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Bacup Nuters and Racism

Howard Jones 30 Apr 14 - 07:23 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Apr 14 - 04:06 AM
Howard Jones 30 Apr 14 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,CS 29 Apr 14 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,# 29 Apr 14 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Apr 14 - 02:49 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 29 Apr 14 - 02:23 AM
Gibb Sahib 28 Apr 14 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,# 28 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 28 Apr 14 - 05:15 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 28 Apr 14 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Eliza 28 Apr 14 - 02:43 PM
IanC 28 Apr 14 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Eliza 28 Apr 14 - 10:35 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Apr 14 - 10:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Apr 14 - 09:25 AM
Gibb Sahib 27 Apr 14 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Apr 14 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,# 27 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM
TheSnail 27 Apr 14 - 07:25 AM
meself 26 Apr 14 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Eliza 26 Apr 14 - 02:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Apr 14 - 12:58 PM
Vic Smith 26 Apr 14 - 12:41 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Apr 14 - 12:25 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 12:18 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,CS 26 Apr 14 - 12:03 PM
TheSnail 26 Apr 14 - 11:51 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 11:21 AM
TheSnail 26 Apr 14 - 10:42 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 09:39 AM
TheSnail 26 Apr 14 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Apr 14 - 07:22 AM
TheSnail 26 Apr 14 - 06:51 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 06:39 AM
TheSnail 26 Apr 14 - 06:13 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 06:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Apr 14 - 05:18 AM
Mo the caller 26 Apr 14 - 03:59 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Apr 14 - 03:05 AM
TheSnail 25 Apr 14 - 07:44 PM
Vic Smith 25 Apr 14 - 03:46 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Apr 14 - 03:23 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Apr 14 - 03:23 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Apr 14 - 02:51 PM
Vic Smith 25 Apr 14 - 02:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 25 Apr 14 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 25 Apr 14 - 01:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 07:23 AM

Les, "nigger" didn't carry the same offensive overtones (in the UK at least) that it does today. I find it unsurprising that people going out blacked-up might refer to it as "niggering" without necessarily implying that they were pretending to be black people.

Of course it could also derive from minstrelsy - we don't really know. I don't doubt that "traditional" blacking-up and minstrelsy became confused and intermingled. I do question whether minstrelsy was the origin of blacking-up in morris and other English customs. As I explained, the fact that it only appears in some customs and not others (despite other aspects of minstrelsy appearing) suggests to me that these already had a practice of blacking up before minstrelsy came along.

The question whether or not morris sides today should black up is a different matter and a complex one. The origin of the custom is just one consideration, and perhaps not the most important.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 04:06 AM

Howard:


Another quote from the same thread, from Dave Hunt:

'A version of the 'A' part of the tune is also used for the tune known as 'Clee Hill' as collected from Dennis Crowther who is from that area, which is not far from Ludlow in South Shropshire. The tune was used by the morris/molly dancers from Clee Hill area and in 'pre-PC' days was known as 'The niggerin' tune' as the dancers went out with blacked-up faces and called it 'Goin' out a-niggerin' The use of the term molly instead of morris,was common in Shropshire and I have met people who remembers 'Going out molly-dancing' in East Shropshire in the 1930s-40s '

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 03:59 AM

There is already a lot of discussion on blacking up within the morris world. The origins are unclear, and some attribute its origins to minstrelsy although there seems to be some limited evidence of earlier blacking-up.

I'm inclined to think that blacking up was part of morris and other traditions before minstrelsy. Minstrelsy was an huge part of popular culture for a long period and it would be remarkable if it did not have an influence on existing traditions as well as spawning new ones. However, whilst Cotswold morris, to take one example, adopted many minstrel tunes it did not adopt blacking-up. This suggests to me that minstrelsy merely reinforced those traditions such as Border where blacking-up was already part of the custom, rather than being the origin of the practice. However this is pure hypothesis on my part.

