Do we want to get past race? Then let’s shut up about it, already.
People are afraid to speak, for fear of being labeled racist. People are afraid to speak, for fear that anything they say, however innocently, might be construed as racist.
People are afraid to speak, because nobody knows what might become the next racist “code word.”
Using the word “master” in a metaphorical sense is a perfectly legitimate way to convey that your subject is a bootlicking peon who has long since given up his or her own will in order to please another’s.* The word “slavishly,” as well, which Hemingway mentions later in his post, has function in the English language.
Most damningly, she was labelled a racist. On one occasion she was reprimanded by the BBC for telling listeners she could not see black people in the dark.
‘We were running a campaign encouraging listeners to put their bicycle lights on,’ she says wearily. ‘I said that nobody can be seen in the dark wearing black, and that we should all wear white.
‘That wasn’t racist – it was inverted racism to suggest it was. The whole thing was so stupid. If people didn’t like what I was saying, why couldn’t they turn their radio off?’
She was later chastised for claiming that disgraced anti-immigration politician Enoch Powell was ‘the best Prime Minister this country never had’.
‘I was commenting on a newspaper review and mentioned Enoch was “said” to be one of the best Prime Ministers we never had. That wasn’t my opinion. I was four when he was a politician. Immediately it was claimed “Sarah Kennedy’s a racist”.’