Dirty Looks and Dignity

Last week, TV chef Lorraine Pascale told her Twitter followers about an incident where she went to a country pub and was told by the landlord- to her face- that ‘all niggers should go home’. He stated that he refused to serve black people when they ventured into his establishment but she could stay because ‘his wife liked her cakes’ (how nice of him). So she tweeted that she gave him her ‘best bitchy LP glare, paid for my pork scratchings and walked right out’ adding that you have to ‘laugh off’ these situations.

Naturally, this incident drew a lot of responses. One in particular caught my eye (not least because she’s on my timeline). This lady was furious not just with the man’s outburst, but also with Pascale’s rather muted response and rightly so. If someone said that to me in an establishment of any sort, I wouldn’t pay for a piss, let alone a pack of pork scratchings. I’d leave him to wallow in his prehistoric claptrap. So the lady (who was also black) tweeted along the lines of ‘why did you pay and help fund his pub and why didn’t you name & shame his pub?’ and that Pascale should ‘wake up’. She in turn replied that she had been fighting racism and the like for the past forty years, was ‘tired’ of doing so and that she was ‘well awake, thank you’. So the lady continued to question her and Pascale subsequently blocked her tweets. Blocked for stating the bleedin’ obvious!

The only reason this ignoramus bothered to allow Pascale to stay in his pub is because she’s on TV and his wife liked her, but if she was A.N.Other black person, he would’ve barred her the minute she stepped through the door. And yet she still paid for the products he sold, thus lining his pockets. All she gave him was a dirty look, but in a way she handed out a harsher punishment to the lady who replied. If that was me, I wouldn’t purchase a damn thing from his pub.

Why she never named and shamed the place is beyond me. A gay couple were banned from a London pub in the summer for kissing and they named and shamed the pub in question, leading to hundreds of gay men standing outside this pub one evening for what resembled a Flashmob gay kiss-off. Pascale may not have wanted the publicity but then why tweet about it to your followers and get annoyed at the backlash to your actions?

Personally, I would jot the address down and tell the world where it is so they could track it down on their GPS. I’d post about it on every social media outlet and tell everyone about that man’s racist ramblings and his establishment. What is the worst he can do- sue me? Unlikely. If anything, he would turn up in some tabloid, digging his own grave by telling the world that he’s proud of his views.

It’s not like he muttered it under his breath, he said it bold as brass in her face, like she should be grateful that he let her stay in her pub. And by purchasing something, she made him think ‘Ah, you can spout any old shite at a black person. Call them a nigger to their face and they’ll still line your pockets’. To ‘laugh it off’ is nonsense- don’t laugh it off, tell him off! It’s the type of incident that should make you upset and berate the man for daring to look you in the eye while saying such bile.

It took me a while to process this mess. There is no way I would let an ignoramus like that get away with what he said, with the only punishment being a filthy look (which he probably didn’t even notice during his tirade). Another tweeter replied that Pascale acted with ‘dignity’. There are times when you show dignity- this was not one of them. Yes, there are times where someone has a go at you out of the blue and you are taken aback because it is so unexpected. As a result, your brain freezes and you cannot give the required riposte. But she had the wherewithal to give him a dirty look! And it seemed that Pascale acted more patronisingly towards the lady who questioned her than the man who inflicted the racial abuse (and I am pretty sure she was not the only one point out the same questions or was baffled by her actions).

If he (or any other pond life) spewed such bile in my face, I would check my watch and tell him that he was years out of date with those prehistoric views and he could take his pork scratchings, shove them in a rather delicate position where the sun does not shine and take my custom elsewhere. Or at least tell him, ‘You’re so 1920s’. Unbelievable.

© G. Holder 2012

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