27 October, 2011


So just how many people are there already in the UK?

Not to be outdone by the UN's "celebration" of the world population hitting the 7 billion mark, the ONS has been busy telling us that here in this small, damp, foggy archipelago off the north-western coast of Eurasia, we are well on the way to 70 million — by 2027. Oh really? So soon?

What is surprising is how little information there is on so important a subject. There is this article from four years ago of course, which claimed that an unnamed supermarket chain and an unnamed "agricultural organization" had separately estimated the country's then population at 77 to 80 million. In 2007, not 2027. As the piece was published in an "interesting facts about our wonderful world" corner in the Independent it has been generally ignored. And it's a staggering figure: if true, the population has been undercounted by 25% (or to put it another way the actual population is 33% higher than we think it is — tricky johnnies these percentages).

More recently, the ineffable Polly had a piece about a year ago on CiF about population undercounting. Polly was concerned about the proposed redrawing of parliamentary constituencies and its impact on the balance of the parties. But I find the population figures themselves rather more interesting. The estimates quoted by the Indy were based on food consumption. The figures quoted by Polly come, how can I put it, from the other end of the alimentary canal. The local water and sewage company has used its coprometric skills to estimate that there are 30,000 people in Slough over and above the official figure of about 130,000. Which is broadly in line with the Indy's numbers.

And just recently we have had the Mail's aerial photos of "garden developments" in darkest Southall.

For my own little corner of Greater Woolwich, I can offer only anecdotal observations. Simply living here and going about my business each day allows me to gather non-quantitative but nonetheless valid observations. Numerous one-bedroomed flats in the district, for example, which used to accommodate retired singletons or as-yet childless young couples are now occupied by African families with two or three small children.

And what reminded me to write this post: on my way from the station yesterday I passed a terraced property which is lived in by a floating population of East European workers. I see a bunk bed has been newly installed in one of the downstairs rooms. Could have just been moved out of the way into a "spare room", of course...

I could bore you with other examples, but the picture is clear enough. The question is, who are all these people who are not keen to be counted? Let me put it this way. A few years ago, the then Government estimated that there were about 350,000 illegals present in the country. This figure was so ludicrous that they were compelled to up it twice over a period of a couple of days. The official figure is now, I believe from memory, about 700,000 to 1,000,000. I rather suspect the actual count is very considerably higher than that.

25 October, 2011


Fœtal alcohol syndrome?

The BBC News subtitling computer strikes again.

As part of the BBC's current drive to reassure us just how wonderful the world will be with 7,000,000,000 naked apes living on it, a random beebwallah is pictured standing outside a house in the middle of Nowhere, or Zambia as it is officially known. A woman has, we are told, just given birth. The subtitles relay his words about the newly arrived girl child,
... she is so drunk she does not yet have a name ...
Well, OK, I was watching this in the pub (hence the subtitles) but even so. So young perhaps?

Personally I suspect that renegade slaves of the Purple Lizards are trying to communicate with us by hacking into the news media's subtitling computers. And personally I don't think they're making a very good job of it.

23 October, 2011


Dennis Ritchie

There is an irony in the fact that while the death of Steve Jobs made national television news on the day of his death, the death a week later of Dennis Ritchie went largely unnoticed. I found out about it by accident when I got home and switched on the wireless on Friday evening just in time to hear Radio 4's Last Word programme.

Ritchie devised the C programming language which made portable operating systems economically practicable, building on and generalizing Martin Richards' earlier BCPL. Ritchie and Ken Thompson created the Unix operating system. C and Unix drive the Internet. It is Unix (OS/X) that powers current versions of the Apple Mac. It is also Unix that is the basis of Google's Android.

Two very different men contributing in their very different ways. Although Ritchie never sought the limelight in life, that shouldn't prevent us from commemorating him just a little bit better than we have been doing now that he has gone.

20 October, 2011


Below the line

The readers' comments sections of blogs and on-line newspapers are often a more useful source of information than the posts and articles themselves. This is particularly true of local newspapers, where below an article ritually vilifying the EDL or being studiously coy about the latest outbreak of MONA vibrancy you will find a right old ding-dong between readers of different factions. Before the comment thread eventually fizzles out in mutual accusations of illiteracy you will often get a clearer insight into what actually went on than the reporter was willing, or allowed, to provide.

And go on, admit it, when you visit CiF, you read the title, the strapline, note which of the resident team of idiots wrote the piece, and then proceed straight to the comments, only reluctantly returning to read the actual article later, if at all.

