“Why is David Baddiel being given a platform to talk about prejudice? Baddiel and his partner Frank Skinner spent the mid-90s ridiculing the ethnic appearance of the black striker Jason Lee.
For the crime of choosing to not look white, and instead embracing the combination locks and cornrows iconography of his ethnic heritage, Lee was ridiculed as a
“pineapple head”, as looking “like an ancient Egyptian” and — incredibly — via Baddiel ‘blacking-up’.
Viewers were even encouraged to send in pictures mocking Lee’s appearance.
God knows how much damage this did to a generation of young black school children.
Professor Ben Carrington in ‘Football’s coming home’ but whose home? And do we want it? p108 noted how this abuse
“transcended the normally insular world of football fandom and entered into the public domain as both a descriptive term and a form of ridicule for any black person with dreads tied back”.
Taking its lead from Baddiel and Skinner, the Sun even pictured Lee with bananas growing out of his head.
The myth of black primitivism is an enduring racist theme.
The assumption that black identity exists to be performed for white people’s amusement only goes back to the minstrel tradition. Both racist tropes permeated Baddiel’s mockery of Lee.
Yet we’re now supposed to take lessons in anti-racism from the man?”