John Taylor, Baron Kilclooney, former deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, has caused shockwaves in the political world by describing vice president-elect Kamala Harris as ‘the Indian.’ Angela Smith, Labour leader in the Lords, described Kilclooney’s remarks as ‘despicable and beneath contempt’, and is to make an official complaint.
Well, Kilclooney’s reference to ‘Biden’ and then to ‘the Indian’ is unquestionably derogatory. He should, of course, have said either ‘Biden and Harris’ or ‘the Irishman and the Indian’ and thereby put them on a par.
Biden and Harris are proud of their respective Irish and Indian ancestry, and since both subscribe to the BLM identity-cum historic victimhood politics, reference to their ancestral inheritance could hardly be objected to.
If Kilclooney then wanted to be offensive, he could at least have referred to the pair as, say, ‘the bog trotting mick and the overdressed fakir’, again maintaining parity between them, and avoiding the slur that his prejudices were partisan or motivated by colour.
Although such depictions deploy well-worn stereotypes, and might be judged racially motivated, they are nevertheless informative in drawing the contrast between Biden’s humble origins and Harris’s high-caste Brahmin maternal ancestry, which belies her historic victim status.
However, more imaginatively selected epithets would surely have drawn attention to Harris’s paternal descent from Hamilton Brown, an Irish slave-owner, and thereby revealed the BLM victimhood agenda for the hogwash it really is.
I have not researched Biden’s genealogy, but I suspect that his Irish antecedents were most likely labourers seeking a better future, perhaps even victims of the Irish famine, and therefore victims of British imperialism. But of course, whites are forbidden from claiming the status of historic victim because they are white. The correct contrast to draw would then be Biden as historic victim and Harris as historic oppressor brandishing a whip. Since there is no reference here to colour, and no partisan reference to either the Irish or the Indians, nobody could possibly take offence from some play on, say, ‘Sleepy Joe and Miss Whippy’.
Unfortunately, the pig-headed redneck Ulsterman Kilclooney was unable to summon the imagination the occasion demanded.