At our own dear Harry's Place, resident Nazi-hunter Edmund Standing takes a break from publishing photographs of groups of overweight middle-aged men with stiff right arms or of rough working-class types posing with air rifles while trying to persuade us that these revelations are both significant and important. This week Edmund fixes his sights on the music press, with a sideswipe at the merchandizing operation of the Times, finding Nazi collaborators hiding under every desk.

But it's this comment below the line which catches my eye,

Mark Ramsden
19 October 2011, 6:57 am

I did loads of Rock against Racism gigs. Then Red Wedge. Up north, the Tom Robinson Band played to a white audience at a festival. Then we buggered off, a Banghra band came on, the white audience left and there was suddenly a sea of Asian faces. This was not untypical.

Now if it isn't a wind-up, that insight is a damned sight more interesting than the OP itself.

Next week, Edmund tells us how he has ruthlessly purged his CD collection of Bowie, Ferry and Clapton, and of how he has agonized over the underlying if well-concealed righteousness of Morrissey. Stick with the Bard of Burton Bradstock, laddie: boring, cacophonous but ideologically safe.

And why oh why does Harry's Place persist in deleting (or at least hiding) its comment threads after a week or two? Come on David, or Alec, or whoever is leading the admin at HP these days, you know perfectly well we don't visit for the outbursts of abstruse Zionist indignation in the OPs, we come for the punch-ups and the quality vituperation below the line. There's nothing sadder on the wild wild interweb than a link to an old Harry's Place post which has been shorn of its comment thread.

17 October, 2011


Say what?

"Africa, birthplace of civilization"

Laurie Taylor speaking on the repeat of the Thinking Allowed programme this morning on the steam wireless while introducing an interview with Ian Goldin, co-author of this celebrationist crap.

As relics from the Sixties go, I generally find the ever enthusiastic and amiable Laurie quite endearing and his sociology magazine programme predictable but listenable, but this tiresome and unthinking celebrationist sycophancy — basically a more articulate variant of Jai the Prolix's thesis (Pickled Politics passim) that the British were aggressive cave-dwelling primitives who spent their days gnawing on woolly-mammoth bones and holding woad-daubing parties until those nice foreigners kindly turned up and brought us civilization, technology and curry — was pretty damned cringe-making. This Goldin character sounded like Philippe LeGrain on speed.

15 October, 2011


No fair!

In 2003 I was booted off the old Guardian Unlimited Talk forum for gross unrighteousness. A couple of years later I decided to rejoin under a different identity. As you do. I proposed the perfectly innocent screen name NorfolkEnchants. Unaccountably this was rejected as being too rude. Can't understand it myself.

Now what do I find below the line of a CiF article telling us we are all racists for refusing to eat Chinese stir-fried dog, or some such?


And this, I take it, is the foodie equivalent of "British culture is nothing but binge drinking and hooliganism",

15 October 2011 10:42AM

Dear Lijia Zhang

Of course it is populist racism. Those who rush to deny it are all well known on cif for their extremist political views accompanied by bucket loads of denials over the issue of racism and an illogical hatred of immigrants and foreign culture.

I on the other hand welcome foreign food and culture......I was brought up on fat, gristle, boiled turnips and cabbage.

Good game, eh?

14 October, 2011


Kicking that can along the road to nowhere

Forgive me if I do not welcome the news that

Rise of child sex gangs prompts major study

with the requisite level of enthusiasm. That there is a clear separation of the "grooming" of pubescent girls for prostitution from the more general issue of organized pædophilia is, I suppose, some kind of advance. The desperate need of the Righteous to obfuscate the former — a calculated and frequently racist but essentially cruelly rational criminality — by conflating it with the latter — a dangerous pathology amplified by organization and commercialization — has done huge harm. Organized pædophile "rings" are a problem, but they are a distinct problem from "street grooming" and need to be tackled separately.

If the Righteous still so desperately need the fig-leaf of claiming, as was repeatedly emphasized in the radio news reports this morning, that street grooming is a problem which involves "all ethnicities", and they can find a few dodgy Moldovan and Albanian thugs to technically substantiate that claim, well I suppose we have to make do with that.

But maybe one day, when it affects somebody sufficiently important, we might be able to simply recognize that the street grooming issue is primarily, perhaps overwhelmingly, an issue involving interethnic victimization of mostly (but not exclusively) White teenaged girls by Pakistani gangs for the purposes of both profit and intertribal humiliation. It is a Brown problem. Acknowledge that and deal with it.

