Rafiq’s testimony about what he and other Asian players have endured as ‘banter’ was harrowing - but it only shows the very tip of what people of colour have to endure, every day: the multiple micro aggressions, the casual use of racist language and slurs, and the underlying assumption that underpins almost all of British and Western Culture that “if your skin isn’t White, you’re ‘foreign’ - and a threat”
This is the reality of the racism that sits at the heart of our culture - the racism that is the toxic leftover from our inescapable Imperial Past. This is the reality of over 300 years of British and Western Imperialism that saw the world and its nations as ‘Ours’ - the sea of pink that swept across the globe like a disease that said “We are the culmination of progress and culture: we are God’s own People, Made in His Image - all other peoples and cultures and beliefs are ‘inferior’ to us, and We alone have the Right to Conquer, to enslave, to Rule, to ‘civilise’, and to oppress. Because we are White - and you are not”
I grew up in the ‘70’s when Fascists still marched in our streets, scrawled NF slogans on shopfronts, and spoke of the ‘rivers of blood’ needed to ‘cleanse’ our streets and our ‘culture’ of ‘foreign pollutants’. Geoff grew up in South Africa under the tyranny and inhumanity of Apartheid. We have both seen the hate and the destruction that racism and intolerance brings - and how BESTIAL it makes us.
It’s time we faced the truth and the SHAME of our own history - and finally and utterly reject the ideas and the ideals it enshrines.
We are ONE people - ONE species - ONE WORLD. ‘Colour’ and ‘culture’ and ‘Race’ or ‘Nation’ - they’re all artificial ‘differences’ that keep us apart, divisions that make us forget that we share the SAME HUMANITY.
And if you cannot see that - if you still think it’s ok to use racial slurs, or make jokes that belittle another’s life or culture - then I WILL call you out for it - and, if you can’t (or won’t) educate yourself to be BETTER, then it will likely be the last time I’ll be able to call you ‘friend’.