The gammons are steaming. The cured pork meat has become a hot topic this past weekend, after a bunch of old, white, racist Brexiteers began to take offence to the foodstuff being used as a nickname for… well, old, white, racist Brexiteers.
It’s all prompted right-wing thinkpiece after right-wing thinkpiece, with a bunch of outraged, ham-faced columnists declaring that the term ‘gammon’ is nothing but a racial slur in itself, weaponised against those poor, defenceless middle-class white people. Tiny violins at the ready, everybody.
Let’s consider the evidence. There’s undoubtedly a stereotype of the old, white Brexiteer. Ruddy-faced from countless pints of bitter in a village pub, as he espouses the benefits of leaving those banana-curve-measuring bureaucrats in Europe out on their arse. And you know what – that skin tone, it is quite… ham-like, isn’t it? Porky, even.
No "gammon" is not a racial slur. Nobody has ever been abused in the street, denied service or threatened with deportation because they're an angry old white man with cheeks like two slices of Wiltshire.
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) May 14, 2018
Here’s the thing – when you build a campaign to leave the European Union on stereotypes and misinformation, getting miffed when someone comes up with a misinformed stereotype about you and all your Brussels-bothering buddies is a little bit… salty. Like a joint of gammon.
In all seriousness, there’s a baffling victim complex at play here – and a fundamental misunderstanding of racism. The white middle-classes haven’t been faced with years of systematic, controlled oppression. Whimpering about victimisation while being part of the ruling class and least oppressed race on the planet is more than a little bit daft, to be honest.
So no, gammons of the world – ‘gammon’ is not a racial slur. It’s, at worst, a stereotype used to belittle racists. Well, actually – at worst, it’s a minging cut of overly salty pork best saved for dog’s dinners. But that’s another argument, for another day.