Kick racism out of football and politics

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Video transcript

Football is a time when many of us come together. A working class sport which was home to much of our radical politics. Our football team today, young and diverse.

Unfortunately, one thing that is still very much prevalent… racism.

What you can see here, is some sort of Racism Bingo, you get X amount of points based on what you do to a black person. 

You get 5 points to spit on…

10 points to punch….

There’s stealing clothes, driving into people, breaking into people’s houses and 500 points to Lynch…

Read on...

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Here’s a couple of tweets. 

“3… ruined the game”

Comparisons to slavery.

I won’t show any more, you get the picture of some of the online abuse”

Those people don’t care about the team, or the players. They’re cannon fodder, supported when we do well… Racially abused if we lose.

Now these tweets are very interesting, first from Boris Johnson

“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves”.

Then let’s look at what Priti Patel has to say

“I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media. 

It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable”.

To both Boris and Priti, spare me this… you can’t condemn players taking the knee and support fans who boo them and then pretend you are anti-racist.

This is actually beautifully explained by Tyrone Mings who tweeted at Prit Patel

“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens”.

You just don’t care Priti, this is all performative. What about your immigration policies, what about people who were born in this country being deported because of the colour of their skin?

What about you Boris, comparing black people to piccaninnies with watermelon smiles? Your Islamophobic comments about muslims?”

Of Course racism is a historical and cultural phenomenon that is still currently a pandemic today. It doesn’t start or end with our PM, or those in government.

However, it’s important that our elected officials take a strong stance on anti-racism. What they say and do influence people, you encourage the racists to be bolder and louder”.

What does it say about our country that it elected a man who’s written some disgusting vile comments in the past.

The following are paraphrases from a book Boris Johnson wrote in 2004 called ‘72 Virgins’.

“The louder the rant of the traffic offenders, the more acute are the wardens’ feelings of pleasure that they, the stakeless, the outcasts, the N-Word.”

“He was a C – O – O – N -word, and he was stupid, and he was stupid because he was a C-word.”

Now Boris Johnson claimed that he used those words before he entered politics – as if that’s an excuse – however, the book was written in 2004 when Johnson was an MP for Henley and Shadow Minister for Arts.

We can’t be serious about tackling racism when elected officials hold awful racist opinions, with those seemingly racist opinions going off the radar. Our media is doing a terrible job of holding them to account.

What can we do? It’s not good enough to simply not be racist, we have to actively be anti-racist. Challenge your friends,  family, and colleagues if they say things that are racist. Understand that people come from all walks of life, your experience may not be the same as others. When people tell you they have experienced racism, and your inclination is to not believe them or think they are exaggerating, listen to them instead. We all need to check for racial bias. Ask yourself if you can be better, as we all should.

Solidarity with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and POC around the nation. We must fight together, to defeat the epidemic of racism in today’s society.

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