Jun 302009
 

For my first post here at Bock Central, I’ve chosen an odd little tale that should be right up your alley, so to speak. Ethnic relations, social gaffes, and offensive comments. Perfect.

So this is how it goes.

A friend of mine got married recently and was looking to rent a house in Limerick. So he began the generally tedious process of viewing various properties.

One particular location was a two-bedroom affair (sounds athletic, eh?) with a garden. At the end of the garden stood a granny flat, about which the estate agent has this to say:

‘It’s already rented and has its own entrance. You just share the garden.’

Pause.

‘They’re Pakistanis. Now, I only mention it because some people might have a problem with that. I’m just saying.’

Awkward silence. My friend couldn’t think of a valid response. The agent had no follow up observation. So more silence followed until,

‘Aaaaand this is the kitchen…’

This story intrigued me because, although granted the agent’s statement is potentially ‘racist’ or at least politically incorrect, it also happens to be quite true. Some people do have a problem with that.

Questions abound.

Should the agent have said nothing? Perhaps; but then he might have unknowingly subjected his Pakistani renters to a racist neighbour, who might then be furious with the agent for not pointing this out in the first place.

Should he really want to rent to a racist anyway? But wouldn’t denying the house to a racist be, in effect, a kind of discrimination? Do estate agents have the right to act as thought police?

Discuss.

(On a parenthetical note: I’m always confused by people who claim they are ‘just saying’ something. As opposed to what? Meaning it? Hitting you? I’m baffled.)

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  35 Responses to “Some people might have a problem with this”

Comments (35)
  1.  

    That’s all well and good, but for the love of god Bock… how big was the kitchen for feck sake?

  2.  

    Not you too!? Christ ar a bhicycle

  3.  

    Lets get real here, if you expect an estate agent to gloss over an inconvenient fact just to make a quick buck, you’re living in a fantasy world. Learn to deal with reality.

  4.  

    What’s odd is that any worthwhile Irish person would have an issue with Pakistanis. I mean, Nigerians and Romanian beggars attract the attention of the “I’m not racist but…” crowd here, but Pakistanis? It’s Limerick, not Brixton!

  5.  

    I could understand the estate agents comment if the neighbours were troublesome,otherwise he should have kept his mouth shut.

  6.  

    The Government have done nothing to help immigrants assimilate into Irish society. We have refuge centres and camps full of “non-nationals” who aren’t allowed to work while their case for residency is being processed. Result? Hoards of young, mainly, black men and women wandering the streets with nothing to do. Result? Resentment and rumour. “They” get free driving lessons, free prams, medical cards, etc, etc.
    How bad must your life be that you are willing to travel to Ireland for €19 a week and wait for up to 2 years before being told yea or nay? The vast majority of “foreigners” in Ireland are from other EU countries, with Britain representing more than double the next biggest country, these people are not strictly “foreigners”.
    Before we condemn these people we should remember the “No Irish Need Apply” signs.

  7.  

    Maybe it’s a reflection on your mate?

    Does he have a skinhead and swastika tatoos?

  8.  

    Just two bedrooms! What’s that about and how much was it anyway?

  9.  

    Bastard: Er, I’m not Bock. And the kitchen was huge (just made that up, I don’t know).

    No 8: Sure aren’t the HSE buying them taxis now?

    Morgor: Naw, just long hair. It could have been the wife with the tattoos maybe.

    Unstranger: Whoosh!

  10.  

    Darwin, it’s like the “Swinging Sixties” and “Wife Swapping” it’s always a friend of a friend. No one ever has direct experience or produces evidence. Yet another urban myth.

  11.  

    Bock apologies I feel as if I am breaking in on a pub conversation. The agent may have been of the opinion that he would be burned out if he did not mention the aliens at the bottom of the garden. We have always been seen as the most racists people in the U.S. That is to say the we the Irish. At the end of the day it is all about education. Where ignorance is bliss tis foolish to be wise.

  12.  

    If the garden was shared who had to cut the grass. I believe if you are sharing a common area with others , then you should be told about them, before you decide.
    If he had said they have kids or vote FF it might also effect your decision. maybe the agent was in a no win position damed if he said it and damed if he didn’t.