But the most worrying aspect of today's announcement is that it establishes a long-term study, targeted for completion in 24 months. Which means that whenever the issue of street grooming is raised, the response will be "this is in hand, wait until the results of the study are published".

We know where the main problem lies. Face up to it. Deal with it. And if, as you are so keen to remind us, "White men do it too", we'll get round to sorting them out afterwards.


Tales from the Multiculture: tickets please

Railway Enforcement Officers (REOs) have been saturating the Greenwich line over the last couple of weeks. Even if you're not actually checked on the train, it seems that on every journey you will pass at least one station where a group of REOs is surrounding one or more delinquent passengers on the platform and taking down extensive particulars. If it gets to that stage it's usually fairly serious.

The "multiculture" link here is that in every last one of the dozen or so such incidents I have seen, the fare-evading passengers were always Black.

Who knows, maybe like the young Black girl I overheard being interviewed by REOs on the train the other day, these folk believe that merely topping up your PAYG Oyster card with credit is sufficient. Touching in to register and pay for the actual journey is, apparently, optional. Perhaps it's all understood to be handled magically through a sort of high-tech equivalent of vodou or muti. Who knows?

(For readers outside London, "touching in" refers to the procedure of touching your Oyster prepayment card to the yellow RFID pad at the station gateline or on the bus to record the start of your journey. On train journeys you also have to "touch out" when leaving your destination station so that the correct interzonal fare can be calculated and debited. Touching in or out also opens the gate as well, but outside the peaks the gatelines at many suburban stations are unstaffed and are therefore locked open, leaving it up to the passenger to remember to touch in and out to pay his fare. None of this is rocket science.)

This young woman seemed to be adamant that, as she had gone to the trouble of topping up the credit on her card earlier on, that counted as showing willing so she should be let off the fare for this journey. Interesting viewpoint. An address check confirmed that she had "previous" and so the REOs decided to make an issue of it. Even so the young woman seemed to be planning to tough it out until the train reached her destination station and then do a runner. Surprisingly, the REOs showed a bit of bottle for once and actually held the train back at an intermediate station until she caved in and got off there with them to continue the interview.

All fascinating stuff, but pretty much business as usual until an incident this afternoon bumped this stuff up to being just about marginally interesting enough to post about.

Among the repertoire of pre-recorded announcements available to suburban train drivers on the South Eastern is one which announces that a ticket check is about to take place. Now if you give this a brief coat of thinking about, such an announcement doesn't make a lot of sense. If a team of REOs boards a suburban train, they don't want to be giving out advance warning to fare evaders further down the train so they can prepare their escape. Whatever the office wallah who added this announcement to the repertoire may have intended, I have heard this announcement on a number of occasions and it has never heralded the arrival of ticket inspectors. I suspect it is used as a feint, a ruse deployed by the train driver in an attempt to put the frighteners on boarding scrotes he suspects of not having tickets.

I've never had much faith in this, assuming that your average travelling scrote would either be wise to it or, to put it in the vernacular, wouldn't give a fuck anyway: most scrotes seem to have a touching faith in their ability to deny their way out of trouble simply by vehemently protesting their innocence. I recall my first bout of jury service, trying a young man who was so bang to rights the jury might as well have spent the two weeks of the trial asleep, only bothering to wake up on the 11th day to return the guilty verdict. If you're going to rape and murder someone during the course of a drug-fuelled armed robbery, the DNA evidence of your semen is damning enough, but discarding the murder weapon in your back garden and then stuffing the victim's credit cards down the cracks between the floorboards of your bedroom is, shall we say, less than wise if you hope to remain undetected. And yet this youth actually seemed to believe he could get away with it by steadfast "Who, me gov?" denial. This sort of startlingly misplaced optimism seems to be quite common among the scrote community.

So then it was curious to see the announcement ploy actually working today as an Indian geezer actually got back off the train and remained rather shiftily on the platform, clearly intending to wait for the next train. Which was not a great burden as the trains are every ten minutes on that line. But imposing at least a modicum of inconvenience and disruption on the blighters is, I suppose, a small win for the forces of virtue.

Ah, it's a man's life in the Regular Ticket Inspectorate.

13 October, 2011


Wear your dirty mac with pride

No, not another Steve Jobs story.

