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36 minutes ago, Gnash said:

I doubt he meant it to be racist, because if so he would have known the shitstorm and he would likely be sacked - why would he do that?  Also, surely he wouldn't apologise, admit it was an error of judgement and call it grotesque.  

When I saw the headline - "Danny Baker fired over royal baby chimp tweet" - I genuinely didn't get the connotation until I read the article detail.  I suspect he was the same - the racist background didn't enter his head.

All that said, the BBC had no choice but to sack him, and it really was an incredibly poor error of judgement.  People in his position (especially) need to be super careful when making social media comments and have to live with the consequences when they get it wrong.

I think it was probably inevitable that he would be sacked but only because people are afraid to stand up to the baying mob for fear of being associated with the mob's target.

I've, personally, no idea whether Baker is a racist. I've listened to a lot of his stuff over the years and have never detected any racism. He's also clearly an intelligent guy and so, it seems to me, that this was a genuine mistake. I find that more plausible than the notion that he intended the connotation but did it anyway to cause offence or to seem edgy. We'll never know though really what went through his mind before posting the picture.  

The most depressing feature of this episode is the immediate and unwavering rush to negative judgement by a lot of people. We don't know the truth but a lot of people are unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt. Those suggesting that the witch hunt is unreasonable are portrayed as fellow racists defending an 'obviously' racist act.

Very sad.

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I don't think he's racist. He claimed on a doorstep interview this morning that he wasn't aware of who had had the baby, just that there was a new royal baby. He's an intelligent guy. It's impossible to think that he wouldn't have been aware of any racial connotations, so maybe that really was the case -- he was the only person in the world who didn't know.

It's Louise Pepper I feel sorry for.

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I think it was probably inevitable that he would be sacked but only because people are afraid to stand up to the baying mob for fear of being associated with the mob's target.
I've, personally, no idea whether Baker is a racist. I've listened to a lot of his stuff over the years and have never detected any racism. He's also clearly an intelligent guy and so, it seems to me, that this was a genuine mistake. I find that more plausible than the notion that he intended the connotation but did it anyway to cause offence or to seem edgy. We'll never know though really what went through his mind before posting the picture.  
The most depressing feature of this episode is the immediate and unwavering rush to negative judgement by a lot of people. We don't know the truth but a lot of people are unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt. Those suggesting that the witch hunt is unreasonable are portrayed as fellow racists defending an 'obviously' racist act.
Very sad.


It’s not a contradiction to say that at the same time Danny Baker had no racist intent, and to say that it was a racist joke.

It was clearly a stupid mistake, but the result was racially offensive. As, presumably, a highly paid, high profile BBC presenter you don’t get the (white?) benefit of the benefit of the doubt.

It’s really sad, and he’s not helping his cause by complaining about 5Live. They had no other option, and it’s an incredibly serious issue.

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Just now, Savage Henry said:


It’s not a contradiction to say that at the same time Danny Baker had no racist intent, and to say that it was a racist joke.

It was clearly a stupid mistake, but the result was racially offensive. As, presumably, a highly paid, high profile BBC presenter you don’t get the (white?) benefit of the benefit of the doubt.

It’s really sad, and he’s not helping his cause by complaining about 5Live. They had no other option, and it’s an incredibly serious issue.

 

I'd say it's at the very least a semantic contradiction but I suppose depends on what you mean by 'racist'. That's a term which I'd probably only use to describe intent (even if unwitting). There's certainly a racist slur to be readily inferred from the picture in context. I suspect the joke itself had nothing to do with race.

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21 minutes ago, Savage Henry said:

It’s not a contradiction to say that at the same time Danny Baker had no racist intent, and to say that it was a racist joke.

I've been thinking today that maybe people have different definitions of "racism". I have always thought racism was a malicious act motivated by a negative disposition towards the victim's perceived racial group. I truly accepted that as being uncontroversially the definition of racism. On that definition, though, then the quoted passage above is incorrect. It would be a contradiction.

