Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jo O'Meara: naked defiance and the victim mentality

Jo: I'm not sorryIn a way, you could almost be impressed with Jo O'Meara - rather than take Jade Goody's journey of attempted rehabilitation through stunts (trips to India, crying on TV), O'Meara has decided to adopt what my aunts would identify as a "hard-faced madam" approach. Today's Sunday Mirror bellows:

I'm Not Sorry And I'd Do It Again

It takes a special talent to make things worse than they were before, but Jo's going for it. The comment that "Indians are thin because they don't cook their food properly", for example? Jo thinks British Asians should be thanking her for the compliment:

But Jo yesterday refused to take back those words and said: "If anything, I look at that as a compliment. It's nice to be thin. It's what everybody wants to be."

O'Meara still tries to pretend that Goody honking "You're a liar and a fake" over and over for ten minutes while she and Danielle sat there giggling was "an argument" rather than an attack - and, despite having turned to her co-tormenters and saying "That's made me feel better, I must say that's made my day" as Shilpa withdrew, O'Meara claims she was "nervous":

I was aware Jade was being aggressive, but thought I would sit there and hide away. Afterwards when the bickering continued, I did think it had got to stop. I was bullied for years at school over my love of music.

"I had verbal and mental abuse - so I am dead against it. I now think BB created that tension and conflict on purpose to make the show interesting."


Leaving aside for a moment the "duh" of that last sentence, in what way is sitting there laughing your head off while someone is bullied being "dead against it". You might have been bullied at school, Jo - which, yes, is very sad, but was years ago. It doesn't give you a "get out of jail" card when, as an adult, you turn into a bully.

But is Jo racist? She falls back on that old fall back, "I can't be racist because I've got black friends":

Does it mean I hate Bradley from S Club because he's black? Him and me were incredibly close. We were like brother and sister, we still are and I know he will back me up 100 per cent. I was probably closer to him than anyone else in the band.

And, of course, she trots out her "Indian family", too:

"I have been accused of mocking Shilpa's accent, but that's not racist. My cousin married an Indian and I make fun of their kids's voices. Then they make funny Cockney noises back at me. It's just a big game."

Trouble is, Dilip Drayan, her cousin's husband, isn't impressed with Jo, either:

"Jo should never have said that Indians are skinny because they don't cook their food properly. That was a racist comment. It was wrong. She needs to take it back and apologise.

"The way she behaved was disappointing and sadly showed her true colours."

"I'm not going to stick up for Jo. She needs a ticking-off for some of the things she said.

"Jo has been bullied at school. It was so serious she took an overdose of pills and moved to a new school. So she knows what it is like. The situation in the house was bullying and Jo was a part of that. Jo is a vulnerable person. She was being influenced by powerful personalities like Jade Goody. But everyone is responsible for their own actions."

He added: "I'm disappointed in some of her characteristics including how much she was smoking and swearing."


Dilip crystallises the behaviour in a way many commentators have failed to - it's not that Jo, Danielle and Jade were necessarily attacking Shilpa because she was Indian; they were bullying her because they didn't like her, and using her race as a tool.

Back to Jo, though - who is, of course, the victim in all this: She's even complaining that Davina McCall was "harder" on her than Jade. Maybe - although it's hardly like the interview was a Paxmanesque grilling. Indeed, by focusing purely on race and ignoring the bullying altogether, McCall handed O'Meara an opportunity to dance through an "I'm not racist" defence. Jo was allowed to focus on the room for argument (just how racist she is) rather than having to engage with inarguable (that she's a bully who sat by watching her mate attack someone.)


8 comments:

Amazing Gordo said...

Jo is not a bully or a racist. BB's writers and producers manufactured an artificial condition where problems would inevitibly happen, then edited the footage to get the maximum, sensationalistic impact. The BB producers couldn't care less if they destroyed Jo or any one else, as long as they get ratings. And you have to admit that their scheme worked! But now they have been exposed, and likely will lose all in the end. Jo IS a victim, and she suffered years of abuse from bullies at school. She has devoted countless hours to helping with Anti-bullying programs, and it's a damn shame that people have been so quick to jump on her like they did! Jo O'Meara is a talented singer, a decent human being, and a beautiful woman. I think all the haters should just get off her back and leave her alone! Jo's loyal fans are awaiting her singing comeback, and we know that she will rise above all of this nonsense!! God bless you, Jo.

