A minor story making headlines at the moment is that Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame allegedly used the “N” word when he sang the nursery rhyme, “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, catch a n…… by his toe”. This was never broadcast and apparently the word was mumbled as he said it.
It struck me as I was reading this in the Sunday Times that this was ridiculous that it even made the paper! There were responses from various spokespersons including several South Africans involved in the South African Top Gear Road Show. Clearly many people are getting a bit hot and bothered about this.
My feeling on the matter is why is this an issue really? Jeremy Clarkson has made so many gaffes during his career that I am left in no doubt that he does it intentionally to stir up interest in him and his entertaining show. Furthermore, he is a car guy, not a politician or someone who has ever pretended to be a saint. I am not condoning what he did at all but come on people!! So what!!? Is it only me or has this world gone crazy? When a celebrity uses the “N” word, it’s news but some nameless guy rapes and murders a family and it is hardly reported on at all?
Do I care that he used the “N” word? Not really if I’m honest. Okay I am not black but I would hope that even if I was I wouldn’t care. For a start, I know that there are many racist people out there. Furthermore any of you reading this who are over 30 years old probably learned this very nursery rhyme as he sang it and it is only in more sensitive modern times that words like Tigger or Tiger or Fisher have been substituted for the obviously racist and insensitive word used in years gone by.
He is an entertainer specialising in cars. Let’s for argument’s sake say he is a bona-fide racist and not just reciting a song parrot fashion, does it have any bearing on his ability to entertain us? And for those that argue that it does and he shouldn’t get away with it, may I remind you that he has (in some cases allegedly) done the following and more over the past several years:
Called suicide victims selfish
Cheated on his wife
Made jokes about prostitutes
Made multiple disparaging remarks about the green environmental movement
Surely some of these are worse than singing an outdated nursery rhyme? Don’t feed his need for publicity. Watch his shows if you enjoy them, have a chuckle at his intentionally outrageous comments and keep your sense of humour. Let’s focus on REAL issues where we can make a genuine difference to this world.