Backtothepoint and Ally Fogg – Brothers in Racist Jokes – Or why do they make an exception if it’s about Irish people

Sima Xiangru a bel-espirit in the Western Han Dynasty (208BC - AD24)

Sima Xiangru a bel-espirit in the Western Han Dynasty (208BC – AD24)

Backtothepoint and Ally Fogg – Brothers in Racist Jokes – Or why do they make an exception if it’s about Irish people

Not so long back Ally Fogg accused me of racism:

“Portraying all members of a religion, even those running an acclaimed humanitarian charity, as being responsible for the worst crimes of their social group is an extremely and inescapably racist thing to do.”


“I say in my guidelines that if you’re a racist shite I won’t necessarily delete it, but I will call you for racist shite. And I will add that if you pull any crap like that on my blog again, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ban your spiteful, racist little arse out of here faster than you can say boo hoo censorship.”

What prompted this outburst from Ally Fogg was the following exchange on his Man’s Answer to Radical Feminism blog:

From Ally Fogg:

“Just on the off chance that you really are as stupid as you are pretending to be… Jews are not an ethnic or genetic monolith, and not all people who have semitic ethnicity are Jewish. Are you going to argue that anti-semitism isn’t a form of racism?”

To which I replied:

“No I’m stating the exact opposite, that anti-Semitism is racism. Islam however is a religion and Muslims belong to most if not all races, nationalities and ethnic groups.”

Ally Fogg was silent on this distinction and not surprisingly as he had no answer.

So let me examine Mr Fogg’s record when it comes to racism and racist jokes in particular, for he I suggest is the guilty party.

Backtothepoint posted the following “joke” on You Tell Us on 8 September 2010 11:32am

“My favourite gag at the moment (sorry it’s a bit tasteless)
A small Irish boy is crying by the side of the road and man takes pity on him. “What’s wrong?” he asks.
The boy says “It’s me Ma. I just found me Ma dead in bed.”
“Oh bejaysus” the man says. “Do you want me to get Father O’Riley?”
The boy replies, “No thanks Mister, at a time like this sex is the last thing on me mind.”

Now is that…?

a) a funny dig at paedophile priests, institutionalised abuse and its covering up by the Catholic church
b) an unacceptable belittling of child abuse”

At 1:37pm Brooklynowes (it was me) posted in response to Backtothepoint:

“or is it

c) yet another racist joke that portrays the Irish as thick, country bumkins with a rudimentary grasp of the English language and grammar, who are sufficiently gullible to allow a celibate priest to have sex with them without a word of complaint?

Got any more jokes about West Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Japanese? How about some jokes about tight Scots or thieving Welsh just to make an evening of it?”

kizbotbettystanton and  peterbracken to their credit, each in their own way considered this to be a racist joke and / or tasteless, or both.

So what was Ally Fogg‘s response to whether this was a racist  “IrishJoke”?

“Whatever else the joke might be, the answer to that question is an unequivocal “No, it isn’t.” the joke is not remotely about Irishness.

It doesn’t actually play on or in any way bolster the racist stereotypes that Brooklynowes alleges.

Well how about these Ally Fogg, are these accounts of “Irish jokes” about racism and not remotely about Irishness?

Irish man takes P&O to court over alleged racist jokes.
The case at Manchester’s Civil Justice Centre

Irish victim of racist jokes awarded £6,000: Landmark tribunal ruling over taunts at machinist’s expense sends warning to employers over workplace culture

Editor quits in Irish jokes row  Denis Lusby stepped down as editor of a community magazine in Cornwall after it was claimed some jokes were racist.


When the late  Bernard Manning told a “joke” about black people you knew it was a bigoted, racist Englishman telling it and he knew it would reinforce the bigotry and race hatred of some of his audience, upset others and generate intense dislike, even violence in others. But if Richard Pryor told a similar “joke”, you’d know he was, at least in part, making a comment about the “tragic-comic aspect of the human condition”.

Richard Pryor was selected as the first recipient of the new Mark Twain Prize because as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor, he struck a chord, and a nerve, with America, forcing it to look at large social questions of race and the more tragicomic aspects of the human condition. Though uncompromising in his wit, Pryor, like Twain, projects a generosity of spirit that unites us. They were both trenchant social critics who spoke the truth, however outrageous.

When people pay to listen and see comedy they expect to laugh and to some extent their experience and how they feel about humour will play a large part in which comedians they pay to be entertained by.

This is not to say you can’t tell jokes on CiF. But no one should assume that their “joke” will be seen as a joke by everyone and that it won’t hurt anyone. Some will find every “Irish” joke objectionable and offensive, I do. Others will where religion, poor people, civil servants, politicians, immigrants and so on are the subject.  And if the objective of your posting on CiF is to win friends and be popular, Ally Fogg and Backtothepoint, you’d probably be well advised to avoid telling jokes.

Fortunately partly as a result of the various race and anti-discrimination measures and work place training, this kind of casual racism has largely disappeared in its most openly expressed form. You rarely hear “jokes” of the kind Backtothepoint and Ally Fogg find funny in the mainstream media today.

As I said on my only other post on that thread,  –  It’s the casual use of a national / racial / ethnic stereotypes that makes the so called joke objectionable.

And Ally Fogg calls me a racist.

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