The end of the year has brought about the opportunity for us to revisit some of the more sordid moments of campaign 2008--Gail Quinnell's "He's an Arab," Harriet Christian's "inadequate black male" comment, Ashley Todd's self-mutilation, and Samuel Wurzelbacher aka Joe the Plumber opening his mouth on any given occasion. In case you need a further reminder on any of those names, Rachel Maddow has a quick rundown for you.
We also had the musings of people like Geraldine Ferraro and Pat "A Brief for Whitey" Buchanan to keep us wondering when this "post-racial" world we were supposedly living in was going to make an appearance. Now it used to be the case that saying something blatantly racist on the air meant you lost your job, at least for a while. Even Don Imus was forced to take a sabbatical recently. The proliferation of right-wing news organizations has meant that there are more places for these people to land, and frankly, I have no explanation for Pat Buchanan, but even if saying racist things was still the career-ender that it once was, at least we don't have the problem that the British have.
In the tape, which was published in the News of the World, he shows fellow officer cadets waiting around in RAF Brize Norton, Oxon, to catch a flight to Cyprus for a training exercise.The term "Paki" is the British equivalent of an n-bomb here--imagine the outcry if someone in the Prince's position in the US, say, the son or daughter of a prominent US politician who was expected to be a politician one day also, had said something similar on tape. That politician's career might be over because of what his or her child did and said.
Homing in on one member of his platoon, Ahmed Raza Khan, Prince Harry introduces him as "our little Paki friend".
In a section filmed during night manoeuvres, he tells a fellow cadet, who is hidden under a piece of canvas, that he looks "like a rag-head" - a term Clarence House said referred to a member of the Taliban or an Iraqi insurgent.
Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that he would "almost certainly" have to sack a member of his own front bench if they used the word Paki, but added that it was nevertheless time to "move on".But what do you do with a prince?