Clutching at straws

Even the most ardent royalist must blanch whenever the name Princess Michael is mentioned, usually in the context of her imagined importance and persistent ignorance. Her latest faux pas, involving a so-called blackamoor brooch worn in the company of Ms Markle, prompted me to investigate further.

And I found this well-crafted article – which says it all.

Author: janus

I'm back......and front - in sunny Sussex-by-the-sea

19 thoughts on “Clutching at straws”

  1. I don’t know what the fuss is about. It’s a nice brooch and the subject looks very dignified. Not demeaning to anyone.

  2. So any ornament depicting a dark skinned person is deemed to be associated with slavery and thus offensive ???

  3. Jazz: Not necessarily. The Blackamoor tradition is one of depicting Africans in an infantile, demeaning light. There are others, even from that time, who might not have been the best artists or the most culturally aware but they were not insulting. Nota bene, people were just as insulting in their depictions of the impoverished majority and weren’t entirely kind to their ruling classes, either.

  4. Jazz, it’s easy: the brooch depicts a house slave; it has a social meaning known to people with any awareness of history; it is offensive, not decorative; this daughter of an SS officer probably knows its significance but wears it anyway.

  5. Janus: You mean the daughter of a Sydney hair salon owner who spent her life arguing that 900 years of breeding ought to mean more than present reality? That is, someone who was essentially working class might try to overcompensate by ensuring that every Tom, Dick and Meghan knows his/her “rightful” place?

  6. Jazz: Because that’s what they were based on. House slaves were generally well-dressed and clean. They were expected to be such as their owners didn’t want to see the wretched conditions that slaves who toiled outside had to survive.

  7. So not one toiling on a sugar plantation then ?

    Of course on the slavery issue my own conscience is quite clean. Like everyone now alive I had nothing to do with it. Princess Michael’s brooch is no more than a curiosity and anyone offended by it should get a life.

  8. Jazz: Well, not harvesting the cane in any case. Plantation life was a combination of brilliant gentility and brutal degradation. It really depended on which end of the lash one found oneself, really.

    Your conscience is clean and clean it should be. As with most things, slavery was a product of its time, place and situation. No one alive today was a slave, nor even alive at the same time that anyone who had been born a slave in the British Empire was alive. Feeling guilty about it is an extremely sanctimonious form of masochism. The brooch was in very poor taste, but many things are in very poor taste. Life goes on, etc. This is nothing but another social media-driven kerfuffle du jour.

  9. I really don’t know why you’re getting in such a state, Janus. I’ve never thought of Princess Michael as being bright enough to think things through. If you want to get upset, try Libya where the buying and selling of slaves is still going ahead full steam. That’s the original Arab/muslim slave traders for you. Of course they might reasonably feel that the hordes of sub-Saharans are invading their country and can be treated as enemies.But do be careful that you’re not turning into a snowflake.

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