Friday, January 19, 2007

Jade, Shilpa............holding up a mirror?

I tend to watch Big Brother by accident, rarely, or towards the end of any series when something or someone grabs my attention. So, how could I resist this evening? And its OK, I'm quite used to popping into the odd soap....irritating the life out of my children asking endless questions since I have missed the last 3 coming in without knowing exactly what is happening is quite usual! Tonight was no exception. I could be criticised for coming in cold, or with the morsels I have devoured over the past week in the likes of the Indy, Metro and London Lite.......but I knew enough to know this was a story which had burst out of the usual confines of Hello and the Sun to inhabit the front page splash stories of the Indy and even the Telegraph!

And thus, in the interaction between two young women we have a window on our less than perfect world. But for me the story is one of hope. However despicable the bullying and racist comments of Jade, the outcry in even our most right wing press is for me an indication of how far we have come. Being judged by the colour of your skin being regarded as unacceptable, this doesn't mean it won't continue to happen, but it will hopefully be seen in the same category as drink driving et al. I say this as someone who has not experienced racism directly. Sexism yes, sizeism yes (being told by someone I was representing in a Unison case - when I saw the size of you my heart sank......) but I have for example had to deal with my five year old mixed race daughter coming home and asking - mummy, what's a Paki? So let us hope at least some good will come out of this. That we will all be challenged about our attitudes, that we will all learn a little about the universal values of tolerance, forgiveness and our common humanity.............or am I becoming just too fond of wearing my rose-coloured specs???

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