I don't think morris need be ashamed of the practice, although there are good reasons in our modern more multi-cultural society to consider whether it should continue. Many modern morris sides have made the decision to use different colours to avoid giving offence. Others take the view that there is nothing else in the tradition to suggest that black people are being imitated, let alone ridiculed, and that it is important to preserve our customs against political correctness. I think both attitudes are deserving of respect provided they have been arrived at after careful consideration.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM

Thank you for your comment GUEST#.
I've just been watching Ouse Washes Molly on Youtube (dancing 'Criss Cross' at Whittlesea Straw Bear) I've seen lots of Molly dancing and come to like it very much. No sticks or hankies, just some very strange multi-coloured costumes and often coloured faces of blue, green, pink, white and, yes, black. I think this might be 'a way forward'(as they say in business meetings!) for all Morris sides. I'd like to keep things as they are, but if anyone is hurt or offended, then I see that minor changes could remove any unpleasantness and make Morris dancing of all sorts able to be enjoyed by everyone.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 09:52 AM

"if black people here in UK are offended, then perhaps some modification of the costume/make-up could be considered. So I admit I've learned a lot!"

There's an awful lot of contemporary 'tradition' in Morris dance; biker morris (with motorbikes) steampunk morris, pagan morris - as such and as there is both an historical and contemporary precedent for alternative colours to black-face, it probably couldn't harm - at least where it's become a contentious issue - if black-face sides were to simply adopt ivy green, maroon, or midnight blue, or even patterned faces?


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,#
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 09:07 AM

"So I admit I've learned a lot!"

That's part of what makes you one of the more respected posters on this site, Eliza. IMO.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 02:49 AM

I found that site black-face.com very informative, GUEST#. Certainly the history in USA of representing black people by whites as certain unflattering stereotypes isn't very edifying. I suppose we in UK may have 'imported' some of these attitudes, but I do believe it's slightly different here. We haven't the historical connotations of freed slaves, black 'mammies' etc that the black-face.com site explains pertain in America. Uncle Ben's Rice is widely sold in Ivory Coast and eaten by the rather better-off Africans, (and by my husband on rare occasions when they could afford it!) I've just asked him if his family ever resented the black face on the box of this rice and he laughed. He thinks it would be weirder to have a white man on the packet for a product sold in an almost entirely black country! I have to say, after participating in this fascinating thread, I've shifted my perspective quite a bit. I now feel the Bacup side could be seen as insulting to black folk if taken the wrong way. I also see that the origins of this particular black-face entertainment could be derived from American stereotyping. And I also agree that if black people here in UK are offended, then perhaps some modification of the costume/make-up could be considered. So I admit I've learned a lot!


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 02:23 AM

Yes, that was the film. I found it quite a profound experience to realise how much I was programmed into how I regarded people based on their colour when I superficially thought that I was above such things!
I had it slightly reversed (I saw it back in the 70s), a white man wakes up to find himself black after an accident with a sun tan bed or similar. The lead part was played by a black actor.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 08:39 PM

Black belt,

The film you might be thinking about is _Watermelon Man_.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,#
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM

This might help, Eliza.

http://black-face.com/


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 05:15 PM

We are I think very 'programmed' by the skin colours we see around us. I'll never forget the first, magical visit I made to a village in southern Senegal. It was extremely strange to be surrounded by a sea of totally black faces in the street, and the people there were amazed to see me too, and kept calling out,"Toubabe! Toubabe!" (White person!) But that isn't racist, just a natural reaction to something different. We must be careful before bandying around the term 'racism'. There are nasty racists about, but I believe most people are perfectly okay with different skins, just curious and interested.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 04:25 PM

I would have thought that the use of black for a face colouring by white people is to achieve the most effective disguise, and that the use of white colouring by black people is equally effective.

