A pub singer has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment for singing the classic chart hit Kung Fu Fighting. The song, performed by Simon Ledger, 34, is said to have offended two Chinese people as they walked past the bar where he was singing.
Full Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380971/Simon-Ledger-arrested-racism-performing-Kung-Fu-Fighting.html
The entertainer regularly performs the 1974 number one hit, originally by disco star Carl Douglas, at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight.
‘We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets,’ he said.
‘People of all races were loving it. Chinese people have never been offended by it before.
‘But this lad walking past with his mum started swearing at us and making obscene hand gestures before taking a picture on his mobile phone. We hadn’t even seen them when we started the song. He must have phoned the police.’
A Hampshire police spokesman last night said a 32-year-old man of Chinese origin had claimed he was subjected to racial abuse.
He added: ‘If a victim believes that an alleged crime is racially aggravated, the police will treat it seriously. Investigations into this incident are continuing.’
The spokesman said a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986.
At the bottom of the Daily Mail article is this comment...
Through (obtained) third party emails from Simon Ledger, he makes two claims...
1) He did not make an offensive comment
2) Police report states the Chinese felt offended by the intro of the 'Kung Fu Fighting' song.
If it is 'presumed' his statement is correct, no gesticulation nor racist comment was uttered, it is probable the 'oriental riff' caused offence - a relic from the heydays of orientalist stereotyping.
But objectively, we don't have access to police reports and the Chinese victim has not come forward with his story.
In any case, the manner in which Simon Ledger defended himself is tasteless, rather than taking a defensive stance, he should have acknowledged the victim's perspective by saying something along the lines of..."I didn't know it was offensive, but I realise now that it can be construed as racist, therefore I won't perform the song any more," in contrast, he milked the situation, even performing the song with Carl Douglas, it is further mocking Chinese that feel offended by the song.
He fails to understand the nature of harassment, it is subjective, the victim's perspective needs consideration, however he is not interested in the victims perspective, rather he is claiming to be the victim. No perpetrator will say... "Yes, I'm a racist, I like harassing people." He has reiterated...
"I love Chinese people, I love China etc."
So this is his way of showing how much he appreciates Chinese by performing an oriental riff?
This incident is a victory for casual racists who will use the Ledger case as a precedent to plead innocent to any form of harassment or abuse directed towards Chinese people, they know that in future, they can go to the press with a Simon Ledger re-run, thus applying public pressure to drop the case. The press never asks nor consults the Chinese community for their opinion on any incident of racism towards the Chinese. It confirms what we have known for decades, Chinese are still open season to casual racism.