Sunday, July 19, 2015

'White n**ger' incorrect too

Oliver's Army, by Elvis Costello.  For the entirety of my childhood, my sister and I thought this classic went, "Eye of the zombie is here to sta-ay!" Turns out Oliver's Army isn't an ode to the undead, but an anti-war lament

"Have you got yourself an occupation?" Costello sneers before referring to an occupation of a different kind - the Irish Troubles:  "Only takes one itchy trigger / One more widow, one less white n**ger."

'White n**ger' was a derogatory term the British troops used for the local Irish, and the Irish have certainly been subjected to virulent racism over the centuries, both in the UK and in the US, where they were widely regarded as "happy, lazy, (and) stupid".

That doesn't mean, however, that their treatment parallels that of black people, nor that the 'n' word suddenly becomes acceptable to use just because it is preceded by the word 'white.' While some radio stations now censor the word after public opinion turned against its casual use, Costello was still playing the full version live as recently as 2013.



Anonymous said...

The full version is still played in Australia and rightly so. I am sick of people who try to censor the past. It happened, get over it. Hiding the truth is never going to achieve anything and only hinders the development of a society. The US has one of the most unhealthy societies in the world today thanks to the PC police. When someone says "all lives matter" and is howled down because he didn't say "black lives matter" is a sign of a society truly in decay.

Bird of Paradise said...

N words like Nuaghty,Nasty and Nafarious like our president is