I am open to the idea that people who agree with Henry's opinion, above, define racism/racist differently. They perhaps define it as "tending to create or perpetuate negative connotations about a particular race". If that's the case then a lot of this argument about whether it's racist or not can be explained away as confusion about the term.

But there are lots of problems with the latter approach:

(1) since it is about the effect of the action, rather than the disposition of the actor, you can't now really call anyone "a racist"

(2) it tends to outrage universal concepts of justice to sanction people for innocently done things which have unintended consequences. Hence the concept of mens rea in criminal law.

(3) a racially motivated action which for some reason doesn't meet the definition of creating or perpetuating negative connotations wouldn't be racist. For example, a bunch of white guys jumping a black guy because he is black, but keeping that motivation entirely to themselves, would be simple assault rather than a racist act.

I am a lawyer (I know, I get it). It has been settled in the world's legal systems for hundreds of years that criminality almost always requires a certain level of intent. It has been decided this way for philosophical and practical reasons. Given the difficulties with now abandoning that approach when it comes to calling things racist (or sexist, etc), some of which are outlined above, I remain unconvinced by Henry's approach to calling things racist.

I think it can only be called racist if you can infer racist intent - and that is very difficult on Twitter!

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Also (as if I haven't typed enough) I don't think it's nearly as justifiable to cancel people because their actions innocently perpetuate negative connotations. There is a literally infinite number of innocent connotations that could potentially be perpetuated at any one time. Some are more obvious than others granted, but are we cancelling people for behaving dumb-ly? Quietly not renewing contracts, perhaps...

Edited by Margaret Thatcher

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In this case, we aren’t talking about criminal intent. It’s all about perception. I believe police initially treat crimes as “racially aggravated” if the victim believes it to be so. Whereas I can sit here and generally take a positive position on Danny’s intent, the perception of that post could quite easily be a racial one. In the end, Baker was stupid to the point of negligent, and that’s why he’s out of a job. Not because he’s a UKIP voting mouth breather - which he clearly, clearly isn’t. He has been sacked for gross incompetence, not racism.

I think people don’t malevolently perceive racism, in most cases. Therefore, if people perceive his tweet to be racist, there’s a real cause for questioning his suitability to be employed by the BBC.

It’s the ultimate case study in white privilege for me (or indeed the majority of Pie and Bovril, I would guess) to sit here and determine racial intent. Victims of racist aggression aren’t given that freedom. Whether I think it’s racist or not is neither here nor there.

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I'd say it's at the very least a semantic contradiction but I suppose depends on what you mean by 'racist'. That's a term which I'd probably only use to describe intent (even if unwitting). There's certainly a racist slur to be readily inferred from the picture in context. I suspect the joke itself had nothing to do with race.


I don’t disagree with any of that. He hasn’t been fired for being racist, I don’t think though. He has been fired for gross incompetence.

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20 minutes ago, Savage Henry said:



It’s the ultimate case study in white privilege for me (or indeed the majority of Pie and Bovril, I would guess) to sit here and determine racial intent. Victims of racist aggression aren’t given that freedom. Whether I think it’s racist or not is neither here nor there.

What? I can't speak for anyone else but this has got very little to do with racism for me and everything to do with the dangerous echo chamber of social media and the phenomenon of public shaming. This time it was an accusation of racism but it could just as easily have been any other subject matter which gathered enough critical mass of offence to set the ball rolling.

Maybe I'm only saying that as a middle aged, middle class, straight, CIS, able-bodied white man. Perhaps I just shouldn't comment about allegations of offensive behaviour against a particular group unless I'm a part of that group. Unless I'm condemning that behaviour. Presumably that's okay. That strikes me as a rather dangerous road to go down.

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Quote

In this case, we aren’t talking about criminal intent. 

No, but I refer to the criminal standard because it has been developed separately by societies around the world, guided by logic and in pursuit of justice, in a manner sought to reflect natural justice, by multi-disciplinary communities, and the intent standard is one aspect of criminal law about which there is little debate. In other words, it's an illustration of an approach to guilt which makes sense.