The iDave's latest bit of desperate crowdpleasing, namely getting ISPs to filter out "objectionable" material at the exchange, offers plenty of opportunity for all manner of incremental slipperyslopism. Getting a system established and accepted is the hard part. After that, gradually extending its reach, firstly through "just this once / exceptional circumstances / emergency" additions is relatively straightforward. After a while unannounced extensions to the coverage of the system become business as usual until your perfectly reasonable filtering scheme that "no decent upstanding person" could possibly disagree with does a damned sight more than it says on the tin.

I'm not 100% sure whether the proposed system for new users is "opt in to filtering" or "opt in to p0rn". That doesn't matter because it will rapidly become "opt in to porn" irrespective of the initial arrangements — we don't want the kiddiewinkies being exposed to corrupting filth as the result of an oversight, do we?

One thing I am fairly sure of, though, is that the "shame barrier" which some are speaking of is a bit of a red herring. Having to phone some disapproving lady in Bangalore and, having given your name, address and penis size — no, no; that will not be necessarily — shamefacedly say, "Er, I am a Wanker and I would be grateful if you would turn on the porn access, please."

As it happens, I have been through this process. Let me quickly move on to explain that statement. I buy my domestic internet access from T-Mobile. As T-Mobile's devices, particularly the pay-as-you-go ones, are likely to be bought or at least used unsupervised by children under the age of 18, the Internet access is filtered by default. This applies both to ordinary smartphones and to "mobile broadband sticks" for plugging into laptops. Of which I have both.

The filtering goes a lot wider than your basic flesh porn. It extends to anything which might be considered "harmful" to children, including for example "hate sites" like Stormfront and the BNP. As I recall from the brief period I was subject to these restrictions a number of perfectly innocuous blogs were blocked; unfortunately I didn't keep a record. If I find myself having to replace my dongle again — if you'll pardon the expression — I might explore the range of blocked sites more systematically before I arrange for the filtering to be turned off. Which is quite straightforward, involving a "dummy" credit card payment to confirm your age.

So where in practice will BT, Virgin, TalkTalk and whoever the other one was get their lists of sites to block? They will get them from the established source they use for their own in-house firewalling: the large American netnanny companies. The stoplists used by these companies seem to be compiled by crack teams of prodnoses from the Peoria Baptist Mothers' Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center, to which will be added the censorious pronouncements of our own dear Internet Watch Foundation.

The reliability and judgment of such stoplists and their providers is of course legendary. Remember the Australian pornblocker which barred access to a Dutch driving school? How soon before little Wayne's homework research on the reproduction of flatworms for his GCSE biology gets picked up by the "sex" filters.

And of course if the filtering takes place at the ISP then mummy and daddy are going to be filtered too, innit? Dad's going to be well pleased if he can't get on to the Millwall supporters' chat forum (celebrity contributor Rod Liddle) 'cos it's classified as a hate site. Or Mum can't vote for acts at the X-factor website because Mrs Bluenose in Peoria thinks some of the lady artistes' costumes as shown in the on-line videos are not decent.

If this nonsense actually manages to get off the ground, it won't even manage to clear the perimeter fence at the end of the runway.

Fear not. While it lasts you will still be able to view your favorite Abyssinian goat porn website without censure, even if you have to pretend to be a Hope Not Hate/Searchlight investigator researching the Far Right when requesting removal of the filters.

12 October, 2011


Business as usual

Julia brings us word of the downfall of one Benjamin Orororo, an employee of the UK Border Agency at the world-famous Lunatic House. A quick Google lends weight to my immediate suspicion that Our Benny is of the Nigerian persuasion.

A creatively entrepreneurial race, your Nigerians, and Benny's contribution was in using his position to facilitate the stay of prospective settlers, or asylum seekers as they are known in the trade, whose rampant porkies had been unaccountably rejected by the Home Office. For this he charged a modest handling fee, simply to cover his costs, you understand.

Well, dog bites man!

James Thurber's memoir of his time as a code clerk in the US diplomatic service comes to mind. He was posted, I think, to Paris where he was responsible for encrypting and decrypting the diplomatic cables which passed between the Paris Embassy and the State Department via the public telegram service.

Thurber was of course security-vetted before taking up such a sensitive post. This consisted of a friendly chat with a Government agent to whom Thurber was able to confirm that both his parents and all of his grandparents had been born in the United States. That was it, the total extent of the security check: how deep did Thurber's roots in the USA go?

