For the record, James Brown is NOT a racist.
He’s mates with someone who’s mates with Naomi Campbell, and she’s well black. And she’s made a career out of being the token black girl.
According to Brown, everyone who knows him knows that he is not a racist.
After all, Brown grew up on the tough streets of Croydon. He’s probably got loads of black friends. Brown used to live in New York too and he knew loads of “brothers” there.
Last week, in a (NON RACIST) rant backstage at an awards ceremony, Brown called Ben Douglas, a black TV presenter, a n***** eight times.
After Douglas recounted the story in the Mail on Sunday, sympathetic readers collectively scratched their heads at who was behind the vile rant, and within minutes, social networking sites had named the man as celebrity crimper and Kate Moss’ long-time friend, James Brown.
Twenty four hours later, James took responsibility for his actions, apologising and acknowledging his “out of control drinking” as the main perpetrator for his use of primitive pub language.
James Brown: Celebrity Crimper. Mates with Kate. Definitely not a racist.
Reading Ben Douglas’ first person account of this sorry saga in the Mail on Sunday, one can only feel a mixture of annoyance and amusement.
Firstly, it’s worth noting the fine effort of the Mail’s commissioning team; maybe they hadn’t seen a photo of Douglas – after all – his name doesn’t scream rural Nigeria.
This was truly a moment to savour. It’s an open secret that the Mail seldom includes ethnic minorities in positive stories in its publications – just read the chapter in Nick Davies’ ‘Flat Earth News’ if you don’t believe me.
Whether the Mail were doing their bit for the United Negro Fund or just proving a point, the stark bigotry that Douglas was subjected to confirms how the casual use of racial terminology is still deemed acceptable in today’s society.
Even though Brown wasn’t referred to by name in the article, as the author so gallantly didn’t want to ruin his career, Brown’s physical description, coupled with his association with Kate Moss, was a dead giveaway.
While I could dissect and analyse every part of Douglas’ article and read between the lines, I’ll refrain…you can make up your own minds. But one thing that got me thinking was whether the majority of ethnic minorities still get offended and upset if they are subjected to racial slurs? In effect, Brown asked Douglas’ friend if she liked chocolate spread on her bread. But if you are with a Caucasian friend/partner/husband/wife, should you be vulnerable to racial prejudices?
I thought about the times I have been the token black boy in a group of Caucasian friends; on the face of it, I was just as vulnerable to the comments that Douglas was subjected to. When I was younger, I thought racism was just a part of daily life. I never in a million years thought celebrities or important people could be racist, because they were far removed from the reality and harshness of daily life.
Nobody likes being called a racist (just ask Cheryl Cole), but making out you’re not a racist when you’ve been caught out (EIGHT TIMES!) is laughable.
Douglas isn’t the victim here – no – the real victim is James Brown. I suspect he was encouraged to ‘fess up and avoid a PR nightmare and furthermore, not to cause embarrassment to his mate Kate and damage to her brand.
Brown probably isn’t a racist. But he is pretty stupid.