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2 hours ago, hippo said:

Fair point.

Is it taboo to mention someones skin colour though ?....

In 15 years time if my grandson says "grandad who was tammy abraham"?

Would the reply 

"Big black bloke who scored 25 goals for us one season" ?

Be racist ? 

Of course it would. I can’t believe this question is even being asked.

 

Edited by briny_ear
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We tend to forget to look the intention behind people's actions and only judge them by the action itself. I doubt there was any sort of racism behind this song. 

However it doesn't sound well.

If we lived in a world when we could call each other black and white, without it meaning anything else then simply the color of our skin. And the color of or skin didn't mean anything besides what it was, a color. This song wouldn't be a problem. But history can't be ignored and it is why it makes it such a difficult and sensitive subject. 

The black Tammy Abraham is clumsy. But when you look at the history of the song itself(from wiki) I think it should be dropped all together. Even if it sounds good with a change of words. 

 

Quote

The origin and meaning of the lyrics are subject to debate. Historically the "Black Betty" of the title may refer to the nickname given to a number of objects: a musket, a bottle of whiskey, a whip, or a penitentiary transfer wagon.

Quote

"Black Betty is not another Frankie, nor yet a two-timing woman that a man can moan his blues about. She is the whip that was and is used in some Southern prisons. A convict on the Darrington State Farm in Texas, where, by the way, whipping has been practically discontinued, laughed at Black Betty and mimicked her conversation in the following song." (In the text, the music notation and lyrics follow.)

— Lomax, John A. and Alan Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs.(1934; reprint, New York: Dover, 1994), 60-1
 
Quote

As late as the 1960s, the vehicle that carried men to prison was known as "Black Betty," though the same name may have also been used for the whip that so often was laid on the prisoners' backs, "bam-ba-lam."

— Wells, Robert V., Life Flows On in Endless Song: Folk Songs and American History. (Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2009) 156.
 
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6 hours ago, Mic09 said:

Does the song work well? Yes. Is it meant to offend? No.

Can it offend some people?

Yes, but then we need to agree it's used as an offence and the word "black" is somehow offensive. And if we are unhappy about offending people, then songs such as "referee is a wan***" or "f*** the Albion" shouldn't have much place in 2019.

Whilst I agree that the song is naive, the bigger issue is with language used in particular songs.

The latest Villa on Tour video shows a clip of fans chanting "F*** the Albion" on continuous repeat, and when the camera pans around there are kids aged around 10 joining in with passion.. that to me is more shocking.

When I take the kids I cringe when songs with bad language do the rounds, or an individual stands up and swears with anger.  This is all in the "family" section in the Trinity end. I sometimes wonder if I'm doing the right thing in taking them, as there is strictly no swearing in my household.

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6 hours ago, Rob182 said:

I’ve seen a lot of people saying that the problem is that Tammy is being referred to as black, because British fans would never do that to a white player. But didn’t Rooney have a chant where he was called the ‘white Pele’?

 

I might be wrong, but I don’t recall there being this debate when Rooney at United.

 

I don’t know why the people in the video sang it, but I would like to think that someone (probably with a few beers in them) just thought “Hey, that song that goes ‘woah black betty bamalam’ fits really well with Tammy Abraham if you replace the last two words with his name! And the ‘black’ part fits because he’s a black man”. Then the song started. No malice, and probably no thought.

Like I said that's different. If he was called the black Shearer there wouldn't be much of an issue. They literally just called him Black Tammy...that's it. Nothing to do with his football ability. Nobody called Rooney White Rooney.

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7 hours ago, hippo said:

To me it saying we dont care what colour tammy is - we love him because he has scored 25 goals for us.

We don’t care what colour Tammy is but we are specifically going to mention it in this song. 

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If he was white and his name was Tammy Abraham then maybe it would be a good song to use for the fact it fits nicely. (Maybe not).