There is a lesson to be learned there. UKBA has serious form for employing people whose loyalty to this country and its interests is at least unproven and frequently questionable. Whether they employ such folk for diversity-quota reasons or, perhaps more defensibly because of their specialist knowledge, or indeed because no sensible indigene is willing to work in Croydon*, I don't know. But as repeated experience has shown, it's not only a dangerous practice in principle, but a total failure in practice. In their eagerness and incompetence, UKBA has even employed illegal immigrants as immigration officers.

I don't know what Mr Orororo's status is, but clearly his roots in the UK do not go deep enough to amount to cultural and "tribal" assimilation to the extent that his loyalties are reliably to our communal interests.

This is part of what I was trying to get at in my earlier post about British identity.

Why are we employing people like Mr Orororo in a job where his loyalty to British interests, such as it may be, is in potential conflict with his tribal loyalty to people from his homeland or his projected "tribal" loyalty to immigrants in general? Why are we employing someone in a role like this where his cultural background is not exactly up to basic North European standards of probity — or to put it less pompously, from somewhere where backhanders are the norm?

To be honest I am wary of employing unassimilated tribals in the police and the armed forces just because they've wangled themselves a British passport. But in the immigration service — madness on stilts.

* When my then employer, Megacorp Inc, was looking to reduce its office footprint in central London, as firms do from time to time when some bright spark compares office rentals without taking the whole picture into consideration, it offered one of my colleagues the opportunity to relocate to its Croydon office. This chap lived in one of the remaining non-feral areas of South London and in theory his commute would have been much easier. He refused point blank.

10 October, 2011


Oh the excitement...

From the News Shopper:

illustrated with

a random stock photo of part of a fire engine.

The excitement mounts:

illustrated with

a random stock photo of a different part of a fire engine.

The "Beetle", by the way, was a motor car rather than an actual insect. Now that would have been a story.

I'm going to bed now. I hope I can calm down enough to get to sleep.

08 October, 2011


The halo slips further

According to the BBC and all newspapers except, seemingly, The Guardian, the Blessed Tariq Jahan has been charged with GBH following a road rage incident.

This is jolly awkward, what? A lot has been invested in promoting Mr Jahan as the Good Paki, or, where more useful, the Good Muslim, an inspiration to all decent folk and a rebuke to those among us who harbour dark thoughts and unworthy reservations about our vibrant multiculture. Steps will need to be taken to resanitize Mr Jahan's reputation. Unfortunately the emotional trauma of his bereavement is not in play for purposes of mitigation, as the incident over which he has been charged took place in July. The current holding position is that the matter remains open as Mr Jahan remains to be convicted. Hmm. Lamping another driver hard enough to break his jaw? I wish you well of that. Could have been Tommy Robinson in a false beard I suppose.

On one level it should not matter that Mr Jahan is a violent former Hizb-ut-Tahrir thug; it should not be allowed to detract from his action during the recent rioting season which stands on its own merits. Ceteris paribus, I would be inclined to that view. But then I find myself wondering, if a White man with a similarly "interesting" background were to defuse an angry White mob in a comparable manner, would he receive a comparably sympathetic and forgiving treatment from the Righteous, the MSM and the Elite? Probably get banged up for being White in a public place and incitement to non-violence, more like. Ceteris decidedly imparibus.

I await developments with interest. I take it Tariq will be returning his Pride of Britain award if he is found guilty.

To develop the point I made earlier. The reason our masters are grateful to Tariq is that he spared them the embarrassing spectacle of one group of ethnocentric third-world savages attacking another group of ethnocentric third-world savages in a supposedly British city, with no practical possibility of blaming Whitey for it.

You know, a little voice — a voice of which I am not proud, but also no longer ashamed — suggests that it might have been preferable if our Tariq had kept his own counsel and allowed the savage colonist tribes to have at each other. Our lords and masters would have had some explaining to do to fit the events into the multicultural, multiethnic narrative.


(Almost) the acme of pointlessness

The particular genius of the late Steve Jobs has been identified by some as his ability to design hugely successful products that nobody realized were indispensable until he started selling them.

Now a Florida firm hopes to achieve the same with...


Alcohol-free halal “whisky”

(via (via)).

You can just imagine "Tommy Robinson" and Anjem Choudhary down your local Wetherspoon having a friendly chat as Anjem sips at his halal alcohol-free Glenfiddich, can't you? (Not that Anjem was averse to a pint or two of lager in the days when was better known as "Andy" but that's another piece of "Islamophobic" tittle-tattle altogether.)

Surely the second most pointless drink known to man, the top prize being reserved for a thankfully as yet unavailable alcohol-free vodka.

