[Marxism] Re: Ali G.

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Wed Jul 21 16:38:35 MDT 2004

Ed George wrote:
> When all is said and done, the fundamental problem I have with Ali G. is
> this. However funny he may be, however politically well-intentioned he
> is, however many direct hits he is able to score on the rich, powerful
> and nasty of this world, he is, all done and dusted, a white man
> pretending he's a black one.

No he's not pretending to be black, he's pretending to be a white guy 
from the suburbs who would like to be black - this is something quite 

> Never mind the way he panders to
> (white-constructed) stereotypes of black people (and leave aside the
> queue of Uncle Toms who in turn play this particular trick for the white
> gallery), blacking up is reactionary territory with an even more
> reactionary history.

He doesn't black up - he actually is the same colour as his character.

> But then (correct
> me if I'm wrong) we are all, just like Sacha Baron Cohen, white
> ourselves, aren't we?
I may be white but being Irish and having lived in Britain I know what 
it's like to be on the receiving end of racism. I remember the stupid 
Paddy jokes and the Irish Uncle Toms like Frank Carson that used to play 
up to the stereotype (very different from the subtle Irish humour of 
people like Dave Allen) - I can even remember seeing signs that said "No 
Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish" while on a visit to England as a kid.

So I think I can detect racist humour when I see it - and Ali G doesn't 
fit into the category even if he makes me cringe at times.

einde O'Callaghan

More information about the Marxism mailing list