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Author Topic: I'd rather serve ten darkies than a cockney...
lancastrian
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In the rumours of war section an amusing sign is discussed that claims that the business would rather serve 1000 terrorists than one Jew. It then turns out to be an undertakers!!

Actually, this sign used to have a very different meaning that seems to have been lost.

Of course a business would rather serve 1000 ANYONES than 1 ANYONE, because they would make more money!

A London barbers in the early 60's claimed they would rather serve 10 darkies than a cockney. Whilst at first glance this might seem super-tolerant (or outragous) this was NOT the case.

The shop owner was merely saying he would rather sell ten haircuts than just one!

So, the point of this sign was to issue an ironic comment on the nature of business- race or creed don't matter where a profit can be made. Put another way, the shop keeper is being clear that profit and prejudice don't mix, and that all are welcome.

It is British humour, and I very much doubt that it was ever taken seriously.

But of course if the premises is an undertakers then the message is totally different- the joke has been changed to mean something else.

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Speaker for the Dead
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I take it that's an old ad? Or do the English seriously call blacks (African-Englishers, heh) "darkies"?
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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I've not heard it used by people my age, but I've heard people's grandparents use it. It's also quite prevelant in The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (yes, the final book about Narnia).

Enid Blighton simply used the still-common "nigger".

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Kate
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead:
I take it that's an old ad? Or do the English seriously call blacks (African-Englishers, heh) "darkies"?

Yes, I'd call an ad from the early 60s "old" in terms of racial discrimination awareness. "African-Englishers" would be seen as misleading because (1) many black British people see themselves as West Indian or Caribbean, not African, in origin (the two groups tend to make jokes about each other) and (2) they're British, not necessarily English.

Kate

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Speaker for the Dead
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Actually, I made sure to check that the OP lived in England specifically before I put "Englishers" as opposed to "Britisher."
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lancastrian
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Yeah, I think in the context of the early 60's it is quite racist, but acceptable. But really that is beside the point- the shop owner is saying that REGARDLESS of racist attitudes he will serve people. What it is saying, in a jokey-but-serious way, is that despite what colour a person's skin is, and what names they are called, money is always the same colour.

Also it is worth being aware that in Britian "Asian" means a person of Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi decent, NOT Chinese/Japanese/Taiwanese people.

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Cato Sooty-Meowler
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Kate:
quote:
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead:
I take it that's an old ad? Or do the English seriously call blacks (African-Englishers, heh) "darkies"?

Yes, I'd call an ad from the early 60s "old" in terms of racial discrimination awareness. "African-Englishers" would be seen as misleading because (1) many black British people see themselves as West Indian or Caribbean, not African, in origin (the two groups tend to make jokes about each other) and (2) they're British, not necessarily English.

Also, the British aren't quite so hung up on the whole ethnic origins thing as Americans are (from my experience, having lived in each country for over 15 years -- but I'm sure thousands will disagree with me).

Brits don't refer to themselves as "Italian-British" or "Jewish-British" or "Carribean-British" etc, for example. People would generally just say "British" (or, if the cultural aspect was more important than nationality for purposes of description in a particular conversation, they might say just "Italian" or just "Jewish", or "My family originally came from Italy" -- but never "Italian-British", in my experience)

Mind you, not even all Americans go for the hyphenated thing. I'm Armenian by ancestry, but never once in my life have I referred to myself as "Armenian-American". I just say "American" or "Armenian", depending on the context. (and now "British", since I now have British citizenship)

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Cato Sooty-Meowler:
quote:
Originally posted by Kate:
quote:
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead:
I take it that's an old ad? Or do the English seriously call blacks (African-Englishers, heh) "darkies"?

Yes, I'd call an ad from the early 60s "old" in terms of racial discrimination awareness. "African-Englishers" would be seen as misleading because (1) many black British people see themselves as West Indian or Caribbean, not African, in origin (the two groups tend to make jokes about each other) and (2) they're British, not necessarily English.

Also, the British aren't quite so hung up on the whole ethnic origins thing as Americans are (from my experience, having lived in each country for over 15 years -- but I'm sure thousands will disagree with me).

Brits don't refer to themselves as "Italian-British" or "Jewish-British" or "Carribean-British" etc, for example. People would generally just say "British" (or, if the cultural aspect was more important than nationality for purposes of description in a particular conversation, they might say just "Italian" or just "Jewish", or "My family originally came from Italy" -- but never "Italian-British", in my experience)

Mind you, not even all Americans go for the hyphenated thing. I'm Armenian by ancestry, but never once in my life have I referred to myself as "Armenian-American". I just say "American" or "Armenian", depending on the context. (and now "British", since I now have British citizenship)

I agree but on the other hand its only in England that I am routinely asked for my ethnic background. Joining a library, signing my kids up for school, job applications; all have asked me to identify my ethic origin.

