I don’t know whether to laugh or lament

Somtimes you come across news stories that make you want to point to the whole human race and say “I’m not with these guys”.

With this particular story, culled from the Daily Telegraph, I find myself wondering whether to be frustrated at the journalistic attention-grabbing sensationalistic headline that reduces the whole story to farce and removes any serious message within it, or the idiot who put the anchor phrase in the guidelines, discussed in the article, in the first place – thus reducing the serious message they attempt to convey.

“The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food. “

I’m 100% behind anything that can reduce racism and racial hatred, but this kind of nonsense does nothing to further that cause. First paragraph there – fine, makes sense. Second paragraph – what?

Whilst the guidelines make many good points, the point about rejecting food makes the whole endeavour a target for accusations of over-the-top mollycoddling, and is in the same league as the edicts that demanded we call blackboards “greenboards” (even if they are black) and that the lyrics to “baa-baa black sheep” be changed to “baa-baa blue sheep”.

As one commenter quite succinctly put on a discussion about this article, what would happen if a child from an Asian family didn’t like spicy food? Would the child be racist against Asians?

Aside from this, I abhor the fact that the Torygraph focuses on that single part of the report and makes it the headline. Also, it’s a bit shady that under the strapline and the paragraph I included above there is a large (and irrelevant) advert for Phoenix University, after which the rest of the article – which is a bit more common-sensical – follows. The addition of the advert separates the flame-bait from the actual proper story, and how many people only read that first section before getting angry I wonder? This is very shoddily done and is something I would expect from the Daily Wail.

I have to ask if Rosa Prince, the journalist who created the article, would write an article about a Martin Luther King speech and make the headline “Black man makes speech, uses lots of bad racial epithets” and then make the first section a complaint that he can say “bad racial epithets” whilst white people can’t – and after a distracting advert then explain the context.

I hate this kind of journalism as much as I hate celebrity gossip; it does nothing to promote thoughtful discussion and merely stokes the flames of an already precariously balanced subject.

What utter bollocks.

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