Gardeners’ Question Time? It’s So Racist

Alasdair Glennie, Daily Mail (London), August 4, 2014

With its amiable discussions on greenfly and compost, it may seem as innocuous as a radio show could be.

So regular listeners to Gardeners’ Question Time will be surprised to find it caught up in a race row.

For an academic claims that Radio 4’s long-running programme is spreading covert racist stereotypes disguised as horticultural advice.

Dr Ben Pitcher, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster, says the panel show is ‘saturated’ with racial language.

From debates about native and non-native plant species to advice about the purity of different soil types, the programme’s resident green-fingered experts are secretly feeding nationalist and fascist fantasies, he claims.

Speaking on another Radio 4 programme, Thinking Allowed, he said: ‘Gardeners’ Question Time is not the most controversial show on Radio 4, and yet it is layered with, saturated with, racial meanings. The context here is the rise of nationalism. The rise of racist and fascist parties across Europe. Nationalism is about shoring up a fantasy of national integrity. My question is, what feeds nationalism? What makes nationalism powerful?’

Dr Pitcher said there is a ‘crisis in white identity in multicultural Britain’ caused by the fact that ‘white culture’ is historically associated with racism and far-Right views.

White people are therefore forced to find other ways of talking about white identity–such as through gardening–so they do not appear to be racist.

Speaking on the same programme, Lola Young, a crossbench peer and former professor of cultural studies, agreed with Dr Pitcher’s argument. She added: ‘I remember back in the late 80s-early 90s when rhododendrons were seen as this huge problem, and people were talking about going out rhododendron-bashing.

‘That was at a time when Paki-bashing was something that was all too prevalent on our streets. This kind of slippage of language into alien and native is a thread in our language.’ It is not the first time Gardeners’ Question Time has been embroiled in a race row.

In 2008, listeners complained after a plant known as a ‘black man’s willy’ was mentioned. The BBC was accused of ‘pandering to political correctness’ after it apologised.

Last night horticulturalist Stefan Buczacki, who was on the programme for 13 years, said Dr Pitcher’s claims were ‘utterly absurd’.

‘Many things have been said about Gardeners’ Question Time, but you can’t say it is racist,’ he said. ‘His comments show a complete lack of understanding of the natural world.

‘Gardeners understand the fluidity of species over space and time.

‘They come and go, and adapt to different environments. That is what we mean by native and non-native species. It has nothing whatsoever to do with nationalism or racism.

‘There is enough real racism in the world without looking for it in places it doesn’t exist.’

A BBC spokesman said: ‘The passing mention of Gardeners’ Question Time was part of a broader discussion about language and race . . . the comment simply reflected the programme’s use of accepted gardening and horticultural terminology.’


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  • MekongDelta69

    “Hey Ma! Hey Ma! Over here! Look over here! Quick! I’ve found even more ‘racism‘ under my bed. Look! See for yourself.”

    “Ok stupid. I’ll be right there.”

    “Hey Ma. Why are you calling Bellevue?”

    • I wonder if there is hidden racism lurking in the hobbies of tying fishing flies and building fishing lures.

      I am going to build my own traditional bamboo fly rods this winter, having bought the “how-to” book by Garrison and Carmichael. Sunset Bamboo has some very nice 10-foot carmelized bamboo. This has been smoked until it is a lovely Manila envelope color and the joints are dark brown: 25 10-foot pieces for $79.95. Eclectic Angler sells kits from which one builds one’s own brass fly reels. I’ll use one of these kits, but before I assemble it, I am going to reverse engineer all the reel parts, so I can make copies for additional reels out of brass or stainless. One of the rods will disassemble into three one-meter sections, and the attachment point for the reel will also accept spinning reels. This way, one disassembled rod and two reels will be convenient for travelling. This project is almost certainly racist; it positively reeks of white privilege.

      I got the 2002 Saturn running again today: racist. I then re-registered it so it is legal for the road: also racist.

      Dinner tonight was shrimp scampi on shell pasta with Brussels sprouts and a tossed salad: you guessed it – racist.

      • Shrimp scampi AND Brussels sprouts ? That, sir, is DOUBLE rayciss.

      • MekongDelta69

        It sounds as if you’re hopelessly beyond redemption.

        I can refer you to your Local Chapter of the Re-Education, Brainwashing and Indoctrination School for White People Who Are Forever Racist.

        I’ve heard they’re pretty good at beating the White Privilege out of you…

      • Epiminondas

        Check your white privilege, bro.

