As a Canadian citizen whose head of state and military commander is technically the Queen of England, I would like to respectfully ask if she might consider bypassing Charles and William, and making Prince Harry King of England - if only because no one can rattle the establishment’s teacups quite like this inadvertent royal performance artiste.
A video was released this week showing third in line to the British throne, Prince Harry, at combat training school three years ago, affectionately referring to a fellow squaddie as their “little Paki friend, Ahmed”, and mentioning to Caucasian colleague sporting a towel on his head that he “looks like a raghead”. In a similarly captured post-exercise debriefing, he asks his team how they feel – and if any of those feelings might include “gay” or “queer on the side”. The video also shows the prince out on the town with his mates, putting two fingers to his head as though he wants to shoot himself, reportedly because he’s bored with some dancers…who just happened to be Greek. Oh, the humanity! Predictably, all hell has broken loose, with politicians weighing in from both sides, along with the Ministry of Defense. And of course the Equality and Human Rights Commission (aka The British chapter of the “Waiting To Be Offended Club”) is demanding that the Army investigate – and report back to them.
The British media is deeply offended on behalf of the “little Paki friend”, even though Ahmed Raza Khan himself doesn’t appear to be bothered or otherwise traumatized three years after the fact, despite what I’m sure are the media’s best efforts. As his uncle said: “At no time (Ahmed) told us that he was called Paki or he was a good friend of Prince Harry.”
The uncle claims that “we expect better from our Royal Family on whom we spend millions and millions of pounds for training and schooling and they come with the f-word and calling people Paki or whatever.”
That shows what little the uncle, or any of these aforementioned offendees-by-proxy, know about military life.
Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, is also third in line to the position of chief commander of the British military. So perhaps we ought to more properly assess his words alongside those of another great military leader, American General George S. Patton, who once thusly described his WWII Soviet allies: “In addition to his other Asiatic characteristics, the Russian have no regard for human life and is an all out son of bitch, barbarian, and chronic drunk.”
Of the enemy, Patton said: “I don't care what color you are, so long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sons-of-bitches.” So Patton gets a pass, but possible future military commander, Prince Harry, who was on combat duty fighting Taliban terrorist enemy “ragheads” in Afghanistan can’t even jokingly refer a brother-in-arms as looking like one?
To put all of this nonsense in perspective, perhaps Patton himself said it best: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”
No one seems to care that the Prince also made fun of himself when asked if his “rug” matches his “drapes” (if you catch my drift). Where is the outrage on behalf of redheads? And where’s the Queen herself with a public flogging of her grandson – or the public outrage on her behalf - given that he was caught on tape in a mock call to her before delivering mock orders to his squad: “I've got to go, got to go…Send my love to the corgis and Grandpa…God Save You...Yeah, that's great."
In Britain, as in the world in general, you need to meet certain criteria before you’re able to make use of the law to redress injury to your feelings – and “big Q” Queens don’t qualify. You need to be either a “small q” queen and/or of any shade other than white. You can even be a horse and take advantage of various laws to this end – but only as long as you’re a gay horse. Think I’m joking? In 2005, 21- year old Oxford University student, Sam Brown, was arrested and fined for disorderly conduct when he merely asked a police officer about his horse being queer.
Criminal “hate laws” are often abused to protect people’s feelings. Actress Brigitte Bardot has experienced this in France, having been charged and convicted several times for speaking out against Muslims and their celebratory slaughter of animals. Several English football fans were recently arrested and charged with “racist and homophobic” chanting during a Tottenham v Portsmouth match, with the police superintendent saying that “their abuse caused distress to some supporters”. Well then perhaps they should switch to ballet? What’s next, banning World Cup players from insulting each other’s mothers and sisters mid-game?
Thank you, Prince Harry, for your inadvertent attempt to save us from our ridiculous selves.