20 November, 2012


Getting your priorities right, innit

A non-story of quite earth-shattering inconsequence, but revealing naetheless, from our old friends at the Mail

British Airways apologises after retweeting racial abuse
against customer angered by flight cancellation

The story is that a passenger, frustrated by the cancellation of his flight, had tweeted a foul-mouthed complaint to BA. (Amazing what you can pack into 140 characters if you try.) This prompted a generally hostile response from other twits, including one containing a — shock horror — racial slur.  The exchange looks like this:

Original complaint according to the Mail:

The incident started when a message was posted by a disgruntled Twitter user named Jae Jang Ladd who tweeted: '@British_Airways F*** you. F***** cancelling my flight! #bunchofc****'

which being destarred probably reads

@British_Airways Fuck you. Fuckin cancelling my flight! #bunchofcunts

to which another twit called Asian Ronaldo responds, per the Mail:

@jaeladd @British_Airways F*** you. F***** cancelling my flight! #bunchofc****', go back to your f****** country you g***

All of this is dutifully retweeted by an inattentive BA operative who is probably now seeking alternative employment.  At least I guess that's what happened.  I don't really understand Twitter and I'm not sure I want to.

Given that Jae Jang Ladd sounds like the name of an East Asian or possibly mixed-race person, perhaps of Korean heritage(?), the starrism "g***" possilbly represents "gook". 

What makes this interesting is that the Mail, and presumably British Airways as well, is totally unconcerned by the customer's stream of abuse.  Perhaps "Fuck you, you bunch of cunts" is an everyday reaction by BA passengers which their customer-facing staff and the Mail's reporters take in their stride.  In BA's position I'd be inclined to suggest that Mr Ladd either moderate his language or seek the services of an alternative carrier.

But ears perk up as soon as an ethnic slur comes into play and the mighty news/PR/police/outrage engine lumbers into action.  It seems to be a conditioned response requiring no intelligent thought.  Even for an ethnic slur from what appears to be an ethnic of the same persuasion.  (Important to evaluate the calculus of offence correctly, don't ya know; one man's spade is another man's shovel, innit.)  Investigations are launched, grovels are issued, heads roll.

As that nice Mr Terry learned, you can say "Fucking cunt", but don't you dare say "Fucking Black Cunt" or the world will come tumbling down around your ears.

The only saving grace in the present incident seems to be

She [an anonymous BA spokestart] said that police had not been in touch over the post and as yet there had been no official complaints.

As the Irish priest said to the newly-delivered mother, thank heaven for small Murphys.

Interesting set of priorities.  The world's gone mad.

Haven't you snd BA committed a crime against Jae Jang Ladds Human Right to privacy by publishing his name? Oops, see what I did there?

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