decades of thoroughly undeserved fame and fortune The Man is still oppressing him (and now we're back to those disengaged black kids).
Henry also criticised underrepresentation of minorities in Coronation Street and costume dramas - despite his wife, Dawn French, currently being in one - saying: "You can't move for bonnets and crinolines and the people wearing them are all white.
To say nothing of the lack of Inuits in martial arts movies.

Nope, turns out that Mr Hustler... Henry has an answer:
"By the time Queen Victoria was on the throne, this country had a sizeable black population, so where are they?"
So sizeable that no one living at the time thought to mention them. But let's pretend Henry isn't talking complete liberalism. Is he really saying that this country - the most racist evah! remember - had a large number of blacks in it back in the day, yet somehow they managed to get by without a huge race relations industry or a descent into massive criminality ? Hmmmm...... maybe homicidal insanity isn't a natural part of authentic black culture after all.
Henry told the audience that writers and producers were still using offensive discrimatory terms for other minorities - such as "chav" and "pikey".
Chavs as a victim group ? Huh ? Has this guy ever met any chavs ? Probably not - after years of living under the oppressive boot of the white power structure, Henry has somehow managed to scrape together the cash to buy a enormous place in the country - very, very far from the Hood - and from chavs too. Of course, it does mean there's one person out there ready to offer our 'travelling' friends somewhere to set up, right ?
And he called on TV bosses to use 'affirmative action' to employ more black people, adding: "And I am not talking about cleaners, security guys, scene-shifters - I am talking about decision-makers."
So the only person who's actually, provably, advocating racism in TV is Henry himself. Does recognising irony count as 'actin white' or what ?
In 2001, Greg Dyke famously described the BBC as "hideously white".

Henry said: "When I started, I was surrounded by a predominantly white workforce. Thirty two years later, not a lot has changed."
Spookily enough, Britain too is predominantly white. It's a conspiracy!

I thought these guys wanted a workforce that 'looks like Britain' ? Besides, I'm wondering if Henry sees a lot of brothers in his local village ? I guess racial arson is more rewarding when you're insulated from the consequences.

Again, back to the point I made above. This is a true rags to riches story, but no: Henry is still a really huge victim. He might have made his pile off of a mostly white audience, but Britain still sucks and whites are still scum. This goes beyond black culture's death spiral into victimhood, and it's broader than just Henry's desire to hang a 'No Natives' sign on the doors of the BBC. It's the same phenomenon Jonah Goldberg identifies here.

This where we are in the culture wars: a guy can stand up and spout insane conspiracy theories while proposing racist recruitment practices, and he's hailed for his courage in fighting racism.

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