  13.  

    Perhaps the reason it was for rent was because the previous renters had issue with the shared property and the ethnic background of the other tenants. The real estate guy may have felt the need to put it on the table because of that. If he just mentioned that they were pakistani no harm done . The house next door to me was for sale and the estate agent always mentioned we were Irish.

  14.  

    I apologise in advance for prolific posting tonight…..bit of insomnia going on.
    no 8 I have to ask you these “hoards of black people walking the streets with nothing to do ”
    how do you know they have nothing to do, i too see people walking around, all shades, i have to say i have never thought they had ” nothing to do ” they usually look to me as if they are just going from A to B like the rest of us.
    Would the estate agent have said there were French people in the granny flat, or Greek people or Swedish or Japanese, Australian, Hawaian………

  15.  

    ….and there’s some nice people from Pakistan sharing the garden….. or ‘do you like curry?’

  16.  

    City Centre apartment for rent.

    Excellent decorative condition, within easy walking distance of the pub and the mental home. You will be sharing a back garden with (A) A Pikey: “Will you buy a three piece “sweet” off me, or wot” (B) A Pakistani: “If you leave your drink unattended, as sure as Vishnu I will piss into it sir.” (C) An Aosdána member: “A grant, a grant, my kingdom for a grant” (D) A Muslim: “How can you tell if my wife is a fine looking bird, infidel.” Rent Reasonable. Would suit a non smoking professional gent, who hasn’t got access to firearms.

  17.  

    As far as I know, Vishnu would not be a hugely popular deity in Pakistan.

  18.  

    the level of resentment directed towards non nationals here is seriously frightening,i do not mean the site i mean Ireland as a whole,the economy is after being decimated by corruptness,but do we look for the heads of the investors and developers and politicans who became rich,no we take our frustrations out on people because of the colour of their skin,what ever happened to the Ireland of a thousand welcomes?? Now if your having a bad day its fashionable and seemingly accepted to blame the foreigners.the hse does not buy taxis for the blacks,they get grants from paul partnership for the price of the plate and car,i drive a taxi and im disgusted at the way i see irish people walk past the blacks to sit into a white drivers car,but rascism is a two way street,a driver i know was approached by the regulator to remove an irish flag he had on his aerial because a black driver found it offensive,this was only in the past few weeks.Ireland of a thousand welcomes….bollox

  19.  

    Here all that is coded as ‘diversity”. As in, this town has very little diversity, or, the school is quite diverse bussing in kids from other towns, ie African Americans from the urban centres. It’s far more PC and diverse in NYC so moving up to the sticks I was quite taken aback by people’s openness about it. .
    Can someone please concoct the Pakistanis’ possible conversation – ie we’ll try to get some fella who doesn’t have barbeques in the lashing rain or boil cabbage a few times a week.
    Imbatman- as an immigrant in another country (irish in the US) the facts are this – we’re an easy target, even more so if you look different to the indigenous people ie African in Ireland.

  20.  

    The insomnia is really getting to me now, I know it’s only 12.30 but ……………..
    However, Imbatman; The racism in this country is nothing new, i was a kid in the 50’s and 2 African friends who were at school with my brothers used to spend christmas and easter holidays with us because it was too expensive for them to travel home so many times in the year, We were the ” talk of the county ” I recall asking my Father once to explain a derogotary term i overheard someone saying when they were leaving our house, he explained to me that some people had a stupid difficulty relating to people of different colour and culture, i did’nt know what culture meant at the time and i had to ask about the colour because i had’nt noticed any difference, just goes to show, i think, that it’s whats placed in a persons mind by other’s and awareness of the environment we grow up in.

  21.  

    1. Pakistan is a country not a race.
    2. Is disliking not a formed opinion? (i think we are entitled to it) … if anyone was asked to make a list of all Nationalities and races by preference, one will be at the top and one will be at the bottom.
    3. They were both silent, with nothing said its the person telling you the story that was thinking it… maybe your friend had a big snot hanging from his nose and broke the other guy’s concentration for a while :)))

  22.  

