Little Britain in America: Minorities under subverted scrutiny

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The phrase "Little Britain" also refers to an uninterested and parochial mindset often displayed by many of show's subjects. The show was also a huge ratings success, receiving 9. Radio 4 began a rerun of all nine episodes in February which were slightly edited for content to suit the pm timeslot. Unusually, this overlapped with a rerun on digital radio channel BBC 7 of the first five, which began in mid-March. Ronnie Corbett commented that the characters as portrayed in the radio series were "well drawn-out".

All the episodes for the series were filmed at Pinewood Studios. Much of the TV material was adapted from the radio version, but with more emphasis on recurring characters and catchphrases. As a result of its success, the first series was repeated on the more widely available BBC Two. Although reactions were mixed, many critics were enthusiastic, and the show was commissioned for another run. After its transmission, it was unclear whether there would be another, as many sketches were given dramatic twists and "wrapped up" — see individual character articles.

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Lucas and Walliams were reportedly in talks for a fourth series with the BBC. Furthermore, they admitted in an interview they preferred to "kill off" certain characters in order to make way for new ones. In , a two-part Christmas special was released, in which characters from the show were depicted as visiting other countries. As a success of the television series, Lucas and Walliams created a travelling stage show based upon their series.

A special live version, featuring appearances from celebrities such as Russell Brand and Dennis Waterman was filmed in and appeared on 's Comic Relief show. In , Matt Lucas and David Walliams announced that there would be no more of the British Little Britain , but they taped an American continuation of the show entitled Little Britain USA , which featured both returning characters from the British series as well as new American characters.

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As a sketch show, Little Britain features many characters with varying degrees of costume and makeup. Matt Lucas and David Walliams play all the main characters in the show. This makes a total of 25 episodes to date.

Little Britain in America: Minorities under subverted scrutiny

There has also been the Little Britain Live show. The show, and in particular its second and third series, has been criticised for their perceived treatment of minority groups. For example, Fergus Sheppard wrote in The Scotsman :.

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Writer Owen Jones states in his book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class that the way the character Vicky Pollard is portrayed in the series is an example of the current socially accepted marginalization and stereotyping of the working class. The programme has become increasingly popular with children, despite being shown after the watershed.

There has also been criticism from teachers that the programme leads to copycat behaviour in the playground. This version was released as a charity single for Comic Relief on 19 March The nature of that same nationalism is to deny its essence, the better to salve the conscience and spare the soul. The irony is that the Calamity Thesis is by far the preferred white-elite explanation for Trumpism, and is frequently invoked in arguments among elites as a way of accusing other elites of being out of touch.

This explanation appeals to whites across the political spectrum. On the right, it serves as an indictment of elitist liberals who used their power to assist religious and ethnic minorities rather than all Americans; on the left, it offers a glimmer of hope that such voters can be won over by a more left-wing or redistributionist economic policy. They were suffering; they had to do something. But the research does not support the conclusions many have drawn from it—that economic or social desperation by itself drove white Americans to Donald Trump.

Among voters making more than that, the two candidates ran roughly even. The electorate, however, skews wealthier than the general population. The most economically vulnerable Americans voted for Clinton overwhelmingly; the usual presumption is exactly the opposite. If you look at white voters alone, a different picture emerges. In other words, Trump won white voters at every level of class and income. He won workers, he won managers, he won owners, he won robber barons.

This is not a working-class coalition; it is a nationalist one.


White working-class Americans dealing directly with factors that lead to a death of despair were actually less likely to support Trump, and those struggling economically were not any more likely to support him. But the controlling factor seems to be not economic distress but an inclination to see nonwhites as the cause of economic problems. The poorest voters were somewhat less likely to vote for Trump than those a rung or two above them on the economic ladder.

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  4. They surged toward the Republican column. In other words, the relevant factor in support for Trump among white voters was not education, or even income, but the ideological frame with which they understood their challenges and misfortunes. During the aftermath of the Great Recession, the meager wealth of black and Latino families declined significantly compared with the wealth of white families.

    However, for black and Hispanic families, net worth continued to fall an additional 20 percent in the —13 period, while white families' net worth was essentially unchanged. But there was no corresponding radicalization of the black and Latino population, no mass election to Congress of ethno-nationalist demagogues promising vengeance on the perpetrators. Those numbers also reveal a much more complicated story than a Trump base made up of struggling working-class Americans turning to Trump as a result of their personal financial difficulties, not their ideological convictions.

