Racism in Big Brother ...Again?!

For those of you who read my previous Blog about the racism in Celebrity Big Brother, I felt the need to speak out against the incident that took place in BB8 a couple of days ago.
A housemate refered to another as a 'Nigger'. To be honest, I was a little pissed off, like most were, and I felt the need to express some thought and facts on the subject.

The word Nigger's origin, comes from the days of Slavery. It was used by the White owners to refer to their Black slaves. For centuries, it has had negative connotations and today, its seen as a racial slur. What some people dont know is that the word itself, is meant to mean ignorance or to be ignorant.
Did you know that?...Well you do now.

Now on to Big Brother.
Emily, a 19 year old student who boasts about being highly intelligent, used the word whilst talking to two other housemates; Nicky and Charley.
Charley is Black and Nicky is Asian.

The context in which Emily used the word was as a reply to a comment that Charley had made which was along the lines of feeling fat and looking pregnant, to which Emily said 'Your just sticking your hips out, you N****r'.

The reaction by both Charley and Nicky was one of pure shock. They played down the fact that they were offended by it and admittedly said that they couldnt believe she had said it. Nicky even questioned why she would use such a derogatory term out of the blue and Emily couldnt answer her. Instead, she told the other girls to pretend that she hadnt said anything and tried to diffuse the situation by talking about Barbie.
Though the other two housemates were clearly shaken by the use of the word and went on to inform the rest of the housemates, who in turn, were in disbelief.

Cut to a few hours later, and Emily was called into the Diary Room, reprimanded and subsequently evicted from the Big Brother house on the grounds that racsim would not be tolerated by any housemate. Some would say that it was an overreaction, but BB's producers had to act because of Celebrity Big Brother and the furore that that programme emitted.

CBB made the headlines internationally and led to Offcom making an indepth check into the truth, only to find that the Big Brohter producers were actually hiding evidence and found a video showing that Jade, Danielle, Jack and Jo had, indeed, called Shilpa a 'Paki', another racial slur used to describe people of Asian decent, and publicly had their knuckles rapped, thus resulting in apologies from Endemol, the makers of BB, and Channel 4.
Changes had to be made to the show's format, as they could not stand, legally, to have the same mistake made twice.

I for one agree with that decision. The new guinea pigs in BB8, are more than aware of the outrage Jady Goody and Co's treatment of Shilpa Shetty in January and are media savvy enough to know the repercussions they could face outside the house.

Whether Emily said the word with intent, I dont know. But personally, I feel that after 5 days in a extremely close environment, where you dont really know anyone and all your actions are magnified for the world and it's brother to see, you would not come out with such a word and expect someone not to say anything.

Emily even admitted she didnt use the word often, if at all. So why pick that moment, with those people, to use it?
She tried to clarify her actions by saying that it wasnt meant and even bettered that by saying that she never said it at all.
But we all know that Big Brother has too many eyes and ears for that not to be true, now, dont we?

Some people use the 'N' word freely, without knowing its meaning; some black people I know, use that word amoungst their Black friends as a term of...well...I'd like to say endearment, but no. It's used more as a coloquialism, though that doesnt make its use right nor am I trying to justify it. I dont like that word. I never have and I never will, but in this day and age we should all be smart enough to know better then to use it at all.

Emily, however seemed to use the word to sound cool or urban, when infact, her using the word had made her seem like a stupid and ignorant child who, for all her boasting about being smart, proved that she really wasnt at all. So she'll get the fame she so badly craved alright. Just not the kind she wanted.
Posted on June 8th, 2007 at 07:00am

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