The inevitable racist abuse is out in this morning, post England’s men’s footballs teams failure to win the European Championship.
Through out the tournament I saw the glorification of Raheem Sterling; who when he scored the opening goal against Germany was embraced and that it seems that the ‘boy from Brent’ is worth our adulation. Hagiography not as great as England’s white captain who score a superfluous goal later (which Sterling made).
Anyway, the dichotomy is palpable. When he expresses a deeply personal root through getting gun tattooed on his calf and stating clearly he uses his leg to shoot… he was then the ‘boy from Kingston’ (no, we are not talking about the Royal London borough here either).
Today folx will decry an overtly racist minority abuse towards those three black players. This is not the point. Individualised racism is a symptom of greater affliction. These people may be bad apples but they rise not far from the societal tree. And… that tree is rotten to the core and the soil is as toxic as it comes.
When we live a society in which people are only celebrated when contributing for the white majority, that isn’t a community it’s an abuse of power it is colonisation of achievement.
If I, Rashford, Sancho (who I can vouch for as a fine young man) or Sako in the words of Linton Kwesi Johnson were to exclaim England is a b*tch. You’d hear – “how ungrateful” “Go back to India, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, etc.” Reserved solely for us melanated folx.
I will leave you with the words of one of my former student …
We are only ever British when your win do something good, Sir. The rest of the time … we are … and you know …
She looked sullen. I had no sage words of advice or consolation. As truth was (and is) named.
It’s time we recognise that football may not have come home but racism has built its house firmly on England green and pleasant lands.