Danny Baker – Is Hanging too Good for Him?
Posted on May 10, 2019
What was Danny Baker thinking? Only he will ever know what possessed him to do something so stupid. ‘Trial by Twitter’ is not a new phenomenon yet stupidly, Baker now finds himself as a new member of the publicly shamed society. He has been in the media a long time, so his naivety is quite bizarre.
Despite this foolish act, what gets me is how many people on Twitter actually know that Danny Baker is racist. That’s because they say he is and that is good enough for them. They know exactly what Baker’s joke gone wrong was getting at, because they are mind readers. Baker is suddenly no better than the Klu Klux Klan in the same media outlets that racially demonised a footballer for his choice of tattoo.
Of the thousands of posts written about Baker, I saw one that said of his sacking, “Good, I hate Danny Baker, he’s a fat wanker”.
There were many more like this and it was pretty much obvious what the implication was. They didn’t actually care whether Baker was a racist or not but were overjoyed he had been sacked because they don’t like him. It kind of misses the point of this tea cup featuring a storm kicking off in the middle of it.
The BBC Acting on Impulse
In what I see as a reflection of post-Brexit society, the BBC felt obliged to act on impulse and instantly make the assumption Baker is a racist. They probably had no choice. However, in my opinion, in a normal world, the right thing to do was to suspend him and investigate just how sinister his Tweet was.
If Baker was implying that the royal baby was a monkey due to the ethnicity of Meghan Markle (Or Meghan Buckingham or whatever she is called now) he deserves everything he gets. However, if the gag was implying that the Royal Family is a circus (which it is) that is entirely different. In my opinion, in that context, it is a reasonably funny, albeit misguided, gag.
What doesn’t help Baker one bit is that, one, he is not a monarchist, two, he is of white working class stock, and three, he supports Millwall Football Club. For those of you outside football, Millwall have a rather chequered history when it comes racism. Add those together and it doesn’t look favorable for him, even from the fence I am frantically and clumsily, trying to sit on.
However, as far as I am aware, there is no history of racism in his long media career. So, why, I ask, would he suddenly decide to expose himself as a racist on Twitter and end his career? It makes no sense to do that unless, in a moment of dark humour, ‘the imp of the perverse’ engulfed him. Only Danny Baker knows the answer to that.
I had a constructive argument with my girlfriend last night. It wasn’t quite a full blown row but I have to admit that I was struggling to explain to her why I laughed when I saw the Tweet. You see, I was not laughing at the alleged racial connotation of the Tweet, but the fact that Danny Baker had been so fucking stupid to post it. My reaction was laughing whilst saying out loud, “What the fuck was he thinking?”.
I sincerely hope that doesn’t make me a racist (my partner is Portugese/Tanzanian born in Dubai by the way). If in some way it does, I am nowhere near as racist as the readers of certain newspapers whose favourite hobby is throwing stones from their glass houses. Take yourself back and have a glance at media articles and comments pages when Meghan was introduced to the Royal Family. I then will show you some genuine, vintage, category A, hard core racists.
If Danny Baker is a racist, those mad fuckers are full on white supremacists. Apparently though, that kind of racism (not wanting blue blood diluted) is fine, just as long as you love the Queen, or at least want God to save her. It is also worth remembering a plethora of bad racist gags by Prince Phillip and Harry dressing up as a Nazi. Apologies were issued and we all moved on from them. It’s not entirely their fault but The Royal Family have evolved from racist impulses at a slower rate than normal folk, so they should know about errors of judgement better than most.
Into the Wilderness
All that Baker can do now is disappear into the wilderness and contemplate his next steps. I suggest that the daft bugger jumps into a hammock on a distant isle and reads a copy of Jon Ronson’s ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’. It might help him understand what he has done and give him some sort of indication of where his future lies.
At the same time, the BBC can continue to offer disproportionate coverage to unelected, blatant racists like Nigel Farage, backed up by the old excuse that he is not on the payroll. They can also continue to give Fiona Bruce (who is on the payroll) license to turn Question Time into a 21st century bear pit; especially when an easy target like Diane Abbott is in town.
Is Danny Baker as racist? I don’t know if I am honest and nor do you. This because you or I don’t know what he was thinking. Is there genuine bigotry and hatred spreading through our streets and political parties that we should be more concerned about? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Baker’s plight is confirmation and a that in a world of Twitter and Facebook, any of us can be taken out of context. As Ricky Gervais once said, “One false move and you’re Jim Davidson”.
That’s why I was so nervous about writing this post.