Happy New Year, yes I realise I am 29 days late….but I like to identify my years by the Chinese Calendar …so technically the New Year has not started yet! January has been very eventful, award season is in full swing and British actors are bringing a couple of awards back to old blighty!
As we end the first month of 2015 on a Brit high, the golden man of the moment: Benedict Cumberbatch seems to have found himself in a middle of a predicament.
‘Benedict Cumberbatch under fire for ‘coloured actors’ remark’
How ironic that the golden boy of the moment has fallen a little after speaking about the lack of opportunities black actors have in the UK.
Firstly thank you Ben for being the person to confirm what all black actors (established and up and coming) from the UK already know. I am grateful, that you have spoken out. Despite black British actors such as David Harewood, Idris Alba, Sophie Okonedo making a similar account of the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK, I am sure UK industry folk may of assumed that black actors were/are just complaining for the sake of complaining. However it is always great to have a ‘savior’ with the aesthetics of Ben come to the rescue….you get the package right and people will start to listen to your story right?
To be honest, I can’t say that I am surprised by his ‘coloured’ comment. As a man who was formerly educated at Harrow School for Boys, I assume he may have people within his circles that still use the word ‘coloured’ when referencing a black person. Despite actor David Oyelowo jumping to Benedict’s defense and Ben being terribly sorry about the whole ordeal, I can’t help but think that Mr. Sherlock should have know better. I mean the race relations in America past and present are not exactly rosy and with all that has happened in the latter part of the 2014 (Ferguson, – Sony Leaks) people are definitely watching what they say and do! An actor like Mr. Cumberbatch who has played a range of complicated characters, strikes me to be a very intelligent man, so for Ben…to make a careless choice of a word such as ‘coloured’ ….I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by his Freudian slip but needless to say not really surprised.
It is a similar feeling of disappointment I have when I hear black people referring to one another by using the word N – Word. I recently expressed my opinion on the use of words such as ‘Coloured’ and the N-word with a stranger who was rudely looking over my shoulder whilst I was reading a news article about Benedict’s Freudian slip.
This stranger, was arguing that Ben should not be penalised for his mistake as black people call each other the N-Word as a sign of comradery.
I find it sad that in 2015, people still have this mentality that all black people share the same beliefs.
I mean really?!
I cannot speak for the black people who use that vulgar word, but I can speak for myself – a Ghanaian- British Woman. I do not condone using the N -word or the word ‘colored.’ Those words do not describe the many intelligent, ambitious, and driven black/ mixed race people I know or any black person I don’t know!
Those raw words reflect a time when a race of people were treated horrifically…and any individual who are tries to turn that N -word into everyday slang does not realise that by using that vulgar word in that manner DOES NOT soften the blow of past and present…..far from it….it rubs salt in the wound. A wound still yet to be fully acknowledged!
Despite the views of many well meaning liberals who believe they understand the plight of a black person in a western environment, I always find it interesting to see where they stand when they are presented with a situation like Benedict’s: a intelligent, talented , well- educated, upper class man who made a racist comment regardless if he meant it or not, regardless if David Oyelowo has jumped to his defense…..his comment was racist all the same. In my experience the same liberals who would cuss out a working class white person in a heartbeat for making a racist comment , always seem to find an excuse for the ignorance of a white upper class man. Funny how class changes everything!
If someone is very upper-class, you have a stereotype of him which is probably true. If someone has a working-class accent, you have no idea who you’re talking to.
I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.