    BenOit “disliking a formed opinion ” i wonder what your idea of ” formed opinion ” is ?
    I don’t like sandwich spread my ” formed opinion ” is that it repulses my taste buds
    Now if i don’t like an entire race of people, on what ” formed opinion ” could i base that on ?

  23.  

    What is the problem with letting a tenant know who they are going to be sharing a garden with, i know if i was looking to rent a property i would like to know in advance who i was sharing the garden with,what if they were muslims you were sharing with and you were having a barbeque with a lot of pork products now that would really give your muslim neighbours the hump/ but if you knew they were muslim you might respect that they will be offended or you might cook pork everyday, but at least you would know who your living beside

  24.  

    Norma: An opinion is formed by experience and information. Your mind has an option to choose. (your taste buds or NOT giving you a choice) for a 60yr old its wasnt a good comparison.

    An opinion is a belief that may or may not be backed up with evidence, but which cannot be proved with that evidence. It is normally a subjective statement and may be the result of an emotion or an interpretation of facts; people may draw opposing opinions from the same facts.

  25.  

    BenOit; pretty good answer, but i like the bit of evidence, thats only my opinion.
    Now whats your point about a 60 yr old ? and who is 60 years old ? is it you ? because it isn’t me, if that was a deduction based on information or evidence your computations are wrong.

  26.  

    Simple fact. 2 nights in a row I took first car at Sarsfield St. rank. Both drivers were black. Both developed finger stutter when they got to the “extras” button. Both brazenly insisted that I pay the inflated fare (I didn’t) even though I’d informed them that I was a taxi driver. Now I skip the cabs with black drivers. Does this mean all black drivers are thieves? NO. Does this make me a racist? NO. I just want to get home without any hassle.

  27.  

    If I get screwed by a taxi driver, a barman and a hooker and two of them happen to be black and I say to a mate later on “those fuckers, those fucking fuckers screwed me royally” am i 66/1/3 racist or am I expressing my right to freedom of speech. Just wondering.

  28.  

    #14 Norma,
    well, if they were Hmongs, there might be a worry for your dog… ;)

  29.  

    Paulo — I’d say that their race is irrelevant. You’re just complaining about thieving fuckers, regardless of ethnic origin.

    However, I am baffled by people who pay for sex. What’s the point if you have to buy it?

  30.  

    hig 28; no worries, i am the only one who loves my dog, he’s obnoxious, not even a starving H’mong would sample him.

  31.  

    haha, good to hear that.

  32.  

    Norma: comment 20: ” … i was a kid in the 50’s …” THAT why i think ur 60!! … i rest my case

  33.  

    I could be in my 50’s i could be in my 70’s, just a point regarding your basis of “opinion ” your previous explanation of same, if you don’t get it , no worries

  34.  

    Norma (again): Were you a kid in the 50’s or not? Liar or just making up stories? (see comment 20 … you clearly say so… or was that your evil twin :?)

    And just for the record; not knowing what culture means or even beeing color blind , you would still see a difference between black and white … and definitely in the 50s

    … if it is to get the final word … go ahead … its yours, i m overly amused as it is hahaha

  35.  

    Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Fr BenOit, forgive my sin of not worshipping at the stump of entrenched learnt belief systems.
    Please also forgive the following;
    I’m not addicted to wikipedia, i shall try harder, (you forgot the italics 24 )
    Not having a list of my fave 1-10 races. ( maybe the 2.45 in Doncaster, does that count ? )
    My feeble attempts as an old lady to avoid emotion when forming opinions,
    For defining the difference in my tired mind between opinion and prejudice.
    Most importantly, Your bountiful forgiveness for my lack of knowledge and colourblindness as a small child, It must have been unfortunate for me to have had a parent who systematically unwound any prejudicial views which entered our obviously eccentric household, (reminder to self ) must march my non religious children toward the portals of indoctrination, first thing in morning.
    Damn, how did you find out about the “evil twin ” thought i had her sorted.
    If i was born in 1949, i would be 60
    if i was born in 1957 i would be 52
    but i was probably born yesterday.
    “Dare pondus idonea fumo ”
    Happy Holidays

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