Will I be forgiven for making a Racist Comment?

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Will I be forgiven for making a Racist Comment?

I work in construction management, on some pretty big jobs (£100m plus), and do you know what, it is always the English lads that give me the hardest time.

Is that racist?

The Poles are often carpenters, as are the Lithuanians. The concrete gang are always Indians. The Romanians are lovely people. They’re all lovely (although the Poles are a bit expressionless).

But the bloody English have got all the back-chat. With the foreign nationals it’s always, “Sorry boss, sorry,” but the English always want to argue with you.

Why do you think that is?


We're an island race and for one reason or another have attracted immigrants since the Viking and Roman days. This has been a country of migrant settlement that continues to attract people of differing cultures to this day. In the early 20th century it was Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler’s Germany. Displaced Poles and Latvians arrived as exiles in the 1930s and 40s, and by 1960 there was a large Asian population, mainly from Punjab and Gujarat in India. East African Asians started to arrive in large numbers in the late 1960s and 70s, followed by Ugandans who had been expelled from their homeland by Idi Amin, whilst West Indians arrived seeking work on the buses.

This influx continues today with refugees and asylum seekers fleeing civil war in Somalia, not to mention Serbs and Kosovans arriving in the 80s as part of organized evacuation programmes from the killing grounds of what became known as the 'dirty war.'

Yet despite all the colour and culture England can still be for some a dreary and depressing place to grow up.

I write a column for a newsletter in New York. Please take a look at my article on The Romanians. It's the 5th one down, about three-quarters down the page (you'll probably have to register but it takes seconds);




I always feel slightly sad coming back here (UK).  It might be the obsession with moaning and this whole superiority thing, but if I was fluent in the languages of countries I visit fairly regularly I might find that they do it, too. 

New arrival émigrés stick together, I think, for safety, mutual support and to be able to communicate.  Brits abroad form quite strong ex-pat communities.  I generally get the sense that those don't count. 

On balance, I'm glad this is traditionally an open country.  My family benefited from it being so 150 years ago.  I think we are held to be a reasonably fair lot as a nation (although we do moan).  Why wouldn't you want to give someone a leg-up when they need it? 

The European Union has its flaws, but the ability for individuals to shake loose of a national flag and move around is hugely liberating.  Let's see what happens if the UK votes to leave the EU (I don't keep up with the news but heard there's something brewing). 

To answer the original question: forgiven for making a racist comment?  I doubt it, but not all observations about behaviour are racist. 

Have a nice day!

Parson Thru

Speak the truth as you find it, Karl. In my view this is our one true starting point for aiming at making the world a freer and more equal place. I am sure that the Romanians, Lithuanians, Indians and Poles are from countries where they know the meaning of hard work. They are willing to get on with it, on the New York building site without too much fuss or bother. I hope they are paid enough to make it all worth their while         Elsie

I’ve worked with tough Poles, lazy Somalians, hard-working Lithuanians and Bulgarians, friendly Romanians, fun-loving Sikhs and quiet Muslims.

Just before Christmas Rod Liddle in The Sun discussed the expected influx of immigrants when England opened her borders to Bulgarians and Romanians. He wrote in his column, “Just like the ones who are already here – camped out in bin bags in Central London and begging through a mouthful of broken teeth. I suppose there’s a good chance they might put our honest British pickpockets out of business.”

Whoa, now wait a minute here. Bit of a generalisation that, isn’t it? Tones of racism and xenophobia sneaking into his argument, I think.

Anyone who’s read the column I wrote for The Copiague News will be aware of my feelings on this matter, but to clarify housing illegal immigrants while ex-servicemen are on the streets can never be right, and council housing should never go to recent immigrants over British-born people, UNLESS legal immigrants demonstrate a positive contribution towards society and make every effort to integrate. I would honestly rather have these people as my next door neighbours than those lazy Jeremy Kyle bastards who were born here but aren’t willing to get off their fat arses to find a job.

We currently have about 80 Romanians on site, and I think they get a bad rep – pickpockets, Gypsies, tramps, thieves and on and on and on. Well let me tell you that’s a very small percentage of Romanian citizens. The Romanian girls in the canteen have playful, cheeky expressions most of the time. They tell me they recognise Gypsies immediately and they hate them with a passion because of the undeserving reputation they’re gaining for everyone else from that country. They call them Roms, by the way, and they’re known as Romi by the Romanian government.

