Let's review the evidence. Is Morrissey racist?

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Scattered about this site are various posts explaining why Morrissey is a racist or otherwise.
I'd like to think not but there are the songs and the comments.
If it is an unfair accusation it would be great to see all the arguments dispelled.
The comment that most concerns me is the chinese 'subspecies' comment.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I don't think he's a racist. I think many of his more "controversial" statements are deliberately cooked up to get publicity, and the whole "subspecies" incident is a prime example (as are his Norway remarks). Morrissey is more shrewd than it might seem; he understands how the Press works - and, knowing that they can manipulate him (e.g. the NME stitch-up), he frequently feeds them "soundbites" because he knows it will get his face in the papers. As for his erotic obsession with skinheads and thugs - he knows full well the connotations of that imagery, so he's got himself to blame for the consequences.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
His erotic obsession with skinheads and thugs is my obsession with trolls. :p

I do not believe he is racist.
 

everydayslikesunday

Junior Member
Personally I have never thought of Morrissey as being a racist. He appears to me to be simply proud of this country. Unfortunately for some strange reason in England if you openly show support for this country, you are seen as a right wing thug.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
I don't think he's a racist. I think many of his more "controversial" statements are deliberately cooked up to get publicity, and the whole "subspecies" incident is a prime example (as are his Norway remarks). Morrissey is more shrewd than it might seem; he understands how the Press works - and, knowing that they can manipulate him (e.g. the NME stitch-up), he frequently feeds them "soundbites" because he knows it will get his face in the papers. As for his erotic obsession with skinheads and thugs - he knows full well the connotations of that imagery, so he's got himself to blame for the consequences.
No Amy, I agree that I do not think he is a racistist but if anyone else other than my favourite pop star had called the chinese a subspecies, I would call them a racist. I suppose, though, it is a single statement out of context.
 

CrookedLittleVein

Duck. Duck. Duck. Goose.
I think the fact that Morrissey’s songs and interviews generally give rise to the question “Is Morrissey racist?” rather than the statement “Morrissey is racist” is a pretty fair indication that he isn’t. Racism is really not that hard to spot. Morrissey is forthright, challenging, playful and passionate. More power to him. There aren’t enough incendiary figures in modern life.

I love political correctness. The thought of people falling over themselves in a desperate bid not to upset anybody is genuinely beautiful. Enforced political correctness is another matter. When we’re enraged about something (the abuses of animals in China, for example), we should be able to take off the PC gloves, because the way we feel about the issue at hand is far too important for prissy f***ing about. If that means we say something upsetting, inappropriate or just plain wrong, so be it. Every now and then, Ghandi needs a machine gun.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Personally I have never thought of Morrissey as being a racist. He appears to me to be simply proud of this country. Unfortunately for some strange reason in England if you openly show support for this country, you are seen as a right wing thug.
I think that carictures the position in the UK. There is a suspicion of nationalism. This is not too suprising for people of my generation, growing up in the 70's, the only place you saw the union jack was at National Front rallies. But these days you have the likes of Billy Bragg who attempts to reclaim the idea of country, place and identity.
But your basic point that just because Morrissey displays some affection for being English does not make him a nationalist thug, believ
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Sorry. To continue the above, you basic point I believe is true, although if he loves this country so much he could try living here.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
I think the fact that Morrissey’s songs and interviews generally give rise to the question “Is Morrissey racist?” rather than the statement “Morrissey is racist” is a pretty fair indication that he isn’t. Racism is really not that hard to spot. Morrissey is forthright, challenging, playful and passionate. More power to him. There aren’t enough incendiary figures in modern life.

I love political correctness. The thought of people falling over themselves in a desperate bid not to upset anybody is genuinely beautiful. Enforced political correctness is another matter. When we’re enraged about something (the abuses of animals in China, for example), we should be able to take off the PC gloves, because the way we feel about the issue at hand is far too important for prissy f***ing about. If that means we say something upsetting, inappropriate or just plain wrong, so be it. Every now and then, Ghandi needs a machine gun.
Hey Crookedlittlevein, may I disagree on your view on PC? I think the characterisation of lots of handwringing liberals being terrified of being offensive is off the mark.
I think we live in society where people do suffer because of their sexuality, race or whatever. The question is why do we live in this climate, how do we change it. Whilst the languague we use may not be the sole cause I think it has the power to persecute and isolate. When I was young, words like Paki, yid, et al were in common use. Now, noone uses those terms. This is a good thing and is contributary to a more tolerant society. Is there common ground between our views my friend?
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
No Amy, I agree that I do not think he is a racistist but if anyone else other than my favourite pop star had called the chinese a subspecies, I would call them a racist. I suppose, though, it is a single statement out of context.

This is the key. Morrissey was referring specifically to China's notorious record of animal rights abuses, he didn't just pull "the Chinese" at random from his list of People To Insult. I think he used the wrong word in saying "subspecies" - what he meant was probably closer to "subsection", but of course that doesn't sound half as dramatic and wouldn't ruffle as many feathers :rolleyes:
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
This is the key. Morrissey was referring specifically to China's notorious record of animal rights abuses, he didn't just pull "the Chinese" at random from his list of People To Insult. I think he used the wrong word in saying "subspecies" - what he meant was probably closer to "subsection", but of course that doesn't sound half as dramatic and wouldn't ruffle as many feathers :rolleyes:
Absolutely Amy, but if you or I wanted to express the same sentiment I'm sure we would do a better job. I'm sure we could avoid insulting have the population of the world.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Sorry. To continue the above, you basic point I believe is true, although if he loves this country so much he could try living here.

