How can you call out racism nowadays and be taken seriously? There's a ready-made counterpunch - PC GONE MAD! - available to anyone who's strayed over the boundaries into out-and-out racism. Aha, they say, I am not racist at all; whereas you are a dirty PCgonemad leftie troublemaker who has no grasp on reality.
I've pointed it out before about the Carol Thatcher / golliwog saga but it bears repetition. Why are golliwogs racist? Because they're a stereotype in a child's toy, a big-lipped boggle-eyed inane-looking black man, that's why. Yet somehow that's not enough. Somehow they're not racist if you say they're not racist. Somehow if you accuse the person accusing you of having a racist toy - not even racism itself, because you can simply have these things through ignorance and it'd be incorrect to label anyone with a golliwog as a racist (some of them are just stupid) - of being PCgonemad then you can shield yourself from any legitimate claims.
My argument is always this. If they aren't racist, why then does the BNP take such particular pleasure in selling them? What other reason would there be for the BNP devoting an entire section of its 'Excalibur' merchandise website to them? They don't sell any other children's toys, so why golliwogs? And let's manoeuvre past the last wafer-thin excuse - that they're selling them because in these PCgonemad days they're standing up for traditional values and, as they say themselves, 'striking a blow against political correctness'. No, they aren't. They're selling them because they like the stupid caricature of black people. They enjoy the ridicule. They enjoy the racism. Sure, your granny might have Robertsons jam jar stuff and think it's OK, and might not necessarily be a raging BNP nut; of course not. But to go and buy golliwogs now? To compare a black man to one now, with all the racist connotations? No, there's an activeness about that with more than a whiff of racism involved.
It's hard to get through all the ready-made defences that people who come out with racist shite set out. Of course it is. But it's necessary, and right, to do so. There's a commenter on John Redwood's website, for example, who calls him (or her) self Little Black Sambo. Again, like golliwogs it's a bit of a hangover from the bad old days, and, again, while your older relatives might not understand what the big fuss is all about, it's pretty stinky to use terminology like that now. Is that PCgonemad of me to say that? No, it isn't. I'm not PCgonemad. I'm just saying that user names like Little Black Sambo are pretty grim and outdated, and likely to cause offence - which is probably why they were picked in the first place. Who knows? It might even be a black person using that user name, in which case, yes, it's up to them, but it's still pretty offensive and unpleasant terminology. Is it PCgonemad to say that? No, it isn't.
Which brings me to Rod Liddlejohn again. I'd meant to leave him behind after reading his execrable toss from the Speccy on Friday, but I've just spotted this post over at Pickled Politics from the archive of Liddlejohn hilarity. Liddlejohn says:
Most middle-class parents would prefer not to spend £25,000 per child, per year, on private schooling. And they probably would not do so if the alternative was of a higher educational standard than the state school around the corner, the Mary Seacole City Academy for Advanced Textspeak and Stabbing. This is especially true in central London, where Dave lives. Perhaps he thinks that Westminster is a state school, near as dammit, compared with his own alma mater, Eton.
Ah, there we go then. See? It's funny because Mary Seacole was a courageous and intelligent woman who happened to be black, and in Liddlejohn's mind that means that you can link her name with the kind of school where people get stabbed. Do you see? Do you see why it's funny? Do you see why it's clever and hilarious and brilliant and good? That the Loony Left PCgonemad education types would name a school after Mary Seacole - what bastards to name a school after a national heroine! - presumably because it was in an ethnically diverse area, and therefore - and here's the funny bit - people would get stabbed there, and also be so thick they could only speak in textspeak! Guffaw! And that's the funny bit, yes?! And that's why it's sensible to send your kids to private schools, so they don't have to mix with kids who'll stab you (with the Seacole name dragged in for a whiff of racism)?! Isn't it? No...? No, you say? It's not funny at all, you say...? Come on, don't be so PCgonemad! Laugh along with the funny man!