Over at Mr Nighttimeâ€™s place this morning, thereâ€™s a piece up about children and racism. It seems that some idiot somewhere has decided that if a child reacts to a culturally unfamiliar food by rejecting it with a disgusted expression, then he or she, toddler or no, should be branded racist and Steps should be Taken. Needless to say, this made me hopping mad. Political correctness has gone way beyond too far. It is – as I told Mr N – one of the biggest social evils of our time, having the effect of branding half the population with exactly the sort of social labelling it professes to deplore, and making the other half paranoid with suspicion of everyone else and terrified that the finger will turn upon themselves if they dare protest.
My own dear OH (who is so morally and ethically upright heâ€™s in a very small minority these days) has been known to remark as we innocently watch the children at play in the local primary school as we walk past, that heâ€™d better not watch for too long or heâ€™ll be put on some kind of register. But those who work for organisations such as the NHS or the Education Department have to be particularly careful what they say or do, for fear of losing their jobs and being blacklisted. This is no joke at all, because not only does it mean that those who donâ€™t toe the line are hounded out, but it also means that in an effort to toe that line, the lesser worker ants get more and more politically correct and the whole thing snowballs until everyone is nice and everyone is equal and no-one can be blamed for anything because nothing can possibly be their fault, theyâ€™re all misunderstood and/or discriminated against – yes, even that evil bastard over there who makes everyoneâ€™s life a misery. Unless, of course, said evil bastard is doing something considered politically incorrect, then theyâ€™ll throw the book at him. Oh, wait â€¦ um â€¦ unless the evil bastard is a member of an ethnic minority, then theyâ€™ll hesitate to throw that heavy volume in case they offend the whole of his ethnic group by doing so.
The thing about BA is this: back in May, they decided that in order not offend Jews or Hindus, they would remove pork and beef from their tourist class menu, leaving vegetarian options, chicken or fish.
Um â€¦ EXCUSE ME!!! This disenfranchises me, and that offends me deeply. I am a white English woman, of no particularly threatened ethnic grouping (although the number of racist events aimed at whites is escalating rapidly) but I have a problem with that menu. Owing to a number of allergies, I cannot usually choose the vegetarian option and I would probably die mid-flight if I ate the fish. Also, very much to the point, I have a strong ethical objection to eating battery-produced chicken. A Jew or a Hindu could choose not to take a meal containing beef or pork, I donâ€™t have that luxury because nothing on the menu is now suitable for me. Yes, I could ring and order a special, but in all my years of flying with various airlines, this only once worked out well for me and that was on the now defunct MAXjet.
I feel a letter to BA coming on. I didnâ€™t like the airline much anyway, but now? I wouldnâ€™t fly with them unless they were the last airline left on earth – and even then it would have to be a serious emergency.
Iâ€™m not a racist – I donâ€™t judge people on race or skin colour or appearance, and I donâ€™t think white English people are superior or due any special treatment. I just think it would be nice if everyone could be treated equally and we could maintain some sense of perspective.
And, excuse me, but isnâ€™t the fact that they still serve these items to First Class and Club World passengers in itself discriminatory? Does this not smack of the suggestion that Jews and Hindus donâ€™t travel in those categories? I think, if I were Jewish or Hindu, I might possibly be more offended by this than by having to share air-space with someone who is eating a forbidden food.
So, any Jewish or Hindu people reading this? What do you think? Feel free to set me right if Iâ€™m wrong. Iâ€™m always willing to listen and learn.
I donâ€™t bite .. not unless Iâ€™m on a long-haul BA flight with no menu options, anyway.