Kung Fu Fighting, Political Correctness and Racism

A musician was accused of racial harassment for singing a pop song from the Seventies

There may be a few of us in here old enough to remember our disastrous attempts to emulate John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever at the Disco in the mid-70s.

There we were bumper-to-bumper – where’s me V-Necked jumper? Anyone remember the first letter of your name in upper case on said jumper, the flares, Donny Osmond, the Bay City Rollers?

It’s no wonder half of us are still receiving counseling.

Kung Fu Fighting was released in 1974, the year I finally convinced the ogre on the door of the nightclub that I was 18.

The song was a smash hit for Carl Douglas on both sides of the Atlantic. It hit the charts around the time that Bruce Lee films were all the rage to cash in on the martial arts craze sweeping the USA and Europe.

I was never into the martial arts myself, me being a pragmatic type. I mean, martial arts didn’t do the Japanese much good when the Yanks dropped two big ones on them at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did it?

The auld MA didn’t pack the same punch as Oppenheimer’s deadly toy I reckon.

I noticed a DVD of Enter the Dragon in the shop recently. I thought this was a porn flick featuring someone rogering Margret Thatcher (Mama doc), until I recalled it was Brucie, chop socking his way through legions of slanty-eyed baddies.

Back in our disco days the night would be considered a success if you got to touch yer wan up walking her home. One of the boys in the Duck N’ Drake nostalgically referred to this manoeuvre as, “dropping the hand.”

Me being a shy type I never did get around to it – and in a darkened underpass I thought my chance had come at last, but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t act.

Glory days. The pint was about 20 pence, a CV was some sort of venereal disease, and Norman Hunter was prowling midfield at Elland Road, secure in the knowledge that the FIFA law banning players from going through opponents to get at the ball was 30 years in the offing.

Bowie, Dylan and the Beatles were also making great music, but it all fell asunder after they quit taking heroin.. Then again, you can only gild the lily so many times.

Anyway, Kung Fu Fighting may appear to be a strange barometer by which to measure the intolerance of the PC brigade and how Human Rights laws have now been inverted to the point of utter absurdity.

But try telling that to Simon Ledger, a musician. Ledger was arrested recently on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment.

And his crime? Well, it was truly heinous as was belting out a version of Kung Fu Fighting at a gig in the Isle of Wight, a capital offence in itself, unless his tongue was firmly in his cheek. However,
the two Asian fuckers that took “grave offence” to the song didn’t have their tongues in their cheeks when they ran to the cops and lodged a complaint.

Ledger consequently had his collar felt, ironically as he was eating a meal in a Chinese restaurant.

A police spokesman said that a 32-year-old bastard claimed he was subjected to racial abuse, long time, and that “investigations” are continuing and witnesses are being questioned.

Imagine the scene in court.

“M’Lud, I put it to you that the accused was singing that those cats were fast as lightning”

“Moreover, he also warbled that they were a little bit frightening, adding that they fought with expert timing”

“He also implied that they were funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown, that they were chopping them up and they were chopping them down.”

“Ten years. No parole. Order in the Court.”

The entire episode would be a great laugh if it wasn’t so absurdly serious. And let the above be a warning to any musician out there.

Almost any song that might be considered to be stereotyping any racial group could now result in you ending up in front of The Beak.

And M’lud could send you down folks – as fast as lightning. Strangeways here we come.


60 thoughts on “Kung Fu Fighting, Political Correctness and Racism

  1. I doubt that we are getting the full story here.It sounds to me like there was far more to it than just singing Kung Fu Fighting.Chinese people are very reserved and not the kind to go running off complaining about just a harmless song.

  2. I hear he’s dropped Killing an Arab by The Cure from his set in case Al Queda take it up wrong.

  3. To be frank I have seen the Chinese taking too much shit from white trash pukebags and I am glad that they are finally beginning to stand up for themselves.

  4. William, would that be the entire Chinese nation or just a few individuals? How do you know that the oppressed are Chinese? I can’t tell the difference between say Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese. What country do these white trash pukebags live in? Have you ever intervened when said white trash pukebags were giving shit to the Chinese?

