Isn’t it strange how certain cases of racism go unnoticed whereas others get publicised and hyped-up? There must be some kind of league table of bigotry because depending on the ethnicity of the target, celebrities can say the most offensive shit and nobody bats an eyelid. Case in point: ballroom dancer Anthony Paul Beke aka Anton Du Beke. Over a decade ago, when black lives mattered even less than they do today, it was briefly reported that he’d said to Strictly Come Dancing contestant Laila Rouass “Oh my God, you look like a Paki” apparently because of her spray tan. He also asked her “You’re not a terrorist, are you?” when he discovered her North African (Moroccan) heritage (or more likely when he found out she was Muslim).
Now imagine if the race or religion of this case were altered. So if Du Beke said “you look like a kike” to a white-skinned person from the middle east, would the public and the media have the same non-reaction? Why not? Is this somehow more offensive? Is that because we have some sort of unwritten scale or rank of races and religions that we as a society tolerate prejudice towards? What if a contestant said to Du Beke that he “doesn’t look like a dago” because of his Hungarian and Spanish roots? And what if a contestant said Anton “looks like a faggot” because of his tight, silky shirts, or his effeminate voice? That person would be sacked quicker than you can say “hypocrite honkeys”. So why is Anton Du Beke still employed?
If they chose to, the media can suppress or silence anything they don’t agree with; Du Beke’s racism doesn’t even appear in his Wikipedia page (at the time of writing this) even though “controversies” is usually a heading under most… cough, cough… celebrity’s pages. Wiley and Reggie Yates’ Wiki pages for example, include whole paragraphs of their anti-Semitism but Islamophobia or racism against black people is quietly hidden away.
The mainstream media can easily dampen or even disguise people’s true personas behind a facade of flattery. Eric Clapton‘s racism is hardly ever mentioned, Jade Goody‘s racism was subdued in a recent documentary, and look at Prince Harry; he’s not a racist but a hero who crusades against racism. Similarly, Anton Du Beke is now seen as a loveable dancer on a family show. No mention at all of his comments and therefore opinions.
Let’s not forget that the BBC are supposed to be a channel that represents everyone in this country, since we all pay the archaic licence fee. This is clearly not true however. The BBC, which is supposed to be unbiased and even labelled as “liberal” by the moronic right, is in reality a set of channels for sad, middle-aged, white, royalist, centrists. And when it comes down to it, they’ll side with them over us minorities. I mean, known-bigot Jim Davidson was presenting shows on BBC One right up until the 2000s (a man who by the way, has the word “alleged” under his Wikipedia controversy section – what a joke). The same BBC, who also employ Du Beke, never reprimanded or removed him either, in fact they’ve kept Anton employed for eleven years after this incident and I assume he’ll appear in the next series of Strictly, although I refuse to watch the tacky shit-fest to check.
Like most famous racists of today, Du Beke gave an insincere apology in which he described his racist jibe as “banter” (how very “Prince Harry” and “Wiley” of him). His apology also included the line “I am not a racist” and “I do not use racist language” which is a blatant lie since calling someone a “Paki” is the very definition of racist language. Du Beke’s Spanish mum Ascensión “Conchita” Lema aka Conchita Atkins, was also brought into the mix, reportedly saying “He is a sensible young man and is not racist”. Oh, so a Spanish parent says he isn’t racist, and that somehow nullifys what he said. Back in 2009, a BBC spokesman said “The BBC does not condone offensive language in the workplace” and that too was utter bullshit because Du Beke was kept in the show without any punishment whatsoever. Condone it they do.
It’s a strange time to be alive. We’re tearing down mere likenesses of historical racists but racists in the flesh who exist in the present day go on to become presidents and well-respected musicians and television presenters. It seems that all a (white) racist has to do is apologise and everything they’ve said and done is wiped clean. Hey, if someone can dig-up an apology from Winston Churchill, everything will be a-okay.
Back to Anton Du Beke; he might be dying his white hair, but I can see his true colours. The man is a snide, slimy, racist, cracker who looks like the end result of Christoph Waltz and Rob Brydon butt-fucking. Oh sorry… I apologise. I do not use offensive language.