‘Danny Baker must be so proud he’s baby Archie’s first troll with racist tweet’

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  • 16:03, 9 MAY 2019
  • Updated16:06, 9 MAY 2019

At some point yesterday, when many of us were cooing over the first pictures of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and digesting the significance of seeing his proud African-American grandmother Doria Ragland with his equally proud great-grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, broadcaster Danny Baker was trawling the internet looking for a picture to capture this happy event.

He found what he thought was appropriate – a picture of a “posh couple”, walking a monkey dressed in coat and wearing a hat. 

He captioned it: “Royal baby leaves hospital” and shared it with his with his 505,000 Twitter followers.

Well done Danny, you’re a two day old baby’s first high-profile online troll. You must be so proud.

Less than 24 hours later he was rightly sacked by the BBC who called it a serious error of judgement which “goes against the values we as a station aim to embody”.

Naturally I was shocked and angry, but above all hugely disappointed when I saw the now deleted tweet last night.

Maybe it hurt more because I’m a mother of two black sons – is that what Baker thinks of my boys?

He certainly had no problem comparing mixed-race Archie to a monkey.

Coincidentally I had just been to see a brilliant new film called Where Hands Touch, about the racism experienced by a mixed raced girl in Nazi Germany in 1944.

I didn’t expect to turn on my phone when I left the cinema to be confronted with racism in 2019. Maybe I’m just naïve.

Someone called it casual racism. It isn’t. It’s blatant racism and anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

Is it any wonder Prince Harry and Meghan wanted to shield their baby from the world for as long as possible when this is the sort of thing they have to deal with?

Baker half-heartedly apologised, clearly realising his job was on the line. But it was too little too late.

He claimed he didn’t realise that what he did was in any way racist.

Come on Danny, comparing black people to monkeys is one of the oldest lines in the racism handbook.

There’s no way you can get to 61 years of age, in Britain, and not know that.

He’s a huge football fan –  a game where black footballers are racially abused and banana skins are thrown at them on the pitch.

But yet Baker expected us to believe him when he says: “Never occurred to me because, well, mind not diseased.”

What he’s saying is that people like me, who are appalled and offended, are the ones with the problem, we’re the ones with diseased minds.

He’s in a position of influence, he should know better.

I’ve been told I should “get over it” – as usual people are super quick to minimise the feelings of those who are on the receiving end of these “jokes” as if somehow the problems lies with us.

It doesn’t.

In the end, even Baker had to admit that he had got it terribly wrong.

I’m just glad the BBC agreed and acted quickly and decisively.

The fact they didn’t wrap up his sacking in a bow is neither here nor there.

I hope it’s a warning to others that racism is never a joke and it will not be tolerated.

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