Friday, September 28, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Racism at HP on and on

Met officers sacked for racist comments

Although I think speech should be free – people need to be aware that what they say may have consequences.   It could be argued that people can slip into racist patterns of thought or speech, but are not truly racist themselves. (This distinction is often made with reference to antisemitism.) One may wince at certain words – ‘coloured’ for example – while recognizing (if there are no further indicators of a problem) that the speaker’s intentions are quite probably benign.
But it’s a different matter when people repeatedly and unashamedly make comments which reflect disdain and dislike for those of another race.   Such views may make it impossible for people to carry out their jobs properly, as was the case with Special Constable Rosanna Garofalo and WPC Joanna Sugda who were recorded making offensive comments about black people, repeatedly comparing them to monkeys.  Earlier in the year another officer was sacked for telling a takeaway manager to ‘go back to your fucking country’.    Bizarrely, Garofalo insisted that ‘I am not a racist and still do not believe the conversation we had to have any racist connotations.’