Friday, 2 November 2007

Radio tramp speaks trash

Seeing black in the dark

I am quite amused by the fuss being made of over Sarah Kennedy, a BBC Radio 2 presenter who is typically a housewife-type crude humorist who has to do working-class wake-up hours to present her daily show between 6:00AM and 7:30AM.

Apparently, she said of ethnic minority Members of Parliament; she could not spot a black man in a dark street till he opened his mouth.

The BBC advertises her show thus: Sarah presents the show for all Dawn Patrollers. Get news, views and music, plus the morning papers, travel, Pause for Thought and the studio webcam.

Now, for someone who has a public forum as she has, that she is lovingly referred to as “That Bloody Woman” by her fans, one would expect that the “Pause for Thought” element would give the programme an intelligent leaning, but that would be asking for too much in her case; a racial slur is sometimes needed to spice up an otherwise rotten show.

I do worry, that there are many of a feeble sensibility who would take umbrage at her somewhat offensive drivel and I sympathise.

Not 12 years ago, I visited the little sandwich shop that served the office areas in Ipswich and as I walked in, the lady threw that same quip at me; I responded, with all the killings and muggings going on, she would appear a bigger target and I would keep my mouth shut when I should be calling for help to save her.

She never expected that response, though she felt I would grin and bear it as opposed to my other colleague who took extreme offence at that expression, the day before.

It might have been a racist comment, possibly unintended, but it was ill-advised and not very smart – as for Sarah Kennedy, I would not have heard of the silly girl if she had not courted controversy and the newspapers had not devoted excessive newsprint inches to her notoriety.

I expect she would be sanctioned with the clamour now surrounding her programme and the body blows that the BBC has been receiving quite recently – you can be anything you want to be, but consider the responsibility that comes with whatever you become and use it for the good.

As for blacks, the positive side to this is we are safe in our skins and quite visible when we need to be.

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