    The idea that economic suffering could lead people to support either Trump or Sanders, two candidates with little in common, illustrates the salience of an ideological frame. Some Trump voters I spoke with were convinced, for example, that undocumented immigrants had access to a generous welfare state that was denied to everyone else.

    Little Britain

    But first you have to believe this. The economic-anxiety argument retains a great deal of currency. Rather, racism and nationalism form an ideological lens through which to view suffering and misfortune. It is perhaps too much to expect that people who hope to use Marxist theory to absolve voters of racism cite those Marxist historians whose body of work engages precisely this topic. In Black Reconstruction in America , W.

    When white laborers were convinced that the degradation of Negro labor was more fundamental than the uplift of white labor, the end was in sight. Overall, poor and working-class Americans did not support Trump; it was white Americans on all levels of the income spectrum who secured his victory. And the stories of struggling white Trump supporters look less like the whole truth than a convenient narrative—one that obscures the racist nature of that backlash, instead casting it as a rebellion against an unfeeling establishment that somehow includes working-class and poor people who happen not to be white.

    The nature of racism in America means that when the rich exploit everyone else, there is always an easier and more vulnerable target to punish. The Irish immigrants who in ignited a pogrom against black Americans in New York City to protest the draft resented a policy that offered the rich the chance to buy their way out; their response was nevertheless to purge black people from the city for a generation.

    And it was a disgusting moment. But his visceral reaction to the implication that he was racist reflects a peculiarly white American cognitive dissonance—that most worry far more about being seen as racist than about the consequences of racism for their fellow citizens. That dissonance spans the ideological spectrum, resulting in blanket explanations for Trump that ignore the plainly obvious. Had his racism been disqualifying, his candidacy would have died in the primaries.

    Equally strange is the notion that because some white voters defected from Obama to Trump, racism could not have been a factor in the election; many of these voters did, in fact, hold racist views. Particularly during the campaign, Obama emphasized his uniqueness as an African American—his upbringing by his white grandparents, his elite pedigree, his public scoldings of black Americans for their cultural shortcomings.

    It takes little imagination at all to see how someone could hold racist views about black people in general and still have warm feelings toward Obama. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. These reactions mirrored those of Trump voters. They are not so much arguments against a proposition as arguments that the proposition is offensive—or, if you prefer, politically incorrect.

    The same is true of the rejoinder that Democrats cannot hope to win the votes of people they have condemned as racist. This is not a refutation of the point, but an argument against stating it so plainly.

    But the impetus here is not just ideological, but personal and commercial. No one wants to think of his family, friends, lovers, or colleagues as racist. And no one wants to alienate potential subscribers, listeners, viewers, or fans, either. Yet nowhere did Clinton vow to use the power of the state to punish the constituencies voting for Trump, whose threats made his own rhetorical gestures toward pluralism risible.

    Political correctness is a vague term, perhaps best defined by the conservative scholar Samuel Goldman.

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    What a society finds offensive is not a function of fact or truth, but of power. It is no coincidence that Trump himself frequently uses the term to belittle what he sees as unnecessary restrictions on state force. But even as once-acceptable forms of bigotry have become unacceptable to express overtly, white Americans remain politically dominant enough to shape media coverage in a manner that minimizes obvious manifestations of prejudice, such as backing a racist candidate, as something else entirely.

    The most transgressive political statement of the election, the one that violated strict societal norms by stating an inconvenient fact that few wanted to acknowledge, the most politically incorrect, was made by the candidate who lost. E ven before Trump , the Republican Party was moving toward an exclusivist nationalism that defined American identity in racial and religious terms, despite some efforts from its leadership to steer it in another direction.

    go here George W. These efforts led to caustic backlashes from the Republican rank and file, who defeated his immigration-reform legislation, which might have shifted the demographics of the Republican Party for a generation or more. In the aftermath of their loss, Republican leaders tried again, only to meet with the same anti-immigrant backlash—one that would find an avatar in the person of the next Republican president. In , the political scientists Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan L. I think having the first African American president elected into the office You can't disentangle immigration without talking about race as well, so that dynamic brought to the forefront immigration and racial politics more broadly, and the kind of fear and anxiety that many voters had about the changing demographics and characteristics of the U.