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Roy Hodgson’s monkey joke: the difference between mistake and malice | Hugh Muir

By: © Guardian News & Media Ltd

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© Guardian News & Media Ltd ( 99.09 )

Joined   13 Nov 2012

I'm glad we have laws and social parameters that keep bigots in check. But there's no need to bring out the ducking stool for a good faith cock-up

Got chatting with a friend the other day; a white English guy – a member of the caring professions. Liberal, sensible, politically aware; he was distressed. He had reason to address someone in the workplace who is Asian and he mispronounced their name. A work colleague, also Asian, rounded on him. "He called me a racist. I said, 'Oh, come on! That's nonsense. You know me. I just got a name wrong.'" The distressing thing, he said, was as the accusation was hurled, his history of cordial, even friendly association with his accuser seemed to count for nothing. Is the human cord so abruptly severed? Life on a knife edge.

One can be ever so careful, and one should, but in our society of .......

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