How can a pigeon be racist?

October 3, 2014

There’s an article on the BBC site showing a new tag by Banksy. It shows several domestic pigeons holding placards and menacing a migratory swallow perched next to them. The placards carry slogans like ‘Migrants not welcome’ ‘Go back to Africa’ and ‘Keep off our worms’.

Banksy's pigeons piece (close up)

Banksy’s pigeons piece (close up)

Banksy's pigeon piece (wide shot)

Banksy’s pigeon piece (wide shot)

People have apparently complained that it’s racist.
I’d argue that if you think the birds’ graffiti is racist that’s purely because of how you think. (And you might find you’re a tiny wee bit racist yourself.)
There’s a lovely piece by Stephen Fry where he has a go at people who are “offended” by things. And he’s right – the world would be a much better place if we were all a little more tolerant. (While I’m at it – Britain would be a much better place if Mr Fry was in charge!).

Stephen Fry tells it like it is

Stephen Fry tells it like it is

Interesting to note that the area where he tagged it is in the constituency of the Tory MP who has just defected to UKIP. The area’s called Clacton-on-Sea.
Some may argue that UKIP are the closest to an out-and-out racist party in mainstream politics in the UK. Coincidence? I think not.

Banksy’s making a statement about the current state of the UK. There are greater divisions within society, as the rich get richer and the poor get left behind. That’s exactly the sort of scenario where the right-wing parties can take advantage. Any enemy is great for them. And if they come from overseas and are ‘different’ from us, all the better for them.

It’s sad that we’re so intolerant and fearful of other people. I think Banksy’s piece makes a strong comment on the current state of the country. And it’s pretty sad that no one in power has the first clue what the fuck is going on. (Don’t laugh – someone voted for these morons.)

The council are so efficient at removing graffiti that they’d painted over it (really, really badly) before Banksy had even announced on his website that he’d done the piece. But it does go to show that words (and ideas and knowledge) are power.

Go use your power.

All graffiti images are copyright banksy.co.uk

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