Britain's lovable "Harry" is back with a new adventure! Not "Harry Potter," however, but Prince Harry who has followed up his previous tale "Harry and the Nazi Uniform" with his newest escapade: "Harry and the Chamber of Ragheads."
In this story, we find a young Harry serving in the military where he refers to a Pakistani solider as "our little paki friend" - "paki" being a derogatory term for people of Pakistani origin. Our hero then goes on to refer to an Army cadet wearing a headscarf as a "raghead."
After making these statements, our Harry now finds himself all alone in a scary place. Even Professor Dumbledore and Hermione have distanced themselves from his comments. Although in Harry's defense, he claimed that he did not mean any malice or disrespect by the use of the terms "paki" and "raghead," noting that some of his closest friends are "sand people."
Okay, I made up the "sand people" part.
As a person of Middle Eastern heritage, I am going to be candid with you - over the last few years, we have become increasingly sensitive to negative comments about us - some would even say hypersensitive. We are slowly becoming the Middle Eastern versions of Woody Allen. It's a matter of time until I hear myself say: "Did the waiter just say 'raghead'?!" Only to have my friends say: "No, he asked if you want more bread?!"
It's been a tough few years for our community and just when we thought the worst of it was behind us, just a few weeks ago we were reminded that it wasn't when a Muslim family was thrown off an Airtran flight for simply looking Muslim.
But for those who want to let Prince Harry off the hook quickly, don't forget that in January 2005 he donned a Nazi outfit complete with a swastika for a costume party. This raises a few questions: 1. What type of costume party is held in January? and 2. What type of party would wearing a Nazi costume be considered cool?! I imagine that it made the creepy party in the movie Eyes Wide Shut look like a kid's party at Chucky Cheese.
I know that many "white" people - and when I say "white people," I say that with as much affection as Prince Harry had for his "raghead" friend - would tell us to relax. As a former white person myself (I was white until 9/11), I understand that sentiment because there isn't a slur you can call a white person that offends them. Who would care if I referred to Harry as "Prince Cracker" or "His Royal Honkiness." White people wouldn't take to the streets to protest or even change their Facebook status to complain about it.
Truly the only complaint I have heard from "white people" with respect to these types of slurs is that political correctness has limited their freedom to make certain "honest" comments. On behalf of all non-white people I just want to say we are all sincerely sorry for your loss - you will just be stuck making your "honest" comments in small, private groups of other "white people."
By the way, when I say "white people" I do not mean just skin color - to me you are not white in America if you are part of a group that has endured a history of hateful slurs including but not limited to Asians, Hispanics, Mimes, Blacks, Jews, Gays, Muslims, Prop Comedians, Indians, Iranians, South Asians, Martha Stewart, Pakistanis, Arabs, and Eskimos.
In the big picture of things, the comments by Prince Harry - who I refer to affectionately as "Prince Fish and Chips" - are not the biggest deal. Plus when you think about the fact he said "Raghead" and "Paki" with an English accent, it probably almost sounded adorable. But when you throw in the Nazi outfit incident with these slurs, you get the sense he is in danger of becoming the Ann Coulter of princes.
Our young Harry needs to do more than just apologize - he should have the decency to claim he is an alcoholic and head to rehab for a few weeks. It has worked for American celebrities - why not him?