Wasn't there a film about a black guy waking up and finding that he had become white overnight? (No jokes about Michael Jackson please). It was quite a shock to the eye to see how different the actor in the film looked just by having a change of skin colour. When I saw the film I had only had experience of the "Black and White Minstrels" on TV (strange that it was one of the first programmes broadcast in colour) and it made me realise just how much I was conditioned to regard skin colour in general.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 02:43 PM

I know that, IanC, but I was thinking about the far distant past. If my memory serves me aright, the reddle (sic) man in Hardy's novel Return Of The Native had a permanently reddled face, so the dye obviously stained his skin red! (I wonder if that's the origin of the phrase 'looking a bit raddled'?)
Any American folk on here have an opinion on whether blacked-up Border Morris dancers from UK would be looked at askance if they performed over there? Interesting to know.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: IanC
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 11:36 AM

Raddle isn't really an option. Its great advantage for marking sheep is that it's permanent!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 10:35 AM

Just had a look on Youtube, and could only find the border side called 'On The Border' performing in Vermont. But they weren't blacked-up. Quite a few Cotswold sides have performed in USA, but they never black up. So it's a good point Gibb Sahib. I too wonder whether Americans would accept either Bacup Nutters or any black-faced Morris side dancing in their country?


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 10:35 AM

Thanks Gibb, one of the best pieces of writing on this thread


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Apr 14 - 09:25 AM

No more that the rest of us, Gibb. Welcome to the club :-) I think you make some very valid points.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 09:56 PM

There were "blacking up" customs (I think "custom" is a better, more neutral term than "tradition") before American blackface minstrelsy.

However, I think minstrelsy assigned it's own meaning to blackface — even if the similarity to earlier customs influenced the use of minstrelsy blackface. That is, prior customs of blacking face are not irrelevant to minstrelsy, however, minstrelsy's blackface is appreciably distinct.

Blacking up, of course, went on to become a custom or performance practice of minstrelsy that was also perpetuated "just because." Most probably know that there were African-American minstrel performers who also blacked up - because it was the way one performed minstrel music.

Blacking up means several things. And the act of doing it wasn't always (and in some periods/contexts, wasn't most of the time) a gesture of racial hatred.

However, nonetheless it was largely a product of racism, no matter what the intent. And it had negative effects of a racial nature.

I think it's very possible to understand blackface minstrelsy as "simply the way it was" AND also as deplorable racism at the same time. Awareness of that has caused it to be discarded, even if the practice persisted in some enclaves where audiences did not find it objectionable (e.g. local productions, with mainly non-Black audiences). The point is that the ethics of blackface were interrogated.

The ethics of the Morris blackface can also be interrogated.

Have the Border sides performed as such in USA? Whenever I hear about them, I think about how I can't imagine their being accepted in USA. My assumption, perhaps false, is that they are able to continue in those "enclaves where audiences did not find it objectionable."

I think it is possible to do racist things without having "racist intent."

After a point, in blackface minstrelsy, performers could reasonably argue that their blacking up did not have racist intent. However, it did have (however unintended) racist repercussions. Serious repercussions.

I can understand if Morris performers are not interested in dealing with these questions. The places where and the audiences for whom they perform, possibly, allow them the "luxury" of not having to fully deal with it.

I don't object to them existing. I do think, however, that framing their practice under the magical concept of "tradition" might not be adequate if one is interested in ethics. "Tradition" makes it sound like things are inviolable and inevitable. "Custom" opens the possibility of assessing whether a change is appropriate.

I'm rambling.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 02:52 PM

Sorry M, but which planet are you living on these days? I ask because it's not so long ago that a senior member of UKIP was foaming at the mouth about bongobongoland. Then there's this other eejit who's been telling Lenny Henry he ought to live in a black country. And there's many other examples I could cite.

Then there's that latest round of UKIP posters, which I find offensive, never mind the ethnic minority.

No, the United Kingdom Independence Party isn't racist. Just every goddamn member they've got.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,#
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM

I understand that Donald Sterling will be having them do the cheerleading at the next Clippers' game.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Apr 14 - 07:25 AM

Les in Chorlton
I am with Jim on this please stick to the premise of the OP and don't get side tracked.