  • David Ashton

    Horticultural not multicultural. Berries of color. Cherries of color. Apples of color. Persimmon of color.

    • Olorin

      I am appalled at your smug white male hegemonic expressions of so-called humor! What greater evidence of racism is there than you referring to the color of different fruits?!

      A truly reconstructed person wouldn’t even notice! They’d just walk into the forest or jungle and stuff any shiny round thing they found into their mouth. And if it killed them, well, they deserved it for being SPECIESIST and killing the plants’ helpless babies!

      I am going to begin agitating IMMEDIATELY for a genetic engineering project in which all fruits are interbred and genetically modified to one beautiful shade of pale greeny orangey mauve representational of the highest aspirations of all fruit to be Global, Diverse, and One Worldy.

      I’ll bet you even like one kind of fruit better than others, which just proves you are a racist. Everyone knows that the Truly Diverse and Correct have zero preferences for anything other than being morally authoritative and belting the snott out of anyone who disagrees with their streetcorner fulminations!

      No diversity is diversity!

      No color is color!

      No racism is…um…racism!

      [Oh my god, I’m pushing 30 and am unemployable and can’t find anyone upon whom to exercise my oppositional defiant disorder that has gotten me this far in life with expectations of going farther for doing nothing but ranting in a special language spoken only by sociologists who’ve been huffing Barthes.

      Wait! The BBC! HEY BEEB!]

  • Mary

    Gardening terminology fraught with racist symbolism? Just when you think the anti-whites can’t get any more irrational, they always push the envelope.

    • FallenAngelofDoom

      I think we should push it even further, i.e., troll.

      I’m already doing this on several major websites and comment boards: posing as a Left-winger and making EVERYTHING into a race issue. We want it to be utterly impossible to tell the difference between Left-wing ideology and trolling — maybe that’s already the case, but we want more and more people to be exposed to “anti-racism.”

      Amplify the message to ever-more-dizzying heights of absurdity and normal everyday non-awakened folks can’t help but come over to the side of reason.

      And when around liberals, refer to everything as racist. Talk about the horrible racism everywhere, such as in white paper. Drop subtle insinuations that they may be racist themselves. Try to outdo them as much as possible in the “racial paranoia” department.

      Cognitive dissonance leads to either neurosis or epiphany: so we should purposely push the narrative further and further into the territory of insanity. It harms and confuses the Left, while leading the rest away from them.

      • Kenner

        ‘Agree and amplify’.

        • JP Rushton

          It’s great for picking up women and confusing liberals!

          A lot of people probably don’t know what agree and amplify means, so I’ll explain real quick.

          Woman: “I bet you’ve been with hundreds of women”
          Man: “Nah, it’s more like thousands, but I like you the best”

          Liberal: “You’re a racist!”
          Man: “I’m so racist my calendar is of Adolf. December is a hot month for me!”

      • Usually Much Calmer

        Bless your dark heart, dear. Keep at it!

      • Not that’s what I call white and right thinking! You’re tactics are beautiful because it exposes the absurdity of the ‘racism’ mantra by being even more absurd than they are.

        Before long, they can’t turn in any direction without being bombarded at how ‘racist’ and ‘white privileged’ they are. Hopefully, it will drive foolish whites to forever cast off the insanity of it all.

      • Yours is the strategy advocated by WN blogger mindweapons in raganarok. Keep us posted on how this works out. I think it’s a great idea.

      • LHathaway

        “we should purposely push the narrative further and further into the territory of insanity”
        lol, this is what main stream leftists are doing all by themselves. Are they on our side? Some of them are. I fear the cognitive dissonance being aroused is leading to neurosis instead of epiphany.. All that is relevant is the end of the story. ‘Racism’ is punished. The masses fear being punished.

    • archer

      Someone said it best “liberalism is a form of insanity”.

    • Olorin

      He’s not anti-white so much as Sociology Student For Life and unemployable.

      Yes, redundant, I know.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Anti-racism is all about “virtue in a jackboot.” It’s an ideological project whose chief purpose is the complete suppression of all human freedom. Anti-racist ideologues want to turn us into miniature copies of “Homo globicus,” an idealized image that is similar to the “Homo sovieticus” of the Bolsheviks. This man is without national or ethnoracial consciousness. He is an automaton that consumes and produces for the elites in a globalized, neo-feudal order.

  • HJ11

    My question is what religion/ethnicity is this guy? And, if he claims no religion or something like Buddhism, what religion were his parents.

