Saturday, January 10, 2009

Prince Harry In Shocking Video !!! (Yawn)

It must be a slow news day in Great Britain. The News of the World, a British tabloid that makes the Globe and the National Enquirer look like scholarly journals has put up a SHOCKING video of Prince Harry, who has left public housing and the welfare umbrella provided by the British royal family to serve in Afghanistan with the British armed forces.

The News of the World has discovered that Prince Harry actually used DIRTY WORDS and racist slurs. It was actually caught on video and released on the News of the World web site.

According to the News of the World, "The soldier prince pours shame on the Royal Family as he calls an Asian squaddie “our little Paki friend” and tells another officer cadet jokingly wearing a camouflage veil off duty: “F*** me, you look like a raghead”—an offensive term for an Arab.

Harry, 24, third in line to the throne, also mocks the Queen—who is Commander-in-Chief of the British Army—while acting out a mobile phone call to her in front of other cadets at a field camp in Cyprus.

They laugh out loud as the disrespectful Prince pretends to get bored talking to his grandmother and dismissively hangs up on her saying: “Send my love to the corgis. I’ve got to go, got to go, bye. God Save You . . . yeah, that’s great.”

He even jokes about the colour of his pubic hair with one soldier in the middle of giving orders."

Should the news that soldiers in a combat zone use dirty words shock anyone? Holy !@#$ ! I mean, gosh golly gee whiz. That's really !@#$ed up . What I mean to say is... That's quite dysfunctional.

The News of the World reports about remarks caught on tape made by Prince Harry about his grandmother as follows.

The camera focuses on the Prince as he sits pretending to finish a call to the Queen.

“I’ve got to go, got to go. Send my love to the corgis. Send my love to the corgis and Grandpa” before making his “God Save You” insult. "

As for the disrespectful remarks about his grandmother, for any normal person, that would be over the top, but Prince Harry is serving in the British Army. His grandmother is Queen Elizabeth the Second Somehow, for the sake of order and harmony in the field, he needs to fit in. The order of military command has to transcend any consideration given royalty. Besides that, what he actually said about his grandmother was pretty tame. I'd write those remarks straight off.

The racist remarks that are shown on the Prince Harry tape should be seen in context. Great Britain has a large Indian and Pakistani minority that can be visually distinguished from whites. Tension exists between white Englishmen and those of Asian origin. On the one hand is genuine racism. There is equal contempt against the English by some Muslim immigrants as well as real security issues with terrorist and subversive elements harboured in the Muslim community.

Like the American military, there are members of different racial groups in the British armed forces. In the military it is critical that societal divisions based on race and ethnicity must not come between soldiers. Some jokes and behavior are not geared towards degradation but are intended subconsciously to create a feeling of brotherhood between individuals who had previously been living separate lives.

There may be situations when there is genuine bigotry and not this process of desensitization going on. If someone is denied recognition for their achievements or redress for their grievances, this is indeed very serious. But to attempt to introduce political correctness into military barracks in a high risk combat area creates the risk of aggravating racial and ethnic tensions.

I do not enjoy writing about British royalty gossip. Usually it has little more than occasionally sordid interest to readers with little educational value. This story is different. Prince Harry is actually serving in the British military. He does not deserve to be subjected to sterile and inane criticism that shows an ignorance of military life and problems.

This problem of establishing a team spirit also extends to a civilian working environment. People need to be able to be candid and sometimes brutally frank. There are different ways to establish that. Some people talk about their religions and customs with each other. Other people do it with ethnic humour. Taken out of context, remarks that are meant to be friendly ice breakers could end up being used in litigation. This makes life much more difficult for real victims of bigotry who must distinguish themselves from those who cry wolf.

I would like to know how many newsroom employees of News of the World are of East Asian ancestry. Great Britain, like the United States has a volunteer military. I have a feeling that relatively few reporters for that publication have served in Britain's armed forces or worked closely with members of Britain's minority groups. Their lack of familiarity shows in their naive indignation when reporting on Prince Harry in Afghanistan.

Racism and various forms of bigotry are real problems that occasionally claim real fatalities. There are also racists among groups considered to be oppressed who inflict real injury upon those they consider to be their oppressors. Stories like that of Prince Harry that we read in the News of the World are all too typical of the news coverage that does nothing to educate the public about an important issue.

Readers deserve better and more informed commentary than that in the News of the World.
Unfortunately, finding such opinions today is all too difficult. How unfortunate.

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1 comment:

Findalis said...

LOL love it. There is nothing there that every soldier in the world hasn't said or done. The British should take it for what it was, a comedy film made for fun.

But I expect the Muslims sorry Asians will be rioting over the Paki and Towel-head remarks.