Well, actually, the OP had some things to say about Lewes Bonfire that I'd quite like to reply to but in the current atmosphere I don't know if I can.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: meself
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 09:01 PM

The "reddle man" is a character in Return of the Native.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 02:21 PM

I should think that lamp-black was very easy to obtain, as it's basically soot from burning wicks of lamps or candles. One can also use the burnt end of a cork. I know the 'guisers' I had at the door in Edinburgh used burnt cork to blacken their faces. For red faces, sheep-farming areas would use 'reddle' (used to daub the ram and indicate which ewes he had serviced). This was a brownish-red colour and sold by the block by travelling reddle men. Thomas Hardy wrote about them. I believe some Molly Dance sides allow their members to use whatever colours they like, including blue and green. The more I think about it, the more I'm tending to the idea that the Bacup crew were in fact meant to look like black people in the early days. But I still don't see any harm in it. (But then, I'm not black am I?!)


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:58 PM

Good point, CS. That was another thing I had forgotten. Surely, people would use whatever was available in abundance to colour their faces at the lowest cost. Red clay in that case. Maybe coal dust in coal mining areas or soot in others? Another possibility to add to the dozens of other theories :-) And perhaps blacking up would be more acceptable if it was not the solid black of greasepaint but the smears provided by coal or it's derivatives. Although I don't know what health and safety would have to say about it!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:41 PM

"piss of, the pair of you.

Exeunt all who came here for reasoned discussion rather than to read insults... as well as those who favour correct grammar and spelling.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:25 PM

Fred started an important thread on here and I think most people have responed thoughtfully and I think the thread has explored a number of issues well.

Please don't post unless you have read most of the above. I am with Jim on this please stick to the premise of the OP and don't get side tracked.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:18 PM

I've backed them up - you don't accept what I've said, your problem, not mine.
Someone just restarted the discussion we interrupted - please piss of, the pair of you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:09 PM

Jim

If you are not willing or able to back up your outrageous allegations, it might be wise not to make them in the first place.

If your response to being challenged is then to suggest the discussion is moved elsewhere, I suggest you know you have no basis for those allegations.

Put up or shut up.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 12:03 PM

Haven't read the whole thread, but of tangential interest might be the memories of the late Diane Easby of this forum, who reported here on a couple of occasions the local (Yorkshire I believe) tradition her grandfather partook in, of using local red clay soil to colour the face.. err red.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 11:51 AM

Then don't start them.
Byee.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 11:21 AM

NO I don't - I demand we let others who were specifically discussing Bacup get on with it.
I really have said all I have to say on the events at Firle, but am happy to fine tune anything you wish but not here
You want to discuss it - fine, open another thread - you don't, then I suggest you do the other thing!!
I've got myself into far much trouble in the past by allowing head-to-head arguments spoil discussions
Feel free.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 10:42 AM

Jim, I am responding to things you have said on this thread which is about racism (perceived or actual) in traditional customs. You seem to be demanding the right to hand out deeply offensive allegations without any comeback.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 09:39 AM

As I said Bryan - not here
Why not use one of the other threads which are being used for just about everything at the present time?
Or feel free t open a specific one - Ican't see what more there is to add to this on a thread about a specific subject
It really isn't fair for us to monopolise this discussion with our arguments - give them a break
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 09:16 AM

Jim Carroll
It may be extremists who organise the symbolic burnings of caravans and Papal images, et al, but it is those who allow them to continue and proliferate by their attendance, support and encouragement, and by the authorities continuing to licence them.
You finally got round to (sort of) answering my question when Dave the Gnome asked it (Thanks, Dave) but your answer is just the sort of thing that the Islamophobes and racists use to justify holding their chosen hate group collectively responsible for the actions of a few.

It is you who is being selective
In what way? Specific examples please.

mine was a general point about parades with racist and sectarian content.
No it wasn't. You explicitly accused "the good people of Lewes" of "burning a caravan full of 'Pikeys' at their annual bonfire festival.". Since this pack of lies is clearly a deliberate attempt to stir up trouble between the settled and traveler communities here in East Sussex, I wonder if you might not be liable to preosecution under the race relations act yourself.

You wan't to fiscuss what happened in Firle
No, Jim, I want to discuss why you consider it acceptable to spread misinformation and to make blanket accusations of racism against entire towns (later extended to entire administrative districts) to further your cause. In short, why are you using the same tactics as the bigots you oppose? That has been my point from the start. (Not the burning of religious effigies at public celebrations which you have twice on this thread described as "innocent".)