    Personally I’m sick of being maligned by songs such as “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”, “Patsy Fagan”, and the xenophbic “If You’re Irish Come Into The Parlour”, I’ve had enough.

  5. This happened two months ago – why the story only now?

    And now, more than you wanted to know about Simon Ledger. Here’s almost the most recent comment on the Daily Mail article about this:

    First let me state this. I am 100% pure Chinese, i start hearing this song since early 80s. I did not ever get offended by this song, in fact i like it. What’s wrong with the song. What racist it make, unless this Simon change some of the lyrics, this we not sure as we are not there at that time.
    – Warthog :), Singapore, 27/4/2011 16:45

    And from Simon himself:

    Mr Ledger, who was later bailed, wrote on Facebook: ‘If the lad who phoned the police is reading this, what is wrong with you?’


    Here’s Simon himself singing a different song. Less than 2,000 views since September. Can’t tell if he’s really singing or not – don’t hear the acoustic piano in the mix at all. He’s pretty good.

    Simon Ledger singing Aint That A Lot Of Love on Barrymores My Kind Of Music


    And here’s a BBC story about it. Again, he’s not actually singing – this was staged, because there’s no “band”. Also very few views. Seems like it wasn’t a very big story.

    Political correctness gone potty


    Hey – Isle of Wight – I recognize that from the Beatle’s “When I’m 64”!

    Every summer we can rent a cottage
    In the Isle of Wight if it’s not to, dear
    We shall scrimp and save
    Ah, grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave

    And lastly, here’s about him. Mentions the ITV appearance:


  6. More. A radio interview with Simon a few days later (1st 11-1/2 minutes). Adds some interesting facts, like he might counter sue the guy for swearing and making inappropriate gestures in front of children:

    Ezra Levant with “human rights” victim Simon Ledger


    Oh – and this is what Carl Douglas said about the incident:

    Kung Fu Fighting singer Carl Douglas: My hit isn’t racist


    Didn’t see anything recent about it, though. And yes, I do have other things to do…

  7. Thanks for all the additional SomeILovesU, great stuff.

    As regards you “This happened two months ago – why the story only now” comment.What do you think I am
    – Reuters Breaking News ?

    I’ll give you breaking news – Bock can set up the pay-per-click, ten euro or a crate of Heineken a pop.

    Here’s some breaking news over a year in advance. Katie Taylor and Joe Ward will bring back medals from the 30th Olympiad in London.

    That’s a fact, that’s a thing as sure as there are 10 million bicycles in Beijing, where our pugilists claimed our only medals at the last Olympics.

  8. Was there any conclusion to this case then.All I can find is that the police did not regard it as trivial in that your man was released on bail.If it was as simple as just playing a song I am sure the case would have been dropped there and then.

  9. Regarding racist attacks on Chinese well Irelands first racist murders were of Chinese anybody remember this https://www.irr.org.uk/cgi-bin/news/open.pl?id=4364 no.8 if you cant tell the difference between Chinese Japanese and Vietnamese well then I see no point having a discussion with you on the subject as we would have to start with simple basics and that would be too tedious.

  10. William the above is not about racist attacks on Chinese or any other nationality – despicable acts. The above is about the absurdity of a working musican being arrested for doing a version of a song that is often played on the radio, although radio stations are so spooked now they probably won’t play it, thankfully, from a musical perspective. The cops hands are tied on this matter also, because they have to “investigate” when the complaint goes in instead of using common sense. Hence, a working musician finds himself in danger of winding up with a criminal record because he was singing Kung FU Fighting at a gig. You couldn’t make it up.

  11. Seconds I am not saying that this is not an over the top incident.But there just seems to be more to it.I cannot believe that somebody could be arrested for just singing a song that at least in its original version is not offensive and is perfectly legal.Problem is we are only hearing one guys version of events.And as this was in a public place there must be no end of witnessess.I would like to hear their version.As you say the police have to investigate but they also have the right to drop a charge that has no merit to it.Be interesting to see what the final outcome will be.

