Apparently, the word or words which supposedly caused such great consternation were spoken in jest, in a lighthearted way.
...Palace aides said the Prince of Wales had taken a "dim view" of the footage in which his son also refers to "rag-heads" and makes a spoof telephone call to his grandmother, the Queen.
The 24-year-old Household Cavalry Lieutenant has issued a public apology but his comments were widely condemned as "sickening" and racist in tone.''
Why this hyperventilating over words, namely ''Paki", merely a contraction for the word ''Pakistani" and 'raghead' which is just a casual, rather slangy term for a Moslem?
When I first heard of this furor over the Prince's faux pas, I wondered aloud ''how is 'Paki' any worse than the term 'Brit'? After all, they are simply contractions of the standard English names for those nationalities.
But of course, as I well knew, the usual suspects would say that it's because of the ''legacy of racism'' or some such thing that 'Paki' is a shocking racial insult, and true to form, here comes someone called Murad Ahmed to educate us about why 'Paki' is a grave insult and an injustice and probably a prosecutable hate crime:
More than an ordinary four-letter word
Why is Paki an unacceptable word, but not Brit? Because of Britain's bitter racial history
'Prince Harry's three-year-old remarks have opened up a new debate about words. Some people have asked why, if it is acceptable to use “Brit” to refer to British people, and “Aussie” to describe an Australian, what's wrong with using Paki for Pakistanis?
Simple. It's because of history.
Paki is a word from a different age - one where it would be spat out just before an Asian received a swift Doc Marten boot to the head. It was more often heard in the phrase “go home, Paki” than “my Paki friend.”. It was intended to be a form of violence and intimidation towards immigrants who had come to these shores from the Indian subcontinent. It became, through its very use, racist.
To put it politely, anyone who thinks that the word Paki is acceptable is unaware of this sordid history or unable to understand its significance. Put another way, if you think that it's all right to call someone a Paki you're ignorant or stupid. See how using words in a certain way can come across as insulting or cruel? That's the point. Words are powerful, and we should take care how we use them.
It's not just another nasty four-letter word. The outrage isn't another example of creeping political correctness. It's about the experience of immigrant communities in Britain and the struggles that they endured when they came here in the Sixties and Seventies.
For Asians, there was once a time when it was no surprise that an authority figure, speaking in the Queen's English, would call someone a Paki. Just get on with it, thought many, we're the outsiders here.''
Well, yes, now that you mention it Murad, you are outsiders in the UK, just as I would be the outsider if I were living there -- even though my ancestry is mostly British, and more of my ancestors' bones lie in British soil than here in America. But yes, everyone not born in Britain to British parents IS an outsider there, which is just as it should be, if the world worked as it should
And if your parents experienced such 'struggles' when they came, what kept them there? Had they been so badly treated, such victims of ''racism'', surely they would have turned around and gone back to Pakistan -- which, after all, is home for them. But something kept them there.
So from where I sit, it looks as though the struggles must not have been too painful, as the rewards of living in the UK seem to have outweighed the downside. So forgive me, Murad, if I don't weep too many tears of sympathy for your immigrant parents, who seem to be enjoying privileged treatment in their adopted country now, despite the moaning about ''racism'' and hate.
Why do I say that they are privileged? Because they can demand and receive an apology from royalty, for Pete's sake. What more privilege can one ask? It only goes to prove to me that the order of things has been turned on its head in our benighted era. What does ''royalty'' in fact mean, these days, if a Prince can be made to grovel or apologize to people who are lucky to even be in his country?
Of course we all know that the royals in the UK as in most European countries are only figureheads, possessed of no real power, and who are accorded nothing like the deference and respect they once enjoyed as their birthright. Some of the more egalitarian-minded see this humbling of royalty everywhere as a good thing, as a sign that the idea of royalty is wrong and anachronistic, and that 'the equality of mankind' is triumphant everywhere. I have my doubts about that notion.
If nothing else, I think the royals, for all their faults, should at least be viewed as the representatives of the British (more properly the English) people. To the extent that they are disrespected and made to bow down to Pakistanis or anyone else, they are a sad picture of the humbling of a whole nation, a once-dominant race. Sad.
Here is my fellow blogger at Western Critique with a British perspective on the story:
...do we really need to know about every misdemeanour of Harry or the other royals? I agree they should be held to higher standards of conduct than us commoners. A pity Harry revealed himself in a crass ungentlemanly manner. He should be aware of decorum and how to politely refer to ethnic minorities. But the press should really not push this as headline news.''
I agree that there are plenty of more pressing stories which might be better covered, and that this story in the larger sense might be inconsequential, but it truly does illustrate the situation of all of us in the West, as we are compelled to bow down and make obeisance to the peoples over whom we once dominated, over peoples who once viewed us with a certain deference. How have the mighty fallen.
Many Americans sneer at the very idea of royalty and aristocracy, and tend to gloat whenever we see a member of that class humbled or made a figure of ridicule or fun. I think this is misguided. We've come to have this knee-jerk response that the old order of things was bad, and that egalitarianism is the correct order of things. We have this quasi-creed in the United States that ''I'm as good as (or better than) the next guy."
But how is that working out for us? Egalitarianism has not been our friend, and in fact, as I often stress, our forefathers did not embrace the complete leveling of society. Most of our Founding Fathers believed in a 'natural aristocracy' of character and ability, while our corrupt age believes that merit and character are nothing, that we are all equal in all respects.
Granted, most of the existing royalty in the world have shown themselves to have feet of clay, and to be just as capable of poor behavior as those from the lower rungs of society. But is that due to any intrinsic flaw in their makeup, or are they simply prey to the decadence of our age just like everyone else?
Personally, I would cheer if Prince Harry or any of the royals were to stand up to the PC vigilantes and simply refuse to apologize. I would love to see him assert some authority, though I know he has no actual authority. Think of what an inspiration it would be to many if he took a stand.
If nothing else this incident should illustrate to even the most obtuse among us that minorities, in a sense, have become an aristocracy in their own right, simply by virtue of their claim to 'victimhood.' They are to be treated with a deference that used to be reserved for true royalty, to be spoken of only in respectful tones, in euphemisms, and only in a praising manner, never criticized.
Why doesn't our recalcitrant American spirit, which so quickly rebels against deference to aristocracy, assert itself against the mandatory deference to minorities? Why are we so quick to bow the knee to 'victim' groups when we refused to bow to true royalty?
We can blaspheme the name of the Most High God with impunity. We can say what we like about political leaders -- as long as they are White, and not a member of a 'protected group'. But we dare not say anything less than respectful about minority groups.
Things are seriously amiss in the world when those who least merit it are given the most deference.