Yesterday a British politician Patrick Mercer said
“if you'd said to them: 'Have you ever been called a nigger?' they would have said: 'Yes.' But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact.”
"But that's the way it is in the army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'
Tory leader David Cameron moved swiftly to sack the homeland security spokesman. He was sacked for saying it was ok to shout “black bastard” at a soldier.
Andrew Sullivan pointed out that the use of slur terms to degrade someone is wrong
“The emasculation of men in minority groups is an ancient trope of the vilest bigotry. Why was it wrong, after all, for white men to call African-American men "boys"? Because it robbed them of the dignity of their masculinity. And that's what Coulter did last Friday to gays. She said - and conservatives applauded - that I and so many others are not men. We are men, Ann. As members of other minorities have been forced to say in the past: I am not a faggot. I am a man.”
But is calling someone “black” a slur? Is it not racist to regard that as a slur and not regard calling someone “ginger” as a slur? They are both terms used to describe a racial characteristic, neither of which is a slur by itself. Surely treating black people different to gingers is racist?