No. One SPECIES.
Like cats dogs pigs cows and chickens, we can all interbreed,we all have
a common set of ancestors, but we have different BREEDS, or RACES.
It's not a hugely useful distinction in the human case,what with all
this globalisation, but it does exist.
And, like breeds, different races have different characteristics. Some
are taller, shorter, darker lighter, whatever.
Certainly genetically we
Well thats like saying a terrier is like a labrador except for comestic
differences. They are not. They have inbred generic characteristics that
are quite different.
Any distinct ecosystem that carries humans will over time evolve a set
of genetic traits suitable for living there. Mountain dwellers in hot
countries are supremely good runners at low altitude. Highly developed
lungs, able to dump heat well. Thats why Kenyans win marathons. It
possible to develop some of that with intense training, bit its a lot
harder, and no amount of training will net you a nice black skin capable
of radiating heat in humid conditions.
One applies the term 'race' in a totally un perjorative way to such
Racism, is not discrimination by race, its *illogical and perjorative*
discrimination by race.
Every time you select cox's orange pippins over golden delicious, you
are in YOUR terms, being a racist. Selecting something on the basis of
Frankly there is nothing WRONG with racial discrimination. If I want a
sexy tall model to appeal to afro carribeans, I'm going to pick Naomi
Campbell, assuming she isn't staying in bed all dat ;-)
OTOH if I want a shit hot racing driver,I'd be hard put to know whether
I wanted Lewis Hamilton or Kimi Raikonnen. There hasn't been much
natural selection to make any races much nbetter at a wheel than any
oter, just a lot of CULTURAL factors that make it unlikely that someone
who has grown up in te plains of Africa, is going to find it easy to
make a car dance. Stick that person in teh boredom of Stevenage or
Helsinki, and there is every reason that they WILL do. What else is
there to do?
Perhaps the term should only be used for
Oh my gawd. Its you that has the problem. All people are different, some
differences appear broadly associated with distinct geographical areas
of origin, others do not. y all means use race if the particular
variation is so associated, and anyone who resents it is a fool.
OTOH in the original context of this post, we were not discussing race.
Travellers as such are not a race, never have been and never will be.
They have always been comprised of some sort of itinerant subclass that
for whatever reason found it easier to make out on the road, than not.
I cant remember who decided to call them a race and start a furore, but
whoever it was is the person with the beam in their eye as it were.
Yes, so don't introduce race, because it ain't relevant. It exists, as a
moderately useful concept, but in this case its not applicable. The
Pikeys are the ones who would like to hide behind calling themselves and
ethnic group, so that they could cry 'racial abuse' when the fuzz come
in and boot them off someone else's land.
Not to tackle them is
No,. its down to politics of silly liberalism.
The sort of silly liberalism that wants on the one hand to make laws
against racism, and on the other to deny that race as a concept exists.
This double think always goes unnoticed.
But differences within 'races' are often greater than differences
between. The difference is in behaviour and belief, not genetics.
I also abhor the misuse of the word discrimination. The word means to be
able to distinguish one thing from another, e.g. good art or furniture.
It does not mean to be unfair or unjust. Another case of the language
being abused to strengthen dubious arguments.
Actually I was making exactly that point. I did not introduce 'race' but
was arguing against it. This is not about 'race' whatever that means
(and I still don't believe it is a meaningful term). It is about a group
of people who exhibit similar and anti-social behaviour.
It is unwillingness to stand up to PC people who exhibit woolly thinking
and use meaningless terms like racist to support their insupportable
views. PC has been defined as being offended on someone else's behalf!
Not at all, IMHO the word is generally used (in its perjorative sense) as a
shortened form of "discrimination against..." in which case it is correct,
i.e. in distinguishing between things (people in this case) with a view to
disadvantaging one group of them. I don't think this is in conflict with the
We all have our pet word hates though and mine is "institutionalised
discrimination" (or "institutionalised racism"). In my view
"institutionalised" means (well, *should* mean) it is built in to the rules
and structures of an organisation. Racism *may* well be "rife" or "endemic"
or even "out of control" in certain UK police forces but one of the few
clear examples of one where there was "institutionalised" racism was the
South African Police force under apartheid, where there were different
rules, cells etc., for black and white. If you use the same word, how do you
distinguish between the two (which are, whatever your views on UK police
forces, very different). None of this is any comfort to those discriminated
against, of course, but it's of interest to linguists, who have their place!
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not)
No, it is used in "UNFAIR, or ILLOGICAL discrimination against.." or
There are a million case of logical and fair racial discrimination one
could think of.
I have no problem with the disadvantaging of them, I have a problem with
the illogical disadvantaging of them.
