In another blog I looked at the media framing of gypsies as child kidnappers with two false stories in the media.
As nothing in politics, nor the media, happen by accident I am now going to consider where this framing of perceptions might be leading.
Gypsies already have a bad image. They hardly need exaggerated stories in the media to stigmatise them further, especially when the stories were non-stories. So what would be the point?
Perhaps the gypsies are not the target. Perhaps the target is another group who are to be maligned with the horrible collective stigma of child kidnapping, with the closely associated implication of paedophilia.
Consider a recent addition to our language. The word “chav”. Until I read the book “Chavs. The Demonisation of the Working Class” by Owen Jones, like most naive respectable working and lower class people, I thought the word “chav” was simply the modern word for yob, designating feral anti-social youths, a fact of human life in all cultures and throughout all history. Mr Owen enlightened me. Chav is apparently a designator of everyone who is working class and lower middle class. People who would in no way accept the values of anti-social elements. With the word chav, everyone who is not upper middle class or above is classed as indistinguishable from the dregs of society.
The word “chav” itself is interesting. It is derived from a gypsy word “chavi” meaning boy. Remember when blacks used to be called “boy”? a word deliberately patronising and reducing the status of the person so referred to as sub-adult status, someone who cannot be expected to exercise adult responsibility, someone unintelligent who needs to be controlled.
That the word is a gypsy word is a deliberate conflation of the working class into the category of gypsies.
The word is loaded with stigma, and is a modern equivalent to the word “nigger” but this time applied to working class white people.
Sliding blame from the guilty parties, upper class paedophiles, onto innocent parties takes place in several moves, which occurring with a time delay between them, don’t appear to be connected.
The first move is the deliberate invention of the word “chav” with media reinforcement to make sure that everyone knows who the word designates.
The second move is creating an association between gypsies and child kidnappers.
The third move is belatedly revealing that the word chav is not simply a new word for yob, but covers all working and lower middle class people. And by the way, chav also means gypsy boy.
The final move is to attach the stigma of child kidnap/paedophilia to working class people as a category and as individuals. After all we have all been made to realise that gypsies kidnap children and working class people -chavs – are the same as gypsies.
The drive to expose paedophiles and protect our children has largely come from working class and lower middle class people who feel most vulnerable on their children’s behalf.
It looks as if the upper class paedophiles have decided to counter attack by shifting the association with the crime onto the working class. One might also discern the application of the divide and rule strategy at work by using one group of people, falsely accused, to degrade another group.