  • Kenner

    Pritcher’s comments ‘show a complete lack of understanding of the natural world’.
    Ironically, at a deeper level than he’ll ever grasp.

  • jane johnson

    This sounds like an SNL skit. How can it NOT be satire?

  • Purely for educational purposes since I wouldn’t want to be accused of racism (the worst thing in the world), here’s a picture from the Daily Mail of that vile racist plant, black man’s willy, mentioned in the story. Hmmm. Looks like a flower to me. (Hope the picture shows up; not a bad looking flower)

    • Kenner

      Well, they’re much nicer than the ones at the gym.

  • tancred guiscard

    “So how do we deal with the fecundity of this invasive species?” the queen asks the magic mirror. “poison. Pooissonn”.

  • Pro_Whitey

    Reading these complainers reminds me of Steve Martin holding a guitar and wearing a gag fake arrow that looks like it has gone through his skull, singing, “I get paid for doing this!” What a joke that time and money gets wasted on these people.

    Also, I wish those rhododendrons would move back where they came from, and if they don’t the UK government moves them there forcibly.

    • Kenner

      Just don’t call them ‘rhodies’.

  • Eddie Lutz

    Eggplants are the worst.

    • IstvanIN

      Cubans have a word in Spanish that means eggplant that they use to refer to dark negroes. (I don’t recall it right now)

      • Kenner

        Italians: ‘Melanzana’.

        • Nancy

          No…it’s “moulinyan”. “Moolies”, for short. Trust me, my family of origin are the Sopranos.

          • Kenner

            Dang, I even looked that one up and came up wrong! You are right.

    • Jim

      I wish those big fat purple [email protected]@rds would go back to where they came from.

  • “There is enough real racism in the world without looking for it in places it doesn’t exist.”
    –Original article

    Isn’t that entirely the point of the “anti-racism” crusade? Their objective is not correcting any perceived social wrong, but grandiose moral posturing and dictating the societal narrative. Viewed from this standpoint, looking for – and uncoincidentally finding – “racism” literally everywhere has been wildly successful for the Cultural Marxists.

  • JDInSanD

    No, he had a blackberry because white people invented the phone, the internet, the computer chip, computer programs, social networks, electricity and batteries .

    • I thought he had that “sail foam” because being a community organizer (read: “professional pest”) is an important, high-powered, demanding job and he thought he needed to be reachable 24/7 in case someone urgently needed annoying.

      Al $harpton doubtless has one, too.

  • JDInSanD

    “Nationalism is about shoring up a fantasy of national integrity. My question is, what feeds nationalism? What makes nationalism powerful?’”

    I say Mexico should have to answer this one first.

  • LHathaway

    Oh my! British fascination with the Orange Belted Bumble Bee may in fact be a sign of their nativism and their effort to get back in touch with the discredited racism of the far right. . .

    I’m going to go with that one. It is only a matter of time before even the British come to terms with their feelings.

  • IKUredux

    WOW. Frankly, I hope this lunatic is correct. You have to admit that it is interesting that he made the leap from invasive species to racism. Methinks he doth protest too much. Oh, I’m sorry, is it racist to quote Shakespeare? I mean, you know, dead White guy and all. Part of racist White civilization, and everything. I mean, are we still allowed to quote Shakespeare? So far O.K? You wait. If things continue on this path, it WILL be a crime to quote Shakespeare.

  • Paleoconn

    Gardening TV shows and cartoon trains. Both racist. Tedious mind of the progressive must be a special hell. The liberal is to be pitied first, but reviled foremost, and hated with extreme prejudice.

    • Kenner

      I figured the black smoke came from the coal-burners.

  • Jim

    I’m trying to figure out if “Black Eyed Susans” are racist or misogynistic.

    • Kenner

      Ask Chris Brown.

  • TruthBeTold

    The soil in my garden is pure and I only plant native species. Is a green thumb the new Nazi?

  • rightrightright

    Gardening per se is racist. The black and brown imports don’t indulge in it. They tend to prefer rubbish blowing around their front and back gardens to flowers, fruit and vegetables. Gardening should therefore be banned in favour of the diversity of litter.

    • Gardening is too much like work to them. Sitting on the front porch, drinking malt liquor and listening to rap music – really nothing more than a mixture of baby talk and misogynistic profanity set to a synthesizer beat – is about as much outdoor activity as any of them are willing to engage in, though the more active ones go farther afield to play the knockout game.

  • Lagerstrom

    Is this serious? No, really.

