Saturday 26 April 2014

Naming Your Black Cat Or Dog After A Well-known Black Person

Naming Your Black Cat Or Dog After A Well-known Black Person

A well-known television presenter in Britain tweeted that he named his black dog, a Scottish terrier, after a black footballer.  Is this an example of inadvertent racism or is the criticism, by some people of this presenter, an example of political correctness?

The television presenter is Jeremy Clarkson and he's just adopted a Scottish terrier which is a black dog. The well-known footballer is Didier Drogba. Didier is a top-flight football of great talent who used to play in the Premier league in England, which is considered to be the best football league in the world by some.  I believe that he is currently playing for a Turkish football club called Galatasaray but he may not renew his contract.  I understand that he is possibly somewhere near the end of his footballing career.

Anyway, that isn't the point.  The big point is whether Jeremy Clarkson is inadvertently being racist or is he just being funny?  Jeremy Clarkson likes to be funny and he's a very smart person.  He is funny.  You may notice that there is a slight play on words between the word “dog" and the first part of the footballer surname.

The answer as to whether this is a mild form of an overt racism or perhaps subconscious racism perhaps depends on in which country it occurs.  Britain is generally a very tolerant country but it has become irritatingly politically correct.  There is sometimes a overemphasis on being extremely careful with what you say in order to protect the sensitivities of others.  I understand the need to be sensitive towards the feelings of others and at all times to avoid racism but it can go too far sometimes.

If you live in a country where the dog is seen as unclean, then naming your dog after a person may be an insult to that person because you could be considered to be indicating that the person is unclean. In some countries people will insult other people by referring to the dog.  As far as I'm concerned this is an insult to the dog not to the person!  You can see that I tend to prefer animals to people but don't get me wrong, it does not mean I dislike people.

A discussion took place on a well-known British radio station (LBC) about Jeremy Clarkson's tweet. People's opinion was divided.  The presenter, Nick Ferrari (a very high profile radio presenter) believed that Jeremy Clarkson had not been racist and this was political correctness.  A young caller thought it was racist because she said that Jeremy Clarkson is of the old school as he is 54 years old. The point she made was that people in their fifties and older come from an age when racism was rife or more common than it is today.  Because of this they are more prone to make racist remarks without even knowing it.

One British caller  to the radio station said that he had named his black cat after Whitney Houston the well-known singer.  Clearly he thought that Clarkson had not been racist and that the whole discussion was a classic example of political correctness gone mad.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

There is an associated topic and it is this: the domestic cat with a black coat is the least popular of all domestic cats with respect to its appearance.  Is this a case of subliminal racism?

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