Quote

It’s the ultimate case study in white privilege for me (or indeed the majority of Pie and Bovril, I would guess) to sit here and determine racial intent. Victims of racist aggression aren’t given that freedom. Whether I think it’s racist or not is neither here nor there.

Sorry, the idea that white people are somehow less well positioned than others to determine racist intent is a nonsense.  It's another fudge, popularised on social media, to avoid evidential inquiry and create an apparent justification for cancelling people without evidential basis. Anybody can survey the evidence and determine intent. (Equally, anybody can consider whether the facts meet a particular definition and thus determine if something is racist). If you disagree with that and somehow believe it's a subjective rather than objective exercise, then white people are subjectively more able to determine intent since (in this situation) it's a white person what's done it.

Also, in relation to victims, there's no direct victim here, but a guy has directly lost his job, been publicly shamed, been subjected to abuse and become stigmatised. And we can't allow people who feel they are victim to determine whether they in fact are a victim, or we will all very quickly end up bankrupt and imprisoned.

Don't you see how illogical and unfair the popular approaches to these issues are?

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He has always had a section on his radio show about chimps dressed as famous people. That's where he was coming from. The racist inference was not from him, as @Margaret Thatcher eloquently states above. 

I had really thought that in this country we were not seeing skin colour as much any more. Seeing some US films can be quiet shocking when there are jokes that we've not found acceptable here since the 70s. Pitch Perfect 2 for example, as well as being gash, spends two hours pretty much pointing and laughing at Indians, Native Americans and a few others. It goes completely with comment despite the intent being to mock people based on race. 

Like the post from ICT Chris with the copy of the news article, journalists can get a very skewed sense of reality by spending so much time on Twitter. People on there are seeking attention. Are they genuinely offended for the newborn reptileoyal or are they vying for attention from peers? 

Of course there can be the vile appropriation of "chimp" to mean "black person". No way was Danny Baker inferring this but maybe it should have set alarm bells ringing in his head that this is exactly what would happen if he posted the pic. I don't wear a poppy any more. It doesn't mean I don't care about the sacrifices of our great grandparents but it does mean I don't want anyone to ever mistake me for a raving right wing simpleton. Danny should have known that things that create a stir on Twitter get reported as actual news now and just not bothered posting that. 

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Just went on that Corey Rebel's Twitter. He can't sing in tune, he can't even fucking speak properly. 

0/10. Will not go back. 

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It’s not a contradiction to say that at the same time Danny Baker had no racist intent, and to say that it was a racist joke.

 

It was clearly a stupid mistake, but the result was racially offensive. As, presumably, a highly paid, high profile BBC presenter you don’t get the (white?) benefit of the benefit of the doubt.

 

It’s really sad, and he’s not helping his cause by complaining about 5Live. They had no other option, and it’s an incredibly serious issue.

They had no other option? They had the option of not sacking him, giving him a telling off, and moving on.

 

You also suggest it's an 'incredibly serious issue'? Again, I strongly disagree. Racism is complicated and has many forms. A man posting a picture of a chimp in a suit is not one of the serious forms that exists in the world today.

 

It was pointed out that some people could take it to be racist, which is true, he removed it and apologised.

 

I'm shocked but not surprised by the actions of the BBC high heid yins, and I think he's spot on by calling them cowards.

 

If he had something in his past that clearly suggested racist intent, or if he refused to take it down because racism wasn't his intent, then sack him. Neither of those two things apply.

 

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Why did he post that picture with that caption in it? What could the joke possibly have been?

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9 minutes ago, throbber said:

Why did he post that picture with that caption in it? What could the joke possibly have been?

Mild ridicule of the powerful / famous.

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10 minutes ago, throbber said:

Why did he post that picture with that caption in it? What could the joke possibly have been?

Apparently he's the only person on the planet that didn't know that wee Archie has a black granny. And thinks that people throw bananas at black footballers because they look a bit peckish. 

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If the intent was racist, why didn't he also depict Meghan as a chimp or other racist caricature?

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If the intent was racist, why didn't he also depict Meghan as a chimp or other racist caricature?
Dont think he actually knocked up the picture m8

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