Sunday, May 04, 2008

I Make No Comment - I Merely Report ...

Music journalist Simon Price sounds like a bit of a Steve Strange for the Noughties - small town Welsh boy who's discovered the glorious freedom of swanning round the big city in makeup and outrageous garb. I wonder if he tries that in Stockwell or Harlesden ?

I confess to knowing zilch about him other than that he's noticed that the hippie/crusty/traveller scene is/was hideously white and middle class - which it generally was and probably still is, when I look at its modern enviro-activist manifestation. He thinks that's a bad thing, which is odd when you look at the profile of the club he runs in London - it looks pretty low on melanin to me (and looks like somewhere I'd have loved in my degenerate days).

He's written this for the Indie, on the Love Music Hate Racism concert last week :

I've been mugged three times in London. Now, looking at it objectively, spread over 20 years of living in one of the world's most crowded cities, that's not a bad tally. The trouble is this: every time, the perpetrators were young, male and black. On the third and most serious occasion, I was clubbed on the head with a metal bar, dragged into an alley, and held with a knife to my neck by one guy while his accomplice raided £500 from my bank account.

What do I "do" with that? The progressive thing to do is, if not write it off as a statistical blip, at least place it in the context of wider sociological factors. But one's intellectual and visceral responses are two different things, and as a committed anti-racist I was shocked to find myself flinching every time a young black male (particularly if dressed in a particular fashion) passed me in the street. Maybe I shouldn't have thrown that victim counselling leaflet in the bin.

This is precisely why Love Music Hate Racism needs to exist.
To keep Simon from having bad, Daily Mail thoughts ... he's 40 years old. I don't know, but I think it's unlikely he's bringing up a family.
At Angel Tube afterwards, I'm harassed by a gang of young guys with a Stanley knife. A couple of them are black; a few of them are mixed race; a couple of them are white. That may not be the kind of progress LMHR has in mind, but it's progress of sorts.
Well. What do you make of that ? As the psychiatrist in Fawlty Towers put it "There's enough material here for a whole conference !". I have no time to write a long essay, so let's just leave this as it is.