  12. William, I take it from SomeILovesYou above that the musician is planning to counter sue, a strong indication that this was a malicious complaint, a malicious complaint facilitated by a law which compels cops to investigate absurdities, and arrest a man doing his job. I recall reading that the “charges” were dropped. I’ll see if that can be confirmed.

  13. William, not wanting to be tedious I did some (very unsientific) googling on the differences between the various asian peoples. Most of the postings are from peoples of that race and they mostly claim that non asians would find it very difficult to tell them apart. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080801155942AA3xNt1

    You obviously know the differences, is there any chance that you could educate me and, I suspect, others?

  14. “I noticed a DVD of Enter the Dragon in the shop recently. I thought this was a porn flick featuring someone rogering Margret Thatcher (Mama doc), until I recalled it was Brucie”.. Haha.. You’ve one dirty mind on you Mr. Seconds out. Brilliant.

    Of course you can tell people apart No.8. They’re individuals.

  15. FME thank you for that nugget of wisdom. Of course people are individuals, did I say other wise?

    My point being that if there were a Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean person in fro t of you could you tell their nationality from appearance alone. You and William obviously can, I can’t. I just wondered as to the differences. Could you tell the difference between a Scot, Welsh, English and Irish person from appearances alone?

  16. No.8 yes there are physical differences that set them apart.This is very difficult to explain.But I will try.First thing to understand is that the southern Chinese look different from the northern Chinese. Southern Chinese have rounder eyes yellow to light brown skin and are shorter than Northern Chinese who have longer faces higher cheek bones and more pronounced epicanthal folds and white skin.Japanese tend to have finer features and a smaller jawline and almost porcelian white skin (which tans yellow).The Vietnamese are more Malay than mongoloid (although really an admixture) hence they look more like Thais and Filippinos with mostly brown skin and rounder faces.But their features are sharper than the Thais and Filippinos.Koreans are very distinctive mongoloids with very high cheekbone long face and their epicanthal fold makes their eyes look smaller than all the rest.Anyhow when you live in that part of the world you can identify the different nationalities at a glance it just comes with experience.

  17. You’re welcome No. 8. :)
    About the difference between a Scot, Welsh, English and Irish person.
    I can sense a paddy joke coming there.. but I can always tell which flight is found for Shannon in an international airport without even knowing the gate number.
    I just look out for bán white skin with freckles.. and ugly men are usually in the vicinity. :)

  18. I imagine a person in, for instance, South-East Asia,might have difficulty telling a Finn from a Frenchman. The regional similarities would read more prominently than the subtle nuances. That would be perfectly understandable. I see no reason why some Europeans wouldn’t have the same trouble distinguishing between a Vietnamese and a Korean, despite the differences which would be obvious to someone familiar with those countries.

  19. To most of us non-Asians, they’re not much different (on first glance) than Bele and Lokai (see Political Commentary in Star Trek and Galactica here). ; )

    Listen to the Ezra Levant interview – very interesting.

    Charges dropped. Look at this – I figured that Simon would get some publicity from this. Maybe it was all a set up just for that!

    Yesterday he took to the stage with Jamaican-born Carl just hours after police formally dropped the case against him, which centred on barmy allegations of racially aggravated harassment.

    The pair hit it off so well and the impromptu gig went down such a storm that they even hinted they could re-release the song as a duet.

    This was despite Simon being told he could be arrested a SECOND time if anyone complained about his song again.

    Carl donned his famous headband and joined Simon to prove the song was not offensive when we invited them to sing the No 1 hit that made Carl a star in 1974. The singer, now 63, said: “I said I would sing my song in London to prove it is not racist, so that’s what I’m doing…

    The duo were backed by the restaurant’s owner, Shun Lee, 55, who said: “I was quite young when the record came out. It was very popular in China and Hong Kong and I’m certainly not offended by it…

    Couldn’t watch the video, though – didn’t load right. But the Sun article is great.


