John Barnes on racist abuse of Raheem Sterling and Football Against Apartheid analysis
5 years ago monty 0
When John Barnes said “I wasn’t surprised to see white people allegedly shouting racist abuse at Raheem Sterling and I don’t blame racists for holding those beliefs. We all discriminate, consciously or subconsciously. To be angