Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shall we then kill a mocking bird? We are poorly educated on racism!

Samuel Eto'o celebrates a goal
Football whether watched at home on screens or in stadiums brings more than a buzz of life to a city. It charges the atmosphere. Money is earned. It can plant faith in values. In Nairobi pubs are full to beyond capacity. No matter the threats of grenades, people sit and cheer, stand and cheer, shout, bet, rejoice and cry at loss. It is the same everywhere. Maybe football is humanity challenging itself?
He knew nothing but love for Arsenal. That was his Juliet. In Kenya, kids know the Man U's and the Chelseas long before they know what is T-shirt. How are we and they suppose to understand that our heroes who score goals for many teams abroad are permanently suffering and bearing the brunt racism on football pitches? Today, Bolatelli says something that should make us all sit up. He says racism is unacceptable for him and that if anyone throws a banana peel at him again...  he will kill that person. About violence let us rue as we hear the man's frustrations. Racism itself is unbearable violence. We do understand his frustration. Leaders in football and in governments must not sit and wait for more violence to happen. They must talk and act now.

Racism is everywhere

Harper Lee, author. To Kill a Mockingbird
The history of racism in football is a reflection of racism in the world.  It does manifest in fields far from football pitches. And some of them more deadly. What should we do? Guilty, shall we kill a mocking bird?  We have no excuse for being so ignorant. We have none either for not knowing what football racism is. Those heading teams have no reason whatsoever why to brook this kind of denial mentality. This is at a time when we are showing off that we are so connected?A time when we are saying even kids are reading the whole world online? A time when all it takes is to google football racism and see what comes up?  

While FIFA says it has zero tolerance for racism, some managers keep saying either it does not exist or what can they do about it anyway, if people are racist. Denial persists at government levels and at football leadership levels even in churches. Shocking indifference. It is time for action now, not just words. Why should anybody suffer because of the color of their skin or because of where they were born? Has the preacher you listen to ever defined racism and fought against it? Isn't there a good portion of it in your holy book? If you want to overcome racism, you must be prepared to be radical even in your way of reading traditions and religions. Radical.

Voices against racism

I am so glad that there are so many people in history and living today who understand racism and are doing something to stem the tide. I am so glad that so many of them are unknown heroes and sheroes who will have nothing to do with racial discrimination because they know it exists and it is unworthy of human beings and so destructive. Equally so that others are icons. Let them speak out more clearly each time! What has been said and written does not seem to be enough. I wish that we could all hear them. I am disturbed that some suppress fellow humans on the basis of race. Some rationalise racism and accept it.  

Mario Balotelli: Racism is unacceptable! Yes!

Blatter chatter harmful

Blatter's chatter was in denial of racism in football. And he in a high position in UEFA. And later, after an apology, he said all you need to do if your are racist is to shake hands. Now it seems as if a huge number of people are doing a Blatter. Saying sorry is no enough. We fall short of concrete measures against racism.

Racism in football is a big shame on the world. Marion Balotelli Barwuah threatens to walk off the pitch if he is taunted again.  The image of a group of European youth shouting Hitler slogans and broadcast on BBC was very ugly. 

"In 2006, British librarians ranked Harper Lee's book To Kill A Mockingbird ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die"

Racism is not a myth or a fabrication, it is an ugly reality

 I am glad that because of Euro 2012  racism is being discussed openly. I was watching TV. Poland and Ukraine were on the spot because British citizens said they would not attend Euro 12 because of racism. It is amazing how cagey the Polish minister for Foreign Affairs and the Culture minister were regarding something we cannot deny. Racism. Racism  is real. Football has only given us a podium. But many continue to be in denial And societies you would dream are liberated of racism have challenges right at their doorsteps. Scandinavia is no haven for minorities. Nobody is setting the pace except perhaps TorontoCanada, and that only perhaps.

Nations boycotted games in South Africa to break apartheid

The Asian man was hit repeatedly. He staggered head bent forward and just when he was about to straighten up some two young white men infront of him kicked him in the belly again. He bled. Before that, they had shouted Hitler slogans and booed Africans calling them monkeys. The TV footage was appalling but it was not all. This is illegal and immoral.

To fight apartheid many nations cut links with South Africa. They would not trade or play with her. It was a powerful message. Today, a country that displays racism should not be acceptable ground for play. The memory of Mahatma Gandhi being thrown off a train for his color in South Africa sprung to mind when an Asian young man was hit repeatedly by different European people for being black. 

When you think of it, this is what it really means to be barbaric! And all of it happening in the so called civilised societies. To beat or kill someone because of his skin color is to be very base. Is it possible that in all our endeavours to educate humanity so many people have missed the point? Balotelli is right. We cannot accept racism. Not in Africa, not in Asia, not anywhere. Not from anyone, even when we do not kill a mocking bird. Europe's moral collapse is tremendous. The Middle East and all the Arab countries are also challenged with accepting the 'other'

Ida B Wells precursor of Rosa Parks
It is ironic that only in 2010 we had a Football World Cup in South Africa where apartheid helped to make the injury of racism an unhealing and deep wound with the hope that this was a declaration that the world can make it out of racism.In Apartheid times, it was legal to discriminate in South Africa. This was a defiance of basic natural rights. Natural law should make us realise that we are no better than anybody else. Maybe I should start with that we all eat and we know where all the food ends up. What we have is a celebration of color in human beings not black and white. We want human dignity in our diversity all over the world. Ida Burnett- Wells the precursor of Rosa Parks, fought racism. The history of the civil rights movement is recent. How has the memory died on us?

Poland, Ukraine and Euro 12, Be afraid!

I know what the Government officials of Poland are talking about... They mean well. The problem is that no one can assert that a whole country is not racist... that is cheap publicity. Racism is rife too in Britain. It is everywhere. We need to be afraid of how corrupted we can be rather than try to say we are the best. We can only be free from fear when we recognize our enemies well and when we are making big efforts to fight racism. I am not against the Polish take. Reality is. I have a polish amethyst ring given to me by a woman in leadership in Poland. She loves all people. I know her well. Let us just call her Danuta for now. She lives in an Afrikan country. Between her and I, we share a solidarity for freedom that few people can have. I know all about Solidarity and the workers at Gdansk. Lech Walesa is my hero. When John Paul II declared "Do not be afraid!", he meant only if we are fighting to overcome evils we should have no fear.  All the beauty of the Polish spirit that I know does not mean that some Polish people cannot be racist. Even when they suffered the holocaust. 

Keep asking and reading about racism for your own good

So what it is racism? I have read some people who have written that if one says a people are racist, one becomes racist themselves... So that when Balotelli says that Italians are racist (of course he does not mean all of them are) he is told to stop being racist himself. So that when Grada Kalomba defines racism and talks about identities some people answer that she is so racist herself. Some of the comments one reads tell it all. 

 Who is so arrogant? Who is so arrogant as to forget what slavery did to the world, colonialism? Who is so arrogant as not to know that some churches also perpetuated racism? Who is so ignorant as not to know that naturally this stinks? Who is ranting as to keep on turning the pain of racism back to the black people? I looked at these responses to Grada Kalomba and I wondered where these people live? Of course it is true that people of darker complexion whether African, Romany, Indian or American have been at the receiving end of racism.  Between 100 000 to 200 000 Romany were killed during Hitler days. And Hitler was a manifestation of the mentatlity of many during those times. "Long before the Nazis came into power in Germany there existed a strong anti-Semitic tradition in Europe. This was not a specifically German phenomenon. A widespread hatred of the Jews can be found in the writings of Martin Luther and it was an important part of the self-perception of many Christians."


Everyone should do something to stem racism. It behoves those societies that spread it most to do more. It is a moral responsibility too that those who have greater capacity invest more in this. Everyone must accept racism exists. There are endless things we can do personally and together in the world if we are really seriously against racism.Others must be done institutionally.  Each country should not just say we have a law but take proactive steps for the world we have must change! You have some answers too. One of them lies in acquiring knowledge. There are books that are a must read. Just recently I read that British librarians declared that Harper Lees 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' must be read even before the Bible is.  

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