  20. Oh, and No. 8 – bad last comment – why say something like that? And how would you know anyway? You’re so concerned that we can tell the difference between Asians so as not to offend them, but you can say something like this. o.O

  21. Bock @ 21.. they have that problem solved at least in the Philippines where we are all Americans and no point bothering to tell them anything else ) :

  22. So what is this blog about, political correctness and racism as indicated in the title or distinguishing between various Asian races and as someone above suggested Mr. Seconds Out’s dirty mind when it comes to Asians?

  23. It’s about whatever people want it to be about. I’m very impressed to meet a mindreader. Please tell me how you acquired this skill.

  24. REH, it’s about kung-ku fighting.. do do do do do do.. those cats were fast as lightin’.. do do do do…

    Thanks Some1 :) .. you know you haven’t a bad sense of humour sometimes.. unlike some others abouts the place.

    Good comment at 21 there Bock.

  25. Some1LovesU, FME chose to share her ex’s condition with all on this forum, that’s how I know.

    Whether you offend asians or not is none of my concern. I asked William how to differentiate between different asian people, I’m not familiar enough to tell them apart. William obliged. FME replied with her usual humour, I merely responded.

    Now, down off your high horse.

  26. OK – you weren’t worried about offending them. But yours didn’t seem to me like just a “mere” response, even if she revealed that somewhere else here. I don’t know what the context was there, but what you said just sounded mean to me – and she thanked me, so I think that she agrees. Peace. ; )

  27. “One who can give it, but can not take it.” (urbandictionary). We’ve had our gives and takes here, and I don’t agree with you about her. And anyway, it doesn’t mean having to take everything equally. Your’s was a particularly mean give.

  28. “If I recall correctly, FME was the first to mention a person’s sexual performance.” Ever? On the whole site?
    It was on a thread about the beach.. forget it.
    Was said like a reality type love story about sex on the beach, until all goes wrong.. not everything I write literally happens.

    Jesus Christ, some of ye need to lighten the fuck up.
    No. 8.. what are you referred to in Limerick? A dry arse bollix.
    You’ve a long memory when it suits you btw.
    You accused me of supporting Sinn Fein there not too long ago until I went and got the thread to show I didn’t.. but you can remember erectile disfunction.. hmmm okay.
    They say association helps to remember things.

  29. I don’t know. You could be right. Maybe somebody else mentioned it in the distant past.

    Anyway, this has all become too personal for my liking. No 8’s comments could not be considered good-natured slagging and I think it’s time to call a halt.

  30. I seem to have stood on a corn and over stepped the mark, my apologies.

    But FME you live by the sword, bla bla bla. You make stupid comments like in #20 but it is we who ” need to lighten the fuck up”, because we don’t get your rather special brand of humour. Maybe you should think before you press the submit button. Don’t give up the day job!

    As to what I’m referred to in Limerick, there no dry arse about it, I am a straight forward bollix.

    See you at therapy.

  31. Apologies, but no halting as requested.

    Stupid (if it is) in #20 is not nearly the same as personally mean in your #22. And you continue to be unnecessarily mean now. Apologies don’t count if you keep doing the thing you apologized for.

    From high up here on my horse…

  32. S1LU, I apologised end of. I also pointed out where I thought FME had erred and thus received my barbed comment. FME is not some innocent victim and can’t claim to be misunderstood whenever her humour backfires.

    Let it go now.

  33. No worries No.8. I’ll forgive you. Someday.
    You’re referred to a straight forward bollix huh. You’ve very kind friends.
    As for “because we don’t get your rather special brand of humour. Maybe you should think before you press the submit button”.. You and whose army? And I think I’m a bit of a hoot, so there..
    You’re not obliged to laugh or crack a smile, ya straight forward bollix ya.

    think think think.. submit.

  34. Surely being able to tell Korean from Vietnamese from Chinese leaves one more disposed to racism, since to my ears at least

    “Rats! Hairy Japanese bastards!”

    sounds a lot more pointed and unambiguos than

    “Rats! Hairy Asian bastards!”

    Not being able to tell one race from another does not a racist make. Besides, one should see a human being first, and a country of origin second.

