The Welsh are among the dwindling company of acceptable targets for gratuitous public contempt and abuse. Hatred against other identifiable groups of people continues as before, but many bigots now feel a certain embarrassment at ranting in public. They will usually feel comfortable enough at perpetrating such abuse amongst their own kind, and can become very indignant when this is reported. What, though, is the best way of dealing with the kind of ravings we still read against Welsh people and their language, their culture, and their way of life.
A cove I knew who worked on a paper explained that, from the editorial viewpoint, there is often nothing personal in such attacks. Any group of people would do as a target. What matters is that the vilifying pieces attract a lot of attention and elicit a furious response. This boosts the circulation, and thereby enhances advertising revenue.
He went on to assert – and I only have his word for it – that an indirect approach can discourage this kind of calumnious behaviour. The first step is to buy a single copy of the issue of the periodical in question wherein the offending piece was published. The second step is to create a ream or so of facsimiles, either through photocopying or through scanning. They need not be full-sized, or, indeed, particularly legible. All that matters is that they be identifiable. The third step – and I have never tried this myself, nor do I urge you to try it – is to post them to the editor of the periodical in cheap, unstamped envelopes.
This, it is alleged, will indicate the depth of public displeasure at the publication of gratuitous calumnies. For my part, I prefer studiously to ignore them. If the perpetrators fail to elicit the angry response they desire, this will ruin their day for them.