There are times when I honestly wish Mr Lenworth Henry hadn't quite acheived his level of popularity. He would appear to have turned from a pretty good comedian to a "one-issue spokesman" - subject: Getting as many people from the Black and Ethnic Minorities on TV as possible. (Has Lenny Henry not watched "Eastenders" recently???)
I admit he kind of has a point - but his aim is a bit too limited for my liking. I would prefer it if he had specifically stated a wish for disabled people from the Black and Ethnic Minorities to be included in his aim.
In case you are thinking that racially offensive terms are illegal (and you are wondering what I mean by "the most offensive terms" - and who is Alex Thompson anyway???) please allow me to attempt to enlighten you.
Alex Thompson is a reporter on "Channel 4 News" who I found out has got an Autistic son (I follow Mr Thompson on Twitter). Mr Thompson wrote a blog post about how offensive he found some of the remarks and comments which we hear everyday misappropriating disabilities and connecting them to inappropriate situations - ie, "The ref must have been blind not to see that penalty", or, "She is very OCD about her music collection", etc.
The worst example I have ever come across involves Stuart Pearce who now manages Nottingham Forest FC. Apparently his nickname is "Psycho". One of the UK tabloids announced his arrival at Nottingham Forest as "Psycho goes to Forest" on their back page.
Now we have made the P-word, the N-word, and a certain word which got David Wheeler into a great deal of trouble when he used it to refer to people from China, socially unacceptable (if not illegal) maybe we can make a start on terms which I find offensive when applied to people whom they do not belong to or describe in the "normal" world. Let's just say I have never seen a referee who needed a white stick or a Guide Dog in charge of a football match.
Please don't misunderstand me - I find racist terms as offensive as anybody else does. However, they are usually applied to certain groups of people. "Disability Hate" terms can be applied to everybody, regardless of whether or not they actually have that disability. They also make life more difficult for those of us with the disabilities the terms refer to as - through their mis-use - their actual meaning can be lost. The opportunity for educational dialogue can also be missed.
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