Even though they’re not ‘Romi’ my girls have fierce Gypsy eyes when angered. They know English people think they’re Romi, and they take that in their stride, but they’re not.

Let me tell you that just about all the Romanians I work with are very pleasant. Believe me, they WANT these jobs. But just for argument’s sake, let’s have a look at Mr Liddle’s words above. Suppose I wrote very similar words about the black community. Supposing I wrote, “Just like the black people who are already here – roaming the streets with knives, selling drugs, mugging people, stabbing innocent people. I suppose there’s a good chance they might put our honest British muggers and drug sellers out of business.” What would happen then? I’ll tell you what would happen. I’d be accused of being a racist. And rightly so.

So how dare Rod Liddle write these words about the Romanian community when he won’t dare write them about the black or any other community?

I just wanted to pen these thoughts in attempt to set the record straight about any Romanians you may come across. Speak to them. You’ll find they’ll talk to you in a surprisingly pleasant manner. Don’t judge them all as Gypsies, tramps and thieves ….. because they’re not at all.


Oh, and Bear, Copiague, Long Island, bordering Amytiville, is a very tough community thart's known for taking no crap, but there is an incredible amount of love there.


Good to see you softening on the racism issue, Karl. It must really mess your meloni with every nation under the sun represented in the UK, and don't worry about being racist to a Brit; that doesn't count when you are one. I always find it funny when no one raises an eyebrow when I call a Frenchman a frog. The same can't be said when addressing a coloured gentleman, obviously. That would be treasonable and would surely see me in the gallows. I think the way they've got us so feared up about what we say about anyone different to ourselves (creed, colour, religion, race, yawn) is very clever. It stops us from being informally comedic; nazism in reverse. First, they say the muslims are out to bomb us, that we must fear them at all costs, introducing new laws on borderlines while our own workforce is changed beyond all recognition, then they tell us never to utter a word against them, unless ve vish to suffer ze consequenves. Don't forget, the royal family's inherently German, and I think they're having a right regal laugh at our awfully nice, polite ways.


As the English are always fond of telling jokes about foreign nationals, I always enjoy telling English jokes.


What do you call an Englishman in a library?  A shelf-fitter.


What do you call an Englishman in a theatre?  A patient.


What do you call eleven confused Englishmen running around aimlessly in a muddy field?  A World Cup Squad.


I'm English, by the way smiley

'How many Englishmen does it takes to change a lightbulb?'

'What for that pay - I wouldn't even take my coat off!' smiley        Elsie


Did you hear about the Englishman who started a forum topic entitled "Will I be Forgiven for Making a Racist Comment" and didn't notice the spelling mistake in it for two whole days?  


An Englishman leaves the pub early, staggers down the road swearing at people, throws up in someone's wheelie bin, gets home and breaks the door down, swears at the wife, kicks the dog, throws his dinner up the wall, pisses in the sink, switches the football on, turns the volume up, takes his trousers off, crashes on the sofa and goes to sleep.  What's wrong with that statement?

An Englishman?  Leave a pub early?

In fairness to the English they are extremely polite and very good at queueing. They are also some of the most courteous drivers in the world. I have driven or been driven in about 20 different countries and based on my experience no race is better behaved behind the wheel of a car than the English.

They are also wonderful at not taking themselves too seriously, but being ready to mock their country at the slightest opportunity.

What I like best about the English is they are very relaxed about their patriotism and have a very healthy approach  to national pride. They love their country, but they don't make such a big deal about it. They don't carry around with them all that cultural baggage that other countries seem overburdened with. The truth is they don't have much cultural baggage to carry around with them, other than Morris Dancing, the full English breakfast and perhaps the royal family.

Obviously the English are a highly diverse race, and there are exceptions to all of these statements I have just made, but in the main, the English are great. Probably the greatest race on the whole planet.

The greatest race? I expect it is the human race. But I don't remember buying an entry ticket smiley

Masters at sarcasm, though, aren't we?

When we say, "With all due respect ...." what most other races don't get is that we're actually saying, "You really are a fucking idiot, aren't you?"

They actually think we're being polite.