When I was a kid, Dave Whelan was one of the big boys. Possibly a Teddy Boy, but certainly someone whose formative years were in the surroundings of wartime Britain.
“We” were killing “them” and “they” were killing “us”.
You can’t get more racist than that.
Your side were using flame throwers to turn their soldiers into human torches and films were made, applauding this.
As a child of those years I learned that a chair was a chair and an Italian was a Wop, or an Eyetie. The older generation may have felt contempt when using such epithets but as a kid I learned the words without the connotation.
We used words that I would be pilloried for writing down here. One such is designated as the n-word in Modern Britain, although strangely this euphemism is more semantically loaded than the original word, as it was then used.
In the USA, this word had always been used with contempt and only seemed, to me, to become unacceptable in Britain, when the Civil Rights marches in the USA made us aware of the visceral reaction amongst those people who now call themselves African-Americans. That didn’t really work in this country and after playing around with black, or coloured and rejecting both, we seem to have settled on black, which has also replaced the Latin word “negro” on official documents. (this is probably the only case in the language, where the Anglo-Saxon word is more acceptable than the Latin version).
Other words now unavailable include “queer”, although I was at college before I heard one refer to himself as “gay”. It was another 20 years before the word “gay” became the”correct” term.
What is now referred to as the c-word was, I thought, the accepted word for that part of a woman, until I came across the word “vagina” in a copy of Penthouse magazine.
There has always been a generational thing with words. Words such as “fuck” and “shit” are freely used Today, although, you could be arrested for using them in my youth. There, again, my dad blew his top, once, when, as a teen, I told him that I felt “chuffed” (look of puzzlement on face of reader, who has never come across this word which is of similar origin to “shagged”).
My generation will continue to try to avoid using such words in front of a generation which would verbally stone us to death for using them but they can’t expect us to feel the righteous indignation that they revel in, when one of us slips up. Nor can they expect us to consider talk of “fisting” and “bum-love” as topics for polite conversation, We aren’t desperate to be considered as non-homophobe.
Remember; It was our generation that changed the Law, so these acts were no longer punishable by imprisonment.
It was also our generation that brought in the Race Relations Act and welcomed Asians, as British Citizens, fleeing Uganda. People who were rejected by India as foreigner’s.
It’s our fault that the present generation holds the views that allow them to sneer at our generation. We created their mores.