BY FRANK HAVILAND
I have to confess, as an unforgivably straight white male, the list of things I must be offended by keeps me up at night. Last week alone, I had a harrowing time trying to reconcile why my two-year-old is not demonstrably transgender; downplay suspicions that my pet goldfish is a closet Tommy Robinson supporter, and decide whether eating an LGBT BLT sandwich unaccompanied by homosexual thoughts is more offensive to Gays or Muslims (answers on a Sharia-compliant, Pride-approved postcard please).
So the midweek revelation that I’d now have to fit Danny Baker into my already hectic offence schedule (a man whom I have survived 40 years not knowing), was a bit of an ask. Still, I gave it a shot.
Baker was summoned for questioning by the BBC and promptly sacked, after posting a controversial tweet last Wednesday, depicting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new-born son, Archie, as a chimpanzee in a suit. (The magazine has opted not to reprint it because everyone has seen it anyway).
On first sight, I have to agree the photo is offensive: the man doesn’t look anything like Prince Harry, and the quality’s not much cop either (you can do a lot with Photoshop these days).
On the serious side, all those who have spent the past few days with their knickers in a twist, frantically insisting that either a) they know emphatically that Baker is a racist, or b) he wouldn’t have posted the photo if he were, have forgotten the much simpler solution c) – so what?
It is no one’s business, least of all mine or worse still the State’s to police lame jokes; neither is it my concern identifying the inner workings of Baker’s mind, and more to the point nor should it be – that’s sovereign territory. I don’t care if Baker is racist; neither do you.
To begin with, we’re all chimps anyway, sharing 98.6% of their DNA. This explains not only why chimp jokes such as the PG Tips ads were funny, but how they could even be filmed in the first place (try doing it with cats). Chimp caricatures are also hilarious, provided it’s Presidents Bush and Trump being lampooned; do Obama however, and you’ve suddenly crossed the line.
The fashionable notion that something be deemed offensive, according to the transient identity politics of the person looking at it, is a staggeringly dangerous non-sequitur. In these days of self-identification, with the wokest among us changing gender 3 times a day, a gender-fluid feminist would have to turn herself in for a joke she wrote when feeling male and patriarchal. How about if I self-identify as black, can I post the photo with good conscience?
Exactly how black is the royal baby anyway – one quarter? Is this now the Elisabeth Warren litmus test of identity: as long as you can demonstrate you’re 1/1024th black, you get the oppression status? What about the ¾ of Archie that’s white – that bit’s fair game, right?
The fact is, we’re all racist – the research is crystal clear. By the age of 3 months, babies already show a preference for their own race. This occurs well before they are able to be ‘taught’ racism, and more to the point, children’s racial beliefs are not significantly related to those of their parents. By the age of 10 however, we mysteriously become ‘colour-blind’ to race – in other words, we learn to pretend it does not exist.
This pretence leaves us (particularly woke white liberals) in a precarious position. To assuage our guilt therefore, we increasingly appear to enjoy lynching others for our own ‘thought crimes’. But we do not lynch uniformly. Instead we lynch selectively, bashing whites either because we hate them, or to virtue-signal our distance from them.
It is not a coincidence that those suffering public excommunications for race infractions are invariably white men: Liam Neeson, Roger Scruton, and now Danny Baker leading the pack.
What’s curious is that in the quest for evermore-infinitesimal outrage, the fervent, unmitigated, fully-fledged racism that engulfs us 24/7, is simply overlooked.
Expending your efforts on Baker, you probably missed serial racist Ryhan Ali receiving a derisory suspended sentence for threatening to stab ‘English pigs’ at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I doubt you noticed when Jews were spat at on Edgware Road, and Adam Boulton tweeted ‘No excuse but it is a Middle Eastern quarter’. You probably didn’t have room to digest a woman being spat at and threatened with rape in Portsmouth either.
Why should you? In a climate which tells you racism only works one-way, and with interminably commonplace headlines such as:
‘White people must save themselves from whiteness’
‘Can my children be friends with white people’
‘White men must be stopped: the very future of mankind depends on it’
The unfortunate point is that antiracism is now simply a tool to silence white people, and it’s incredibly effective. It’s why you know that Owen ‘gammon’ Jones, Diane ‘the problem is white people’ Abbott, Jon ‘too many white people’ Snow, and David ‘I’m not on the frontbench because of the white men who run my party’ Lammy are in no danger of ever losing their jobs. As long as you’re bashing whites, you can do no wrong.
Personally, I wouldn’t worry about Danny Baker. I’d want to spend a bit more energy on the rappers singing ‘Hang white people’; defending the white ‘slags’ told to lie back and think of diversity, and protecting the young black men stabbed on our streets every night, because our politicians are too timorous to implement stop and search.
I feel sorry for Baker. Scant Old Bill though there are, he’s getting the full force right now. He won’t be the last. The antiracists are coming for you next. And there is nothing; no apology, no grovelling 2nd apology, no public humiliation strong enough to placate them.
If we have really reached the point where a life can be destroyed by someone, somewhere managing to find offence in what you say, just lock us all up now. Before we start dropping the soap in the showers, you might want to ask yourself: if no one’s offended by anything you say, are you actually even saying anything?