08 October, 2006


Is it because I is White?

I was chatting to a geezer in a City pub the other day. An amiable young man of vaguely Middle Eastern or North Indian appearance, with a vaguely matching accent. He seemed to view himself as a bit of a Jack-the-Lad and was assiduously chatting up the new barmaid, at the same time as I was patiently explaining to the young lady, whose first experience of bar work it apparently was, that a 5cm head on a pint of Guinness was somewhat outside the acceptable range of tolerance, even for the City of London, and explaining to her the meaning of the phrasal verb "to top up" and describing the necessary technique to implement this. (Really. Despite seemingly being a native English speaker, she didn't understand what the phrase topping up meant, or that she should tip out some of the foam to allow space for additional liquid. I suppose getting the customers to train the new barstaff represents an attractive cost saving for the cheapskate thieving bastards who own these places.)

Our young would-be Lothario was telling me that he had been barred from a nearby establishment for general bumptiousness and taking the piss – which didn't entirely surprise me – as well as making racist remarks to the (East European) bar staff in the other place.

This last one he couldn't quite get his head round. "Racist? What? Me? I'm a Pakistani, for fuck's sake," he complained.

I didn't have the energy to challenge this non sequitur; nor, I suspect, would there have been any point in trying. I suppose in the end it's vaguely reassuring to confirm that's it's not just completely up-their-own-arse Black Guardian columnists like Joseph Harker and Cameron Duodu and the entirely ineffable Gary Younge (see CiF passim) sincerely delude themselves that racism is something only White people can be guilty of.

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