Rasta Mouse and po white folks
I met a lot of magicians both professional and amateur and loved everything about it and still do. But years ago I met a nice man called Bunny Neil. Neil was a gentleman. He was a member of the prestigious Inner Magic Circle. When, as a lad, I showed an interest in his act, he invited me along to meet him before he did his show, which at that time (for any magicians reading this) climaxed with the Nemo Jumbo Rising Cards.
Well Bunny showed me a few great magic tricks and we hit it off. I really wish I knew where he was now. Anyway he told me a story about when he was a lad. It is here that I have to be careful how I say this because magicians do not give away secrets. Magicians among you will instantly get this, the rest must remain in the dark.
Bunny Neil told me he saw a trick that amazed him. He wanted it and saved his pocket money and one day went to the magic shop and bought this particular piece of secret apparatus. All I can say is that this secret piece of apparatus has, of necessity, got to be skin coloured. When Bunny had raced home and opened the box to view this amazing trick, he suddenly felt very sorry and very sad. You see, Bunny Neil was black and the secret gimmick was for a magician with white skin.
There is a children's character on at the moment called Rasta Mouse. He was supposed to be aimed at black kids who probably feel a bit left out because most kids books have white kids in them and most really good TV puppets are notionally white, or maybe green if you count Orville. This is not political correctness here, this is inclusiveness, and where kids are concerned, making them feel like nobodies is a very bad thing. Kids want to identify, and though skin colour is maybe not a barrier, if a kid sees no role models the kid is going to feel left out. Simples. Not all black kids want to be Rastas, but then again not all white kids want to be a green duck with Keith Harris' hand stuck up its bottom. But whatever, variety is the spice of life and anyway it is supposed to be fun.
Well, a few people are going around telling us that Rasta Mouse is a racist concept. I can't help thinking though that it's po white folks with this view and the racism is their problem not, Rasta Mouse's. He is, I suspect, no more racist than Ivor the Engine or anybody on Balamory.
And here, for your absoulute delight, is the Easy Star All Stars, with their interpretation of Lovely Rita Meter Maid, from their album Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band.
Posted by Wrinkled Weasel on Saturday, February 12, 2011