Anonymous said...

Well after today's expose on on comments not broadcast it is quite clear that the girl was and still is racist. However her lack of education has her bind to the whole situation.

How sad.

Michael

Amazing_Gordo said...

Yeah, how sad is right! I bet you think pro wrestling is real too, don't you? Education? Give me a break! Only a kindergarten mind would buy into this set-up!

CBB and Shilpa Shetty's handlers manufactured a so-called "racist/bully" angle to make Shilpa famous somewhere other than India. Only sheep would follow so blindly along the path they set.

It was all rigged, and while Jade fell into the "oxo cube trap" Jo did not. And laughing and staying clear of a fight is in no way racist or bullying anybody!

Ask a black guy that's been jacked up by a cop for no reason, or a kid that's had the hell beat out of him at school. They will tell you what racism and bullying really are!

Shilpa started all the fights that she was the so-called "victim" of.

Jo O'Meara is and always wil be innocent!!

simon h b said...

Gordo, you have floated your suggestions that the racially-motivated bullying was a deliberate construct of the Celebrity Big Brother producers and Shilpa Shetty's management elsewhere on this blog; when challenged as to where the evidence is, you have failed to provide any.

As I have responded to the case put forward by apologists before: if we assume that you are right, and that the producers wanted to create an atmopshere in which Shetty could spark a racist attack upon her, why would they have chosen Jo O'Meara - who, as you say, had a reputation for having been anti-bullying? Why would they assume that she would partake in such behaviour? The argument that Jo was put in a position where she would behave in a way which made Shetty seem a victim would only make sense if people believed that O'Meara would behave in that way. I don't think you believe that; nor do I. I think everyone was surprised at her behaviour - it's just some of us have the honesty to admit to disappointment as well.

Yes, goading on and supporting a bully by sitting and laughing and then applauding her behaviour ("I needed that") rather than, at the very least, walking out the room in disgust is in itself a bullying act.

It's disingenuous to argue that the bullying wasn't racist because other people are victims of more serious racism - and, to be honest, you should really be ashamed of yourself for trying to press victims of racist profiling or physical bullying violence into an assumed defence of your hero. It is precisely when people tolerate this mild behaviour that we get set on a path where the 'other' is able to be demonised, where the 'other' is cast as a fitting victim. "We're only 'avin' a laugh, ain't we" leads to the blind eye to more serious events.

But regradless: she sat around giggling at making up limericks based on the word 'paki'. That is the woman you're defending.

Amazing_Gordo said...

My friend, there was no bulying or racism goin on, and you should know that.

As for your saying that Jo "sat around giggling at making up limericks based on the word 'paki", I ask you where is YOUR proof? She never did anything of the kind!

The Big Brother thing Was a conspiracy to frame Jo, Jade & Danielle for racism and bulying. Shilpa started every fight, and had previously tested other house mates to try to get some action ging.

She lucked out with Jade, and missed out with Jo & Danielle. But because they were friends of jade, they were used as pawns and labled the same way.

But you probably think pro wrestling is "real" too, right?

And as for what Jade said, if it were to another English or white person, the public would have loved it!

She displayed no racism or bullying, she merely defended herself in an argument that Shilpa, once again, had started.

OVER AN OXO CUBE!

Think twice before you label anybody as a racist or bully. You can do a lot of damage to innocent people!

simon h b said...

The transcript of the untransmitted footage featuring Jo laughing about limericks built around the word "paki" is on the Channel 4 website:

http://www.channel4.com/about4/pdf/transcript_untransmitted.pdf

Laura Brown said...

You've got to admire Gordo's ability to let go and move on.

Not So Amazing Gordo said...

Jo is a jejemon (a person who can't speak English very well) who is overrated.

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