Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Why political correctness is the language of cowardice

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Many Spurs fans feel aggrieved that police have threatened arrests for using the word 'Yid' as an expression of their club's Jewish association
Many Spurs fans feel aggrieved that police have threatened arrests for using the word 'Yid' as an expression of their club's Jewish association

Back in my freewheelin' days, I lived as a bedsit beatnik in the heart of gritty norf Lahndan, innit.

On a Saturday, I would trip along to salubrious venues such as Hackney Marshes, and the impossibly-glamorously-titled White Hart Lane (in reality a council recreation centre) to play as sweeper for Wood Green Old Boys FC, flaking anything that came near the box. It always puzzled me how booting a ball out over the line would earn applause while playing soccer, however.

The ethnic groups that made our team were Gooners, Yids, and this 'Paddy.'

How did I react to such casual racial stereotyping? Well, it almost spoiled my post-match routine of stout, Jameson and 20 Major.

I wasn't upset, because I had no reason to be. Call me Paddy. What odds? Big swinging mickey.

Many Spurs fans now feel aggrieved that the police have threatened arrests for using the word 'Yid' as an expression of their club's Jewish association. 'Yid Army' is a crude title to identity yourself with, but it is their prerogative.

In some ways, the deployment of the word softens and diminishes its' ability to offend. With the domination of Hebrew over Yiddish as a spoken language, an argument can also be forwarded that they are perversely preserving a culture through the terraces.

While Chuck D and Public Enemy empower the black community not to be constrained by the 'n' word, we are corralled into buying into political correctness; the language of cowardice.

We should be free to express ourselves in whatever robust way we choose. Everything else is just hiding.

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