But he isn’t so the song will just cause controversy. Hopefully it’s been nipped in the bud. 

Edited by Vive_La_Villa
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2 hours ago, Stevo985 said:

We don’t care what colour Tammy is but we are specifically going to mention it in this song. 

It's how it comes across too—it's like these guys find it novel that he's black. That's how it sounds—I know it's the lyrics of the song, but they could have easily changed it to big Tammy. The impression I get though is, as I said, that it's novel to them that he's black. It's so old-fashioned and with our racist past something that feels like a throwback to something we've moved away from. People can bash PC culture all they like—and I'm not even suggesting this debate is a good example to use—but the truth is we've come a long way through being more aware of our language and how we talk to other people. Why would people want to go back to our darker past? People want to bury their head in the sand and pretend that humans aren't capable of being terrible to each other, especially when big ignorant groups form together.

I think Hippo said, but what if I want to describe him as black—that's completely different. It's not a throwback—if I described someone as black that's a functional use of the language. The way it comes across in the song, it doesn't come across like that. TBH, I think it makes the singers come across as pretty ignorant. It's ignorant because as other people have said they could have chosen anything.

People seem to be getting defensive and making out that others here are suggesting that the use of the word black is somehow being denied to them by the PC police. If that's how they see it then they should possibly at least consider that they are missing the point. The 'Scottish' in the Scottish Cafu is functional too. It's showing a comparison. Scottish is also a nationality. Anyway, the use of 'the Scottish Cafu' and 'Black Tammy Abraham' is completely different because here the particular use of black seems very archaic—what's the point? I'm sure 500 years ago calling someone Scottish and giving that as the go-to description of who they are might have been a bit tinged in historical racism too. Hopefully we've moved on from that—hopefully we'll move on from all this BS eventually too. But as I say, this song feels like a massive throwback, whether the intention was there or not. I wonder if it's in the ballpark of what Danny Baker did with that stupid photo.

And in the current climate, where, in my experience, people's secret prejudices are starting to surface, it comes across as to some degree willfully ignorant—and those choosing to ignore all this context, makes me wonder too.

On a side note, it reminds me of this this:

PC gone mad

Edited by praisedmambo
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7 hours ago, briny_ear said:

Of course it would. I can’t believe this question is even being asked.

 

How on earth would that be racist? Using black is probably irrelevant unless he asked what he looked like. 

But racist. Really? 

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1 minute ago, Vive_La_Villa said:

How on earth would that be racist? Using black is probably irrelevant unless he asked what he looked like. 

But racist. Really? 

Yeah I don't think that example would be racist at all.

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4 minutes ago, praisedmambo said:

Yeah I don't think that example would be racist at all.

It is racist I’m afraid. What difference does it make that he is black? Why even feel the need to mention it? If my son asked me who Andy Townsend was I wouldn’t say some white bloke who used to play in midfield.

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8 minutes ago, M_Afro said:

It is racist I’m afraid. What difference does it make that he is black? Why even feel the need to mention it? If my son asked me who Andy Townsend was I wouldn’t say some white bloke who used to play in midfield.

I'm open minded to what you're saying, but at some point the use of ethnicity has to also have a very basic descriptive use though, surely. If someone said in 20 years, describe to me the 1996 League Cup winning team, and describe them well so I can actually get a picture of who they are, then do you think it would be wrong to use the different adjectives available? I wasn't aware that black is an inherently racist word. For the record, above I have disagreed with its use in that song and in any similar contexts. I think in plenty of places it's unnecessary and comes across as backwards, but in a genuine descriptive attempt it surely has a use.

In this context all adjectives would have an actual function, which is surely the point of this whole debate—in the song, it comes across as a throwback to a racist past, because there is no point in describing him as black, especially as we're all aware of how that comes across.