The reason he doesn't live here is because then he'd have to pay what he owes to Mike Joyce.

Edit: I've read on several occasions that he owns a house in Dublin, so he's not exactly a million miles from the UK.
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
Absolutely Amy, but if you or I wanted to express the same sentiment I'm sure we would do a better job. I'm sure we could avoid insulting have the population of the world.

Of course, but then we don't have records to sell and a public image to maintain (a large part of which hinges on his 'controversial' nature in the first place).
 

smiler

Junior Member
No Amy, I agree that I do not think he is a racistist but if anyone else other than my favourite pop star had called the chinese a subspecies, I would call them a racist. I suppose, though, it is a single statement out of context.

well that a misquote for a start he apparently said ""Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."

"can't help but feel" is very different from "had called...."

Anyway i think this is probably the closest thing to racsim he has ever said - its is a little ugly - but i don't think he's racist at all

skinhead does not equal racist by the way

Interesting to see how many of the poster and moderators (you know who you are - as do we) will be brave enough to spread their small minded twisted gossipy comments and accusations now (since we have had the libel trial confirmed) - come on speak up those of you that were previously so vocal and happy to spout their rubbish with glee in every thread- are you brave enough to call him racist now?
 
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Peterb

Well-Known Member
well that a misquote for a start he apparently said ""Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies."

"can't help but feel" is very different from "had called...."

Anyway i think this is probably the closest thing to racsim he has ever said - its is a little ugly - but i don't think he's racist at all

skinhead does not equal racist by the way

Interesting to see how many of the poster and moderators (you know who you are - as do we) are brave enough to spread their small minded twisted gossipy comments and accusations now (since we have had the libel trial confirmed) - come on speak up those of you that were previously so vocal and happy to spout their rubbish with glee in every thread- are you brave enough to call him racist now?
Interesting, I did not know the original quote although, as you say, it's still pretty ugly and badly thought out.
I think you being unfair to everyone on this thread. no one is being gossipy or small minded. Like it or not, there is enough baggage for this question to be valid. No one has said 'skinhead = racist', but there was a time when it almost always did and the imagery can be a threatening one, especially if you've some bad experiences.
 

the_kaz

Active Member
Although I think this is an open question, I don't think that the "subspecies" comment means anything incriminating. As an above poster mentioned, "You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies" is very different to saying "The Chinese are a subspecies." I'm absolutely not a Morrissey apologist, but I'm surprised at how much controversy that simple comment generated.

Regarding the matter at hand, I actually think it's very likely that, had I not been a Morrissey fan already, if I heard all of these accusations and then listened to the lyrics of 'Bengali in Platforms', I'd probably think that Morrissey is racist. However, knowing what I do about Morrissey and his music, I think that 'Bengali' is an interesting take on being an outsider (and, in my opinion, an under-appreciated classic!). 'Bengali' is the only one of the so-called "possibly racist" Morrissey songs that I can see anything potentially questionable about in the lyrics (though I don't think he means it to be racist, even if his views are that way inclined). I can't see anything remotely "racist" in any of the others that get mentioned. I mean, really, how can anybody who's actually listened to 'National Front Disco' and 'Asian Rut' possibly see anything racist in those lyrics?
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Although I think this is an open question, I don't think that the "subspecies" comment means anything incriminating. As an above poster mentioned, "You can't help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies" is very different to saying "The Chinese are a subspecies." I'm absolutely not a Morrissey apologist, but I'm surprised at how much controversy that simple comment generated.

Regarding the matter at hand, I actually think it's very likely that, had I not been a Morrissey fan already, if I heard all of these accusations and then listened to the lyrics of 'Bengali in Platforms', I'd probably think that Morrissey is racist. However, knowing what I do about Morrissey and his music, I think that 'Bengali' is an interesting take on being an outsider (and, in my opinion, an under-appreciated classic!). 'Bengali' is the only one of the so-called "possibly racist" Morrissey songs that I can see anything questionable about in the lyrics (though I don't think he means it to be racist, even if his views are that way inclined). I can't see anything remotely "racist" in any of the others that get mentioned. I mean, really, how can anybody who's actually listened to 'National Front Disco' and 'Asian Rut' possibly see anything racist in those lyrics?
I agree Kaz. There is another song I don't know very well called 'This is not your Country'. This one worries me although maybe someone who knows the song could post an explaination.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
I agree Kaz. There is another song I don't know very well called 'This is not your Country'. This one worries me although maybe someone who knows the song could post an explaination.

Are you serious? You know it's about British presence in Northern Ireland, right? Bit more reading/listening would help rather than crass generalisations.

P.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Are you serious? You know it's about British presence in Northern Ireland, right? Bit more reading/listening would help rather than crass generalisations.

P.
Hey Uncleskinny, take a chill pill and re-read my post. "There is another song I don't know very well called 'This is not your Country'" Please note the "I don't know very well" and then I ask for an explainations. I'm trying very hard just to discuss this in an open and friendly manner without starting a slanging match and find out about what I don't know. If you want to get snarky could you not post elsewhere?
 
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