07 October, 2011


Great orators of the age

I have to admit that whenever Sunny Hundal has come on the wireless in the past I have tended to tune my mind out until it's over. But this morning he was interviewed on the Today programme attacking the proposed BBC cuts and I decided to listen properly to what he was saying.

Not that one would want to get all ad hominem or anything, but's he's an inarticulate little twat, isn't he? How does he get away with it?


Leaving nothing to chance

In the seething fleshpots of Greenwich they have all the angles covered.

She: Not tonight, I have a headache.

He: No worries, I just happen to have this packet of Anadin with me.

05 October, 2011


Plus ça change

History Today, writing on the 1936 Cable Street incident whose 75th anniversary is currently being celebrated ad nauseam by the Left.

("The Myth of Cable Street")

In the week after Cable Street the BUF ‘conducted the most successful series of meetings since the beginning of the movement’, attracting crowds of thousands and little opposition. Mosley made an ‘enthusiastically received’ address to an audience of 12,000 at Victoria Park Square, which was followed by a peaceful march to nearby Limehouse. By contrast the Communists’ efforts to consolidate their victory had ‘met with a very poor response’. ‘A definite pro-Fascist feeling has manifested itself’, the Special Branch report concluded: ‘The alleged Fascist defeat is in reality a Fascist advance.’

The reason the BUF was able to profit so handsomely from what had initially appeared a setback was that, at this stage, it thrived off the publicity that violent opposition produced. The national media, under pressure from the government, largely avoided reporting on Fascist activity other than when disorder occurred. A leading Mosleyite lamented the ‘total silence’ in the press when BUF events passed without incident, complaining that only after disruption by opponents did newspapers show any interest.

(My emphasis.)

Nothing changes, does it?

And isn't it curious that we have all heard of the events of the "Glorious 4th", when the united working class routed the fascists the police, but nothing of the slightly less heartening consequences that followed?

Plus ça change, plus c'est les mêmes mensonges



Apparently, effective 1 October 2011, bestiality is illegal in Florida. (You find your own links for that one, you pervert; I'm not going to facilitate that sort of thing.)

Ah the things you only learn about when it's too late. Such is life.

Anyway, on to more important matters.

Did you hear about the zoophile country singer? He had to cancel a gig because he was feeling a little horse.

01 October, 2011


A racist confesses

Those who are kind enough to read this drivel regularly will be aware that I have little truck with the accusations of racism, or even Racism, that are bandied about with careless abandon (you can't really say "gay abandon" these days, can you?) by Righteous White Liberals and Darkie career race-hustlers. If I call a Spade a Black bastard, it's because he is a bastard, not because he's Black; "Black" in this context is just an opportunistic intensifier. And I dare you to demonstrate otherwise. When you call me a four-eyed racist git, are you suggesting that is it because I wear glasses that I am, so you allege, a racist?

But I have to admit that there some are ingrained attitudes which I'm ashamed of which I find mildly amusing. I was reminded of this the other day during the current Native American Summer (© Pavlov's Cat). When the sun comes out many young White males of the rougher sort are wont to remove their T-shirts and wander round bare-topped. I always find this behaviour vaguely intimidating. Perhaps because the sort of person who indulges in it tends to be vaguely intimidating anyway. Perhaps because of all that testosterone-laden sweat radiating into the atmosphere. Certainly I'm not alone in this view: witness the outbreak of "Shirts must be worn" notices outside the more respectable boozers and fastfooderies. (Question: My shirt is brand new and shows absolutely no sign of fading or fraying. Am I still allowed in?)

But I noticed some young Black males the other day who were walking about bare-topped and it didn't seem at all intimidating. As individuals they were no less intimidating than their White counterparts, but their state of partial déshabillé seemed perfectly natural and unthreatening. Interesting buried cultural assumptions lurking there.

All this brings to mind an earlier brush with deep-seated cultural and racial prejudices: the first time I encountered a physically disabled non-White person. Not a common sight in the 1960s, I have to say: persons of colour were then a) few and far between and b) mostly recently-arrived first-generation immigrants who almost by definition are youngish and able-bodied; the crook and the broken ones tend to languish back home.

But my reaction to this person, and to pretty well any other handicapped non-White until fairly recently, was one of extra compassion, over and above what I would have felt towards a similarly disadvantaged fellow White. It took me half a lifetime to realize what the subtext is that underlies that reaction: "Being handicapped is an awful thing. But having the misfortune to be handicapped and a Darkie as well is to really draw life's short straw."

There you go. Us White folks are human too.

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