2 Posted by - November 6, 2013 - Racism
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Once again,lots of debate over the guardian piece,and my blog……so many people missing the point,and picking up on certain points taken in isolation,and out of context.

When I said I that I am not bothered about what happened to yaya in Moscow,read on,and think about what I went on to say!!

It is appalling what is still happening to black footballers all over Europe.the point I was trying to make,was that,for years we have been “fining” ” banning” etc players and teams for racial abuse! IT CAN DO NOTHING TO GET RID OF RACISM !!!

What it can do,is it can stop us HEARING racist abuse in stadiums. There are enough people espousing and supporting that strategy,so it doesn’t need me to jump on that bandwagon…..there are not many people saying what I am saying,so I will continue to say it.

It is easy for us here to point the finger at cska,Ukraine,Suarez,terry etc,what that does,is absolve US of any responsibility to look at ourselves in the way WE look at other groups of people,which has as big a part to play in the fight against discrimination.

We absolutely do not see everyone as “equal” and the more we try to convince the world that we do,the longer it will take to eradicate the problem.when we see the horrors of what goes on in Africa,it affects us tremendously….but if we saw 100 blonde hair blue eyed children in New York,Toronto,or any European city starving,or being killed,can we honestly say that it wouldn’t impact on us more!! I have had this discussion with many white friends,who aren’t racist….and many said they would view both incidents in the same way.


They are afraid of being called racist,so the deny that they view different groups differently. I am of the black race ( or so I’m told….subject for a different time )…and i admit,that it would have a greater impact on me,being brought up in this environment, to see those white children under those circumstances.

I had an interview with a radio station yesterday,and the well educated non racist interviewer was arguing the point of so many NGO’s (white) in Africa doing so much good work for black people so therefore,they couldn’t be unconsciously racist.

I never said that people are not sympathetic,or don’t care,or aren’t doing anything about it,but the most important dynamic in getting rid of racism,is not the charity work you do,or the help you give,it is the basic perspective you have about a normal healthy average black person,in relation to yourself.

Do you see them as just like you,or more importantly do you see yourself as just like them (subtle difference)..

We do judge…we look at how people dress,their hair,makeup,shoes,car they drive,house they live in,money they earn,better/worse looking and many other things…then come to a conclusion in relation to ourselves.why then are we trying to convince everyone,that when it comes to colour/culture etc we see each other as equal!!

Like alcoholism,the most important thing in the battle to get better,is to ADMIT it!

Don’t be embarrassed,it is completely understandable, because of what we have been told,and continue to be told,about people of different groups.

The media play a big part on shaping our beliefs,and thoughts…and by that I mean tv film magazines etc,not just newspapers….just to give you a little example…..take your children to see alladin…he will have round eyes,pale skin,and speak with an American accent ( he is the hero)… The evil jaffar will look and speak like saddam Hussein . Films and pictures of our greatest hero …Jesus…the likelihood is he would look more like sad dam Hussein….but is it portrayed that way….no!

You may say that’s not important,and its only a small thing,but if you keep adding up those “small” things they become huge!

I said yesterday that this debate in many respect has to be an internal one,as just like the interviewer yesterday,and many of my friends,once the discussion involves more people,we become defensive and overcompensate by spouting equality and togetherness and the fact that we don’t see colour,and that colour has no influence on the way we view people.it influences me…because of where I have been brought up,and the education I received and am still receiving.

Do I think women know much about football,Americans know much about football,fans know about football,Chinese coaches know much about football ( nothing personal)….no.

Don’t blame me or say I am sexist,xenophobic,or hate football fans…..I can’t help thinking that,because history and society has made me think that! But I admit it,and am AWARE of my misconceptions,so I can do something about it!

If we don’t admit that we discriminate,we will never get rid of the problem!!

Please don’t pick up on me talking about Chinese coaches….I could have used any so called developing footballing nation as an example….and say John Barnes thinks Chinese coaches are crap!!


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  • Steve November 6, 2013 - 3:40 pm

    Hey Digger

    Loved your guardian piece – in my opinion you’ve been making more interesting points about racism than most of the mainstream media for a number of years now.

    I totally agree that it is a much more deeply ingrained issue than the lip service paid to it by most of the institutions in this country, and the roots do indeed lie in the deep-rooted prejudices which we have all had indoctrinated in us since childhood.

    Keep up the good work!



    p.s. as a professional copy-writer/proof-reader, if you need anyone to edit your posts for punctuation etc I’d be glad to volunteer!

  • Andy November 6, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    Top points there John.
    You hit the nail on the head in that many people will profess not being racist and claim they view everyone as equal, but even just by having to think about that statement before uttering it – you’ll have already, subconsciously, made an assumption about a race,gender, sexual preference, religion etc.

    It’s an interesting point about how we are conditioned this way thanks to the media and the portrayal of particular people in children’s movies like your example are key in this.

    enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this, keep up the great work with the blog.


  • Roland November 6, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    John you are by far the most sensible person to speak about this recent madness of racism in football. I think far too many people are being liberal about this and it is shutting down the possibility of a real discussion. Recognising that we hold prejudices does not make us racists, those (mis)conceptions are simply the result our environment. People are so afraid to be called racist that they denounce racism at every opportunity, that way they can be looked at as the good guy. I actually find that patronising and, you might argue, more racist than an imbecile who makes monkey gestures in a football stadium.

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  • ryan February 12, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    John you pretty much answered you’re own frustrations with your last sentence. People have become so tired of manipulating self serving people twisting their words that now it has become a lot safer just trot out the pc we’re all the same/ colour blind etc” line because there will always be someone that can twist your words to put you in a bad light. In our pc times this can mean being sacked, bullied or even marginalised in certain circles. As a white man i compleely agree with what you’ve said but if i as to say this i would automatically be jumped on by some big mouth callling me a racist.

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