Edited by praisedmambo
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19 minutes ago, praisedmambo said:

I'm open minded to what you're saying, but at some point the use of ethnicity has to also have a very basic descriptive use though, surely. If someone said in 20 years, describe to me the 1996 League Cup winning team, and describe them well so I can actually get a picture of who they are, then do you think it would be wrong to use the different adjectives available? I wasn't aware that black is an inherently racist word. For the record, above I have disagreed with its use in that song and in any similar contexts. I think in plenty of places it's unnecessary and comes across as backwards, but in a genuine descriptive attempt it surely has a use.

In this context all adjectives would have an actual function, which is surely the point of this whole debate—in the song, it comes across as a throwback to a racist past, because there is no point in describing him as black, especially as we're all aware of how that comes across.

As I have previously stated, why use the adjective “black” to describe Tammy in the song at all. Why not use “big” for example. 

There is nothing wrong with using the word black as an adjective if it is used in a responsible manner. The example that I responded to is a good example where the use of the adjective is not required to answer the question, so why use it at all? If the grandson had asked for a detailed description of Tammy then that would be different but he didn’t. It is fairly subtle but racists often express their attitudes in a subtle way.

My dad always used to refer to black people as “coloured”. I would always explain to him that the term was, quite rightly, considered to be racist. His response was always”well I am not racist and I do not mean to cause offence”. The point that he never understood was that, although it was not his intention to cause offence, using that term did/does cause offence. The continued use of this term, after becoming aware of the potential negative effect that it had, was in my view racist. He had the knowledge but decided not to use it. 

Anyway. Massive game tonight. Let’s hope that big Tammy scores a hatful and we beat the Albion with ease.

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28 minutes ago, Demitri_C said:

That's not racist. Your taking it to next levels now. 

It's racist language because if he was white you wouldn't describe him as a 'big white bloke'. Again this is a really straightforward one, you don't single people out by their race. If the grandson was to then ask "what did he look like" then fine, but at that point the colour of his skin is irrelevant so don't make it relevant. It's not much to ask IMO. 

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I always get amused when there's a bunch of (mainly) white blokes on the internet arguing about what is offensive to black people.

 

Imo a black guy wouldn't like being described as "that big black bloke"

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Racism isn't just about intent. It is so ingrained in us white folk that we don't even realise that half the things we say or do, about or to a person of colour is even racist. It doesn't have to be malicious, it just has to 'be'. From there, assuming no malice, your options are open really. 

Learning and evolving is the important part. 

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12 minutes ago, dont_do_it_doug. said:

It's racist language because if he was white you wouldn't describe him as a 'big white bloke'. Again this is a really straightforward one, you don't single people out by their race. If the grandson was to then ask "what did he look like" then fine, but at that point the colour of his skin is irrelevant so don't make it relevant. It's not much to ask IMO. 

That's not racist though either. A big white bloke. I'm a white bloke why is that racist? 

Since when is colour race?  That for me is silly. If your saying that black bloke with the silly hairstyle that's more racist. 

Edited by Demitri_C
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3 minutes ago, Demitri_C said:

That's not racist though either. A big white bloke. I'm a white bloke why is that racist? 

Since when is colour race?  That for me is silly. If your saying that black bloke with the silly hairstyle that's more racist. 

You misunderstood me. You wouldn't describe him as a big white bloke at all. If he was white, you wouldn't even mention it. Maybe there are very *rare* occasions when somebody might, obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but that is why it is a trope. As is the conjured up image of a 'big black bloke'. It invokes certain things. 

Race is anything that defines or groups people, often for the purposes of prejudice.

"No dogs, no blacks, no Irish" 

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The justification is, it's all in the way it's said or in the context, but it's offensive to the people being addressed.

Therefore it's a matter of whether you are happy to offend someone.... Someone can argue that their not meaning to be offensive, but everyone now knows that it is offensive.

If someone does it, it's because someone has made a choice, it's because someone is happy to offend somebody else.

In this context, this offensive behaviour is called racism.

 

 

 

 

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