View Full Version : The Essential Orwell of the... (the return)

10-25-2005, 12:20 AM
The TRIBUNE, August 11, 1944.

A few days ago a West African wrote to inform us that a certain London dance hall had recently erected a ‘colour bar’, presumably in order to please the American soldiers who formed an important part of its clientele. Telephone conversations with the management of the dance hall brought us the answers: (a) that the ‘colour bar’ had been cancelled, and (b) that it had never been imposed in the first place; but I think one can take it that our informant's charge had some kind of basis. There have been other similar incidents recently. For instance, I during last week a case in a magistrate's court brought out the fact that a West Indian Negro working in this country had been refused admission to a place of entertainment when he was wearing Home Guard uniform. And there have been many instances of Indians, Negroes and others being turned away from hotels on the ground that ‘we don't take coloured I people’.

It is immensely important to be vigilant against this kind of thing, and to make as much public fuss as possible whenever it happens. For this is one of those matters in which making a fuss can achieve something. There is no kind of legal disability I against coloured people in this country, and, what is more, there I is very little popular colour feeling. (This is not due to any inherent virtue in the British people, as our behaviour in India shows. It is due to the fact that in Britain itself there is no colour problem.)

The trouble always arises in the same way. A hotel, restaurant or what-not is frequented by people who have money to spend who object to mixing with Indians or Negroes. They tell the proprietor that unless he imposes a colour bar they will go elsewhere. They may be a very small minority, and the proprietor may not be in agreement with them, but it is difficult for him to lose good customers; so he imposes the colour bar. This kind of thing cannot happen when public opinion is on the alert and disagreeable publicity is given to any establishment where coloured people are insulted. Anyone who knows of a provable instance of colour discrimination ought always to expose it. Otherwise the tiny percentage of colour-snobs who exist among us can make endless mischief, and the British people are given a bad name which, as a whole, they do not deserve.

In the nineteen-twenties, when American tourists were as much a part of the scenery of Paris as tobacco kiosks and tin urinals, the beginnings of a colour bar began to appear even in France. The Americans spend money like water, and restaurant proprietors and the like could not afford to disregard them. One evening, at a dance in a very well-known cafe some Americans objected to the presence of a Negro who was there with an Egyptian woman. After making some feeble protests, the proprietor gave in, and the Negro was turned out.

Next morning there was a terrible hullabaloo and the cafe proprietor was hauled up before a Minister of the Government and threatened with prosecution. It had turned out that the offended Negro was the Ambassador of Haiti. People of that kind can usually get satisfaction, but most of us do not have the good fortune to be ambassadors, and the ordinary Indian, Negro or Chinese can only be protected against petty insult if other ordinary people are willing to exert themselves on his behalf.

- George Orwell.

10-25-2005, 01:11 AM
I love George Orwell.

That Punk Kid You Love
10-25-2005, 01:34 AM
From the diary of Chris Cabrrera from Dashboard Confessional:

"Waaa waaa waa! Oh God my ass hurts so bad from all the gay sex. That black guys dick was just so big I had to sit on it,stupid me. I guess I'll just write a song on my acoustic about it,afterwards I'll have a cry and masturbate to pictures of Dexter Holland.

Hugs N Kisses,Chris

10-25-2005, 05:49 AM
The other Orwell texts you have posted were better. This really just pointed out the obvious, it's nothing new or particularly unique (unless I'm missing something.)

You once posted a text by Orwell where he discusses paying his maid, and he pays her less and less, and she makes no resistance whatsoever. I don't really remember it, but I remember it was good.

10-25-2005, 07:59 AM
Hmm I just thought it was interesting to see how the demands of a rich, foreign, elite affected the local law. And what other writer today would call to challenge them with public outcry? I think of all the columnists of the 21st century who at every slightest offense on behalf of anyone scream out for "public protection" and "government intervention". They can't deal with the situation otherwise. None holds a candle to Big G. Racism? OMG that's not cool, someone step in and do something. Orwell is one of the very few who seeks out the source of the problem. The problem being: few rich, spoiled assholes who expect a foreign business to succumb to their demands. The solution? Balance out the clientele pressure so any owner will think twice. Simple and elegant.

You once posted a text by Orwell where he discusses paying his maid, and he pays her less and less, and she makes no resistance whatsoever. I don't really remember it, but I remember it was good.

That was Anton Chekov. I'm glad you liked it.

10-25-2005, 08:02 AM
I think assuming the problem of rascism lies in the hands of the wealthy elite could be a huge error. Certainly the rich have more influence than the poor, but that doesn't mean the poor can't be fucked up.

10-25-2005, 08:05 AM
That wasn't anything near to what I said. I haven't said where racism lays, nor did I write off the poor as non-racists.

10-25-2005, 08:07 AM
I was commenting on the text, which I admittedly read quickly, but I was gathering that Orwell was trying to assign almost total blame to a wealthy few.

10-25-2005, 08:09 AM
You were wrong.

10-25-2005, 08:15 AM
Ah, so I was. I should have added that he's also blaming Americans. How far Britain has come...

10-25-2005, 08:18 AM
Because Americans are to blame for this situation? He lays the blame where the blame is due.

10-25-2005, 08:29 AM
In his opinion. He even says "presumably in order to please the American soldiers who formed an important part of its clientele". Presumably. He presents no evidence for that, but backs it up by talking about a situation that happened two decades before.

10-25-2005, 08:32 AM
Wow you're thick.

10-25-2005, 08:36 AM
Amazing argument. Been learning from Wishomie? Next time just call me a faggot.

10-25-2005, 08:38 AM
No, I like calling you thick.

10-25-2005, 08:43 AM
That's because you like talking about my penis.

10-25-2005, 08:54 AM
Touché, monsieur.

10-25-2005, 08:56 AM
I hate it when I'm all like "man hp never posts" and then he does and I'm too lazy to read his post. :[

10-25-2005, 08:58 AM
You just love me for my pretty face? Not my intellect?