  35. Shame on you, Seconds, for bothering to recycle such a trite non-story from the Murdoch press, particularly the Daily Murdoch, which never misses the opportunity to print the most horrific, made-up shite about ethnic minorities just to sell a few copies and stoke the racist fire that rages in breast of middle England.

    In my experience every time someone has a pop at political correctness, they are usually trying to have their own sexism / racism / homophobia accepted without being called to account or are whinging about what they see as the loss of privilege (that is, the privilege of being openly sexist, racist or homophobic) in the face of a more respectful and tolerant society.

    By the way the ‘two Asian fuckers that took “grave offence”’ were in fact a mother and son and I suspect that that opening ‘diddle diddle dink dink dink dink dum’ refrain is as offensive and threatening to a Chinese person as Laurel and Hardy’s Dance of the Cuckoos is to a westerner when encountered in a certain context.

    BTW The man was a pub singer who played disco, he deserved arresting and locking away IMHO

  36. Every time someone has a pop at political correctness? Isn’t that a bit sweeping?

    It looks like a licence for every control freak to hide behind political correctness whenever they feel like it, secure in the knowledge that their critics will be labelled sexist, racist or homophobic.

  37. I never knew that Murdoch, who pays well, owned the BBC, Telegraph and others – there I find out something new everyday.

  38. No it’s not. I’ll say it one last time. Write your comments in English or not at all. Your choice. I’m not in the mood for smart-asses.

  39. This was a hard research challenge!

    REH – the letters are English ones, but I think that Bock means “what does it MEAN in English?”. Not your everyday acronyms like LOL.

    IIE – Institute of Intensive English? Or maybe Institute of International Education.

    GBLM – Genetics Based Lens Model (and Golf Ball Line Marker) @ acronymgeek

    Assuming that it’s not the latter, I looked up the former. Basically, a Lens Model is the way that a person uses perceived environmental cues to form a judgement based on chosen criteria.

    The Lens Model is a way of thinking about describing the relations between the environment and the behavior of organisms in the environment…It’s called the lens model because it looks a little bit like light passing through a convex lens


    For example, a criteria diagrammed on the left, four cues in the middle and the judgement on the right (search Google Images for Lens Model). I would then assume that GBLM means that a person’s genes determine what cues (or criteria) they use to make judgements.

    Now what this has to do with anything here, I haven’t a clue – or a cue! (Actually, I just don’t want to spend more time thinking about it, or to which comment it applies.) And it could be an acronym for something else entirely, although this one is already obscure enough.


  40. GBLM – Could mean – ‘Good Bolly Lis Molly’ Now If I was to sing that one out loud at a gig… Well I would definitely be arrested for racism.

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Yolik and Bolik ? …….. Anyone?

  41. HYG.
    That’s, Ha yer gas.

    What’s a Yolik and a Bolik Long John? I wouldn’t know what they were if they were in front of me, nevermind to know the difference.

  42. Bock, I did preface the comment with ‘in my experience’. But in Second’s case I think I’d be right with or without the preface. The reference to ‘Asian fuckers’ tended to give his or her position on such matters away.

    the systemworks: I live in the heart of middle England – it is racist and not in a nice, laugh it off, only joking, where’s your sense of humour kind of way. The BBC is hideously white, as is the judiciary, Parliament, Oxbridge, and any other powerful institution in Britain you care to name. Which is fine if you happen to be white, I suppose.

    Seconds, changing your source to the Torygraph hardly mitigates the offence. The BBC report is btw completely different in content and in slant from your account. Ledger wasn’t arrested, he was phoned up and asked politely to attend the police station to give his side of the story. When he did no further action was taken.

    The defence rests mi’lud

  43. BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-13205220 first par, headline, he was “arrested”, “Torygraph”, indeed, “hideously white”, taken from the Guardian last week – imagine being hidesouly white in England, lawdy, lawdy- must be like being hideously black, ooops, you wacist, wacist, in Nigeria – the musican in this case was the victim, repeat, a man trying to earn a living was the victim. I would like to see him counter sue these fuckers, as inded I would like to see an Asian, Black, whatever, sue a white fucker in similiar circumstances. BTW Murdoch is not under the bed

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