I was told I could not put "white british" but had to specify "white canadian" . I find this odd, I accept that it seems to be well intentioned but I do know at least in Canada that it would not be considered appropriate (to say the least) to ask my ethic origin just to get a library card.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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lancastrian
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Christie I presume you mean in BRITAIN, otherwise it would seem that you were saying that in England you are asked for race, but not in Scotland or Wales.

It has been on forms for a while now, I think just for marketing purposes though- for example applicants to a computers course at Preston College might be 60% Indian, in a town where only 2% of the population is Indian. So the college knows that its marketing has been a big success with this group, but has failed with others.

And to take your example- if 50% of library members were registered as Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi then the library would base their choise of books on this- a large selection of Bollywood (Indian) films and Arabic reading material would be approriate.

Of course, this system is flawed slighlty- it is impossible to judge a person's taste based on background but I guess it does provide a guide.
It is based on the premice that people's backgrounds dictate their tastes- well, is that true??

Incidently, if you wish, you can put C.O.T.W in the "other" section- Citizen of the World. I would encourage this, too.

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Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I feel that I am not adequately represented on any government forms because my race - "By Far The Whitest Man In The History Of White Men" - is not listed.

I was, after all, once told that I was whiter than Bryant Gumbel.

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"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by lancastrian:
Christie I presume you mean in BRITAIN, otherwise it would seem that you were saying that in England you are asked for race, but not in Scotland or Wales.

Well since I life in England, Hertfordshire to be precise, I did mean England. I did not know from first hand experience that this is a policy throughout Britain.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Cato Sooty-Meowler
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:

... its only in England that I am routinely asked for my ethnic background. Joining a library, signing my kids up for school, job applications; all have asked me to identify my ethic origin.

Hmmm. Perhaps things have changed in the US in the last 15 years (it would be surprising if they hadn't I guess) -- but I was routinely asked for my ethnic origins on forms when I lived in the US. To join the library, to apply for university (or even when starting a new high school or junior high school for that matter), to apply for jobs, etc. Where did you live in the US that didn't do this? I lived in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, from 1968 to late 1990. Have they stopped asking for ethnic origins on forms in the US? Or did I just have an exceedingly peculiar experience?
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Cato Sooty-Meowler:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:

... its only in England that I am routinely asked for my ethnic background. Joining a library, signing my kids up for school, job applications; all have asked me to identify my ethic origin.

Hmmm. Perhaps things have changed in the US in the last 15 years (it would be surprising if they hadn't I guess) -- but I was routinely asked for my ethnic origins on forms when I lived in the US. To join the library, to apply for university (or even when starting a new high school or junior high school for that matter), to apply for jobs, etc. Where did you live in the US that didn't do this? I lived in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, from 1968 to late 1990. Have they stopped asking for ethnic origins on forms in the US? Or did I just have an exceedingly peculiar experience?
I have lived in the US (Maryland in 1996-1997 and Hawaii 1964-1968) but as I'm Canadian I have to say that my comments may not be applicable in the US, I don't know. I'm not saying I've never been asked for my ethnic origin, I'm sure there have been occasions where this happens. But I can honestly say it certainly wasn't whilst applying to join a library!

The difference as well seems to be in how *precise* they ask you to be on forms here, there are at least a dozen possible choices, which perhaps is what throws me most. I'm probably overreacting it just struck me as odd.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I'd just like to second what lancastrian said, and add that if I'm asked on a form what my nationality is, that I don't answer the question. I think that it's illegal to make such a question compulsary, but don't quote me on that.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Lamuella
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have a friend who always gives his ethnicity as 'vorlon'
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Usiku
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Don't mean to drag up an old post, but what the hey - I'm bored and trying to avoid doing real stuff!

The reason most forms ask you for your ethnic background in the UK is to ascertain that you aren't being prejudiced against. It's supposedly to make sure that the proportions are correct and, in some areas, is to actively encourage positive discrimination. One area in England has an extremely high Asian population and, as a result, the council has to ensure that their workplace reflects this ethnic mix. If they've got too many whites, then a white person wouldn't get a job as they need to fulfill their ethnic minority quota.

Although nowadays, almost all forms will have a box to tick that says: Prefer not to say. I tend to tick this one for the sheer hell of it!

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