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Sunday 31 August 2014

Jeremy Clarkson brands racism critics 'extremist' members of 'the liberal lynch mob'

The Top Gear presenter also revealed what he thinks constitutes as a racist joke...

Published 19/05/2014 | 21:09

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Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson who has said he is on his final warning following a racism row. PA
Jeremy Clarkson brands racism critics 'extremist' members of 'the liberal lynch mob' PA

Jeremy Clarkson has branded those who criticised his apparently accidental use of racist language when he recited the rhyme ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe’ during an untelevised piece to camera ‘the liberal lynch mob’.

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He also labelled those who questioned his inherent political incorrectness in reciting the rhyme in the first place as “anti-racism extremists”.

The Top Gear presenter was writing in defence of BBC Radio Devon veteran David Lowe, who was sacked after he broadcast a version of “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” with a racial slur in it.

“Apparently the second verse of this song, which is about as well known as the second verse of Auld Lang Syne, or the national anthem, contains the n-word,” he wrote in a column for The Sunday Times. “So anyone who plays it is basically Hitler.”

“I’m in the same boat,” he continued. “However, even though the word was neither enunciated nor transmitted, I too fell foul of the liberal lynch mob and forever more shall be thought of as racist. Which, excuse the language, pisses me off because actually I’m not.”

He went on to detail his own set of ethical guidelines for what he deems to be a ‘racist’ and ‘non-racist’ joke… And then admitted he still occasionally tells the racist ones anyway: “I can make jokes about Americans and Germans and the French — the Greeks too at a pinch — because none of these people have been persecuted.

“But I cannot make jokes about people who have. Which is why, after the Top Gear Mexican brouhaha, I went to see the country’s ambassador in London and apologised. That was my bad.”

“I think the vast majority of people in Britain think along the same lines.

“Which is something of an achievement because we grew up with Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s dog, the Major in Fawlty Towers and the film Blazing Saddles.

Clarkson also brought up his black pet dog, whom he came under fire for naming him ‘Didier Dogba’ after the black footballer.

“'You’ve named your black dog after a black football player,’ liberals screamed. ‘You are Reinhard Heydrich.’ No, I’m not. I like the dog very much and it seems fitting, as a Chelsea fan, I should name him after a man whom I believe to be an all-time great.

“What would you have me do instead? Name him after a white player just because he’s black? Call him John Terrier? Well, sorry but I wasn’t thinking about the little mutt’s colour. Because, as I said earlier, I’m not racist.”

And there were “the extremists” among anti-racism campaigners who he says are “looking for racism where it simply doesn’t exist”.

“They want to vote Ukip. Or because they are flying the British flag outside their houses. And everyone is starting to find it annoying.

“Anti-poverty campaigners have much the same problem when they point at a family in a council house in northern England and say earnestly, ‘These people are living below the poverty line.’ And we’re all thinking, ‘Hang on a minute. We’ve just watched a report from the refugee camps in Jordan and you’re trying to tell us that this family, which has a plasma TV and access to the NHS, is impoverished. Go boil your head.’”

He concluded his piece by wishing “the racial harmony campaigners well”, but added that “they need to realise that playing "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" is not the tip of a sinister iceberg, and that there’s a lot of ground between calling your dog Toby and being a white supremacist.”

Clarkson is currently on a “final warning” from the BBC over the leaked video footage of him reciting the ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo’ rhyme. He is also under OFCOM investigation after he  used a derogatory term used to describe those of Asian descent during the Burma Special, which aired on BBC2 in March.

The contentious comment took place after the Top Gear hosts built a bridge over the River Kwai on the border of Thailand and Burma.

Clarkson commented on the structure: “That is a proud moment. But there's a slope on it” – just as an Asian man walked over the bridge.

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