Thursday, 29 October 2015

No, you're not racist for wearing a poppy.

It's that time of year again, kids. Just as we get ready for the latest tranche of Facebook posts about towns and cities in the UK banning Christmas trees because they supposedly offend non-Christians, our bullshit meters are tested by the natural pre-emptive - defiant posts about how people are wearing a poppy in remembrance regardless of whether it's racist.

Let me say one thing. Wearing a poppy isn't racist. It's a personal choice that lots of people make to remember those lost in War. When it comes to questions in this area, there are a few we need to consider.

Are you wearing a poppy?

Are you doing something that could otherwise be considered racist whilst wearing said poppy?

If the answer to both of those questions is yes, you're probably being racist, but just doing the first one whilst going about your business isn't racist at all. So, you're safe. If you're popping to Asda to buy eggs whilst wearing your poppy, you're in the clear. If you're digging the garden and wearing your poppy, you're probably alright. If you're calling somebody the n-word whilst wearing it, the poppy is the least of your worries.

I'm probably not alone in getting annoyed about this. EVERY YEAR we're subjected to the lazy kind of clickbait from groups like Britain First, trying to convince normal British people that their sensibilities and way of life are under threat - and here's the thing, it isn't. It's so ludicrous. No, you're not going to be called a racist for wearing a piece of paper pinned to your shirt. It is still, gladly, very rare that anybody would burn a poppy wreath, and the same tawdry story has been doing the rounds for years. Councils are not banning remembrance.

Let's just imagine, for a second, that rather than our country being involved in some kind of crackdown - that these things, these detritus Facebook posts are actually just the urban legends of our times. Before Facebook, we told stories about Shelley's cousin's half-sister getting pregnant because she shared somebody's bath water. Now, we see the same kind of rubbish going round and round, regardless of how many times it's been debunked or derided.

Let's just all try and play our part in not spreading the ill-informed contagion. And besides - I don't have the time, I'm making gluten free mini-cakes for my WinterFest party, AND I DONT CARE IF U THINK I'M RACIST (share if ur brave enough).