The Caravan burning led to ten arrests - no prosecutions - due lack of evidence, no doubt
Whereas you, in Miltown Malbay, KNOW THE FACTS. You read them in The Times. All the CPS needed to do was read the same articles and they'd have all the evidence they needed to prosecute not just the Firle 12 but the entire population of Lewes District. Perhaps they did and that's the problem. They were looking for evidence of something that happened in Lewes on Bonfire Night.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 07:22 AM

"The Caravan burning led to ten arrests - no prosecutions - due lack of evidence, no doubt"

Precisely, Jim. If no crime had been committed, then there would be no evidence. But that doesn't mean that the event didn't cause offence.

There were no prosecutions at Darkie Days either. The police - like many others - don't seem to understand the legislation.

No record of complaints at Bacup, except from Lancashire County Council on grounds of road safety.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 06:51 AM

Vic Smith
"Have you met my brother?"

I was once involved in a similar incident. I was following our mutual friend Sandra out of the Lewes Arms when she turned to say something to me. I had stepped aside and she found herself addressing Peter who is six foot, short haired and black. I am none of those things. Sandra giggled and said "I'm sorry". I siad "It happens all the time. we're brothers actually." to which Peter replied "Yeah, separated at birth.".

I'm told that when Peter marches with Cliffe Bonfire he is known as The Invisible Smuggler.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 06:39 AM

Sorry Bryan
It is you who is being selective - mine was a general point about parades with racist and sectarian content.
You wan't to fiscuss what happened in Firle, I suggest you open a thread bout the burning of religious effigies at public celebrations and let's slug it out there - not here
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 06:13 AM

Jim, when I posted this link (not realising that someone else already had done) -
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/nov/16/raceintheuk.uknews
I said "It does, however, look at the whole issue". You went though it and picked out the bits that suited your prejudices and ignored the rest. Utterly dishonest.

When I quoted this -
Residents of East Sussex village were shocked and horrified after a caravan with effigies of Gypsies was burnt at a village bonfire party organized by the Firle Bonfire Society
from an account of the event on a Romany website http://veshengro.tripod.com/id61.html you ignored. It didn't suit your argument. That account also quoted a statement from the chairman of Firle Bonfire Society giving their reasons. He described it as feeble. It was.

You pick and choose your evidence. Is that a technique you learnt from Keith A. of Hertford?


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 06:10 AM

Because it is the "extremists" who cause the violence Dave - not the religions involved.
It may be extremists who organise the symbolic burnings of caravans and Papal images, et al, but it is those who allow them to continue and proliferate by their attendance, support and encouragement, and by the authorities continuing to licence them.
The Caravan burning led to ten arrests - no prosecutions - due lack of evidence, no doubt
Happy to discuss this off-line, but I suggest we cease nausing up this discussion
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 05:18 AM

Sorry people, thread hijack here, but I do hope this will clear up something.

Unfortunately, these events are the responsibility not just the organisers, but those who attend them (and, as in this case, who respond positively to them), and those who allow them to happen by licencing them - there should be no "reason" for them.

Jim, that seems rather hypocritical. If it is not just the responsibility of the organisers, but all involved, then why do you keep insisting that the Islamic religion is not responsible for the actions of a few extremists? Don't get me wrong - I agree that the whole of Islam is not responsible etc. But by the same token the whole of the people who attend the Lewes area bonfires are not responsible for the actions of this few. I am interested to know how you are differentiating between the two situations.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 03:59 AM

Going back to 'blacking up'.

I suspect that, from before a time when we saw many people with other skin colours, the colour black had certain resonances. Darkness, the night, dark deeds, sin.
Other cultures used different colours for some concepts - "though your sins be scarlet".
The symbolism could leak into our thoughts about other races.
And now the symbolism of the Black & White Minstrels has leaked (or returned if it was there in the origins) into black-faced Morris.