  • BillMillerTime

    What’s next? Shall the term “Venus Fly Trap” be banned for its obvious sexism?

  • You know what, I like it that Britain has no (or very few) “native” poisonous snakes. I like it that there are no lions and tigers roaming the countryside. I like it that we have our own ways and species of plants and so on.

    It gets on my nerves that we are increasingly seeing “Japanese Knot-weed” smother and destroy our plants.

    It gets on my nerves that there are reports of “pet” venomous snakes and spiders being let loose into our countryside, not only dominating and destroying our own spiders and other animals, but creating a hazardous country in the future for no real reason other than ‘diversity’, ‘pets’ and sheer irresponsibility.

    It annoys me that the red squirrel is being conquered, near wiped out, with the imported grey. Why should I not consider it a loss, or a detriment to the world or this country?

    In fact, I consider the lapse control of all these things as being some kind of environmental warfare against this country and its shape in the future.

    As for the retard in the article, there is nothing wrong with wanting to advance soils, describe their purity and suitability for different species and environments.

    I don’t know much about horse racing, but you hardly have it where the winning horses are being bred with the local nag workhorse down at the nearest farm paddock. No, they are bred and reared for preservation and advancement of the stock – the way it should be.

    Is horse racing “racist” as well as gardening? Some people see racism and fascism in their cornflakes. Perhaps he is right that the terminology is based around aspects of nature that are now seen as being taboo – but the problem is not the nature, the problem is that it is seen as taboo!

  • How great would it have been if somebody flipped it around on him while he was on the air? “wait … so let me get this straight, you hear people on a gardening show say “invasive species” and the first thought that pops into your mind is “minorities” … and you say THEY’RE the racists ?”

  • Dale McNamee

    From the article : ” Dr Ben Pitcher, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster…”

    ” Lola Young, a crossbench peer and former professor of cultural studies…”

    Being professors doesn’t mean they are mentally healthy, mentally stable. and mature…

    ‘Nuff said !

  • Nancy

    Man, you just can’t make this stuff up.

    Next thing you know, we’ll be reading about racism in cooking and home-improvement programs.

    “Whaddaya mean, white truffles are better than black truffles? Them’s be fightin’ words!”

    “Look how Ted replaced the old, ugly black linoleum with this beautiful white marble flooring. Yes, it’s more expensive, but certainly worth the price!”

    • Do-It-Yourself home-improvement is already a very white pastime.

      As for cooking, I doubt we have to wonder very long about Martha Stewart’s and Paula Deen’s viewer demographics.

  • Cameron Inness

    This has to be satire, right? Right? RIGHT?

  • I think the better explanation for that hot mess is diminishing marginal returns rather than clickbait.

    Usually, diminishing marginal returns involve pure economic considerations. If you like candy bars, then you get a lot of enjoyment out of the first one, quite a bit out of the second one, some out of the third one, but at some point of gouging on candy bars, you don’t enjoy it. And that’s assuming candy bars are free. Candy bars actually have costs, so at some point, diminishing marginal returns crosses wires with the cost of the candy bar, at some point you will draw so little marginal enjoyment from the next candy bar that you don’t think it’s worth the cost.

    But diminishing marginal returns also applies to sociopolitics. In the case of Mr. Pitcher (or should that be Catcher?), though, he can’t just stop eating candy bars, his career and profession depend on “racism” still existing. So he’s coming up against diminishing marginal returns, even as his side has succeeded mightily. Therefore, he and his cronies are left to using telescopes and microscopes to find enemies and racism, and what they find gets more and more strange and more and more kooky by the year. Hence, “microaggressions,” which will be “nanoaggressions” next year and “femtoaggressions” in two years. Or, alternatively, after the gays win World War G, they can’t just go home, or the President of GLAAD will be out of a job. So it’s time for World War T.

  • Kenner

    Okay, my brain is reeling, but that is brilliant…

  • This sounds like fun. I am going to have to create another Yahoo account in a totally fictional name, and go completely over the top. The name on the account will be an anagram of my own name.

  • Trashing a community garden would have once seemed a bit extreme, even coming from libtards, but nothing they do suprises me anymore.

  • Pat Kittle

    I’ve spent thousands of volunteer hours since 1993 removing non-native plants from redwood lands here on the central California coast.

    And most of the non-natives are from Europe — English ivy, French broom, etc.

    Occasionally the thought has occurred that some damn fool would find this “racist.”

    It’s reassuring to know I was right.