I.e I have no problem with black, yellow, or female airline pilots. I
WOULD be concerned if one came up to the plane in a wheelchair though..;-)
Conversely, as an employer, if I wanted someone to do a job for me
sitting at a computer all day, I'd pick the one in a wheelchair over the
young attractive, always getting chatted up, gossips in the coffee room,
soon to be married and want maternity leave, female one, any day..;-)
Generalised discrimination is a survival trait. In many countries,.
lacking specific knowledge, you avoid, shoot or beat to death all
snakes. This is unfair on plenty of quite nice harmless and peace loving
snakes, but it only takes one to give the whole lot a bad name.
In my time in Africa I only ever saw one snake, swimming across a river
we were canoeing down. I was going to give it a hard time with a paddle,
but my companion said 'leave it, its probably harmless' so we took a
It was later identified as a puff adder. Probably the most lethal snake
there.. you never know, unless you *know*.
By and large, sadly, and to the great regret of all concerned, there is
a lawless, thieving subset of travellers, in any group of same. Lacking
specific knowledge, they all tend to get tarred with the same brush. The
subset is what one calls 'thieving pikey bastards'. This may indeed
cause a lot of babies to get thrown out with the bathwater, but that's
their problem, not mine. If THEY can't (or won't) police their own
communities, and they will *not* allow the police to do it either, that
is their problem.
I was on a flight with two lady drivers last week. Well.. one was the
I thought that the green mamba held the title for that. I've seen one
of those in SA. Big bugger. Long and moves fast. The locals refer
to them as a "two beer" snake - i.e. that's how long you've got.
Slight exaggeration, but then these guys were a little like the
protagonists in Blood Diamond.
I think thats the one that has the highest death record. The adder is
the most poisonous per unit venom or something like that.
Actually the most dangerous animal is the hippo. More people die from
hippos than any other wildlife apparently.
Apart from disease borne by parasites and insects of course.
It's a bit involved and depends on method of delivery as well
Effect of Puff Adder venom is mainly haemotological AIUI, and there is
time to seek treatment.
I meant black not green mamba - they are more prevalant in southern
Africa - they often have a greeny hue though. Their venom is
neurotoxic and can kill in 30 mins without treatment. OTOH recovery is
claimed to be nearly 100%
I've heard this and certainly trackers etc. seem to treat them and
elephant with the most respect.
Not exactly sure if that is so in Africa..I believe the biggest killer
is dysentry more or less.
I don't know if you have ever been, but the ease and rapidity with which
one acquires 'raging bacterial infections' is totally different from
here. As a European, with access to antibiotics and Immodium, and the
wealth to buy bottled water, and strerile salt and glucose pills, its
not that big a deal...but for Africans...its a killer. And now AIDS.
And malaria and other tropical diseases are rife, still.
My guess is that AIDS is probably the biggest killer in southern africa
Ok in places like the Congo and Sudan, where there are nasty little
tribal wars going on, it's maybe not..
It never ceases to amaze me hopw people who haven;'t travelled simply
cannot comprehend life outside of European suburbia..not saying that
applies to anyone here, mind..
I remember 7 or 8 years ago, when taking a vacation break in Botswana
and crossing the border from SA by road. There was a large sign up at
the immigration pointing out that something like 1 in 7 of the
population was infected with HIV. That's in a country which is
relatively rich per capita.
On that scale, we live in a very compressed band. What is especially
noticable as one moves further away from western Europe is the enormous
contrasts between the haves and the have nots and the apparent
inconsistencies. For example:
- People living in cardboard box shanties outside Cape Town with
satellite dishes on the roof.
- People sitting by the roadside in Moscow drinking from bottles of
cheap perfume while large S class Mercedes with tinted windows drive by
spraying them with muddy slush.
Aye, that's the rub.
It's the 'expecting it both ways' bit that incenses.
Its one thing to wander along a wilderness seashore, picking up crabs,
rubbing two sticks together to light a fire and eating them, but rather
a different thing to wander down the high street, gathering lead and
copper out of working installations, and sell it to buy fish and chips.
The answer is obvious. Wander by night into a Pikey camp and nick
everything you can. Again and again.
If the simple act of possession is what someone lives by, then so mote
it be. Relieve them if their possessions.
Such lessons I have always found to be the most instructive.
I have done it myself to someone with this sort of attitude.. 'where did
you learn that trick?' 'From you....'
The etymology of 'Pikey' is believed to be a contraction of "turnpike" -
referring to persons conducting a lawless, vagabond lifestyle. It doesn't
have any inherent racial connotation, AFAIK. I'd hazard to suggest that
Romany Gypsies certainly do not consider themselves to be 'pikeys', and
regard such people with contempt. In summary, Dave described a low-life
thief with a word that means low-life thief.
simply have some labels printed with the wording "Isolated - safe to
work as long as this notice is present" on one side. Print you advert
on the other, attach to a known live 11kV cable with the safe to work
notice outward and wait for trade to come rolling in.
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