So maybe time for a rethink rather than relying on the 'I don't mean any harm' plea.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Apr 14 - 03:05 AM

Apologies for the double posting Vic - it keeps happening and has been mentioned before - not intentional - something to do with my mishandling my posting.
Anyway - apologies if I mistook the incident as happening at the Lewes bonfire - my error.
The point of my comment in the first place was to illustrate the sensitivities that lie behind some of these ceremonies and the raw nerves they are capable of touching - illustrated pretty graphically here, I think.
Unfortunately, these events are the responsibility not just the organisers, but those who attend them (and, as in this case, who respond positively to them), and those who allow them to happen by licencing them - there should be no "reason" for them.
This was not just the action of twelve people, but of all those who were there.
The Traveller situation is not a "Sussex" one, but an international problem - it concerns me - my "raw nerve".
Burning effigies representing any culture or religion, and carrying banners such as those of one group that declares "no Popery" is inflammatory (pun intended) and verges on the illegal.
My apologies for my mistake, but my point remains
Finis
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 07:44 PM

I'll try again -

The point I am trying to make or rather the question I am asking is what is the difference between blaming the the entire population of a town (now extended to an administrative district) for the actions of twelve people and blaming all Islam for the actions of the extremists? You continue to avoid answering.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 03:46 PM

Well, hands up, Jim, you are totally correct. If it is in the non-Murdoch Guardian it cannot possibly be wrong. and if is so important that you have posted it twice, it must be true. The whole article is from sources that are reliable and can be thoroughly checked (including 'George').
Let's admit it. Sussex is a hotbed of unreconstructed racist fascists, so we have no hope. We might as well use all the gunpowder in Lewes just to blow the whole place and the people in it up and let other people come in and start again (though hopefully not with immigrants).


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 03:23 PM

From - non "Murdoch" Guardian
Jim Carroll

Yet for many travellers encamped near Firle, the police investigation has highlighted a very modern problem. Firle's 'caravan of hate' is not the first time this year that travellers' vehicles have been deliberately set ablaze in Sussex. In Peacehaven, a petrol bomb attack against Gypsies was reported to police. At Crawley, Margaret Murphy woke last April to the smell of burning. A petrol-soaked firework had been lit beneath a van next to her caravan. Within seconds, the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Her three-month old puppy, Spot, stood no chance.

'If the alarm on the van hadn't gone off, the gas canisters and petrol generators would have exploded, the whole camp would have perished. Hundreds would have been killed,' she said.

Now camped 40 miles south in a park above Brighton, she feels safe. Yet travellers nearby say that, only a few weeks ago, they were attacked with a barrage of fireworks aimed at the renovated coaches they call home. Others claim to have found stockpiles of rockets alongside petrol cans close to their camp. Bricks hurled through windows and verbal abuse are among a dossier of complaints.

Elsewhere, 'No Travellers' signs have been hung outside a launderette at nearby Hove and also at a pub in Lewes. Although there is no connection between events in Firle and such complaints, campaigners insist the occupants of the 62 official travellers' caravans in East Sussex are by far the most persecuted minority in the region.

'Attitudes towards travellers remain comparable to those experienced by Black Americans in the 1950s', said a spokesman for Brighton-based Friends, Families and Travellers.

Last summer, the 12-strong committee of the Firle Bonfire Society faced a familiar challenge to choose the 'Enemies of Bonfire', the reviled local figure or group whose effigies would be burnt and paraded along the single narrow street of their village. As always, it was a heated debate for the committee of 'everyday working folk', whose members include an electrician and carpenter. 'They're just good village lads basically,' said George, a lifelong resident of Firle.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 03:23 PM

From - non "Murdoch" Guardian
Jim Carroll

Yet for many travellers encamped near Firle, the police investigation has highlighted a very modern problem. Firle's 'caravan of hate' is not the first time this year that travellers' vehicles have been deliberately set ablaze in Sussex. In Peacehaven, a petrol bomb attack against Gypsies was reported to police. At Crawley, Margaret Murphy woke last April to the smell of burning. A petrol-soaked firework had been lit beneath a van next to her caravan. Within seconds, the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Her three-month old puppy, Spot, stood no chance.

'If the alarm on the van hadn't gone off, the gas canisters and petrol generators would have exploded, the whole camp would have perished. Hundreds would have been killed,' she said.

Now camped 40 miles south in a park above Brighton, she feels safe. Yet travellers nearby say that, only a few weeks ago, they were attacked with a barrage of fireworks aimed at the renovated coaches they call home. Others claim to have found stockpiles of rockets alongside petrol cans close to their camp. Bricks hurled through windows and verbal abuse are among a dossier of complaints.

Elsewhere, 'No Travellers' signs have been hung outside a launderette at nearby Hove and also at a pub in Lewes. Although there is no connection between events in Firle and such complaints, campaigners insist the occupants of the 62 official travellers' caravans in East Sussex are by far the most persecuted minority in the region.

'Attitudes towards travellers remain comparable to those experienced by Black Americans in the 1950s', said a spokesman for Brighton-based Friends, Families and Travellers.

Last summer, the 12-strong committee of the Firle Bonfire Society faced a familiar challenge to choose the 'Enemies of Bonfire', the reviled local figure or group whose effigies would be burnt and paraded along the single narrow street of their village. As always, it was a heated debate for the committee of 'everyday working folk', whose members include an electrician and carpenter. 'They're just good village lads basically,' said George, a lifelong resident of Firle.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 02:51 PM

No Brian - I did not "ignore" what happened in Miltown - I condemned it at a public meeting at the time, I wrote to the local people over it and I have mentioned it several times on Mudcat - and have included it as part of several talks we have given on Travellers.
How dare you accuse me of "double standards" and at the same time talk about "reasons" - there can be no "reasons" for such disgusting display - non at all - and you continue to allude to them.
I had not realised that they were not part of the Lewes Bonfire Night, but that is beside the point - they were part of a bonfire night in Lewes District.
I suppose I assumed they were a Lewes happening because of the reputation Lews has for Secretariat displays of the type which we are acutely aware of, living in Ireland
You are wriggling and blaming "them next door"
Do not damn well accuse me of double standard - I've got myself in trouble on this forum for attempting to stop one of the usual suspects from having his pop at minority cultures.
I've spent thirty years advocating for Travellers rights - take your own "double standards" elsewhere.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 02:04 PM

The incident of the burning of bonfire replica, a tableau of a travellers' caravan at Firle Bonfire more than a decade ago was a totally unacceptable perversion of the aims of Bonfire and it reflected badly on the whole Bonfire movement and this was realised immediately on that occasion by the vast majority of people who attended the event.
The reaction of many national newspapers at the time and the misunderstanding of how these things are organised locally by the press and by those who have quoted them as gospel in this thread does not reflect well on them either.
These public displays need to be aware of these sensitivities, it isn't too long ago that the good people of Lewes were burning a caravan full of 'Pikeys' at their annual bonfire festival.
Just how many misconceptions and misinformation are included in this statement?
The tableau that are burned at bonfire are controversial figures from either local or national news - last year Assad was the choice of many societies as were various expenses-fiddling MPs the year before. How many people know who is going to be parodied in this way? Very few indeed. The societies keep it a closely guarded secret with watchmen on the construction sites. Do society members have a say, a vote on who the target should be? No they do not. It is a closely guarded secret and most people are pleased for it to be a surprise on Bonfire night.
What the Firle people did was wrong
Did the people of Firle know what tableau was going to be burned that night? No they didn't. How many would have known? Perhaps ten or a dozen. Was this tableau well received when it was unveiled? No, it there was revulsion and horror in many people's reaction and people who were there tell me that it was booed.

But the newspapers decided it was a blot on the entire community and a decade later those opinions are trotted out again here.


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 01:55 PM

I think I am warming to the idea of black and white, Eliza. Sort of symbolic of racial harmony. Could become a tradition :-)

DyG


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Subject: RE: Bacup Nuters and Racism
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 25 Apr 14 - 01:36 PM

"I am fully aware of the 'ethnic cleansing' level of hatred towards Travellers, both in Britain and in Ireland and tend to react badly towards it - as I do with suggestions that there might be a "reason" for that level of hatred to wards any other group of human beings."

Really, Jim? The whole of the population of Britain and Ireland have an "ethnic cleansing level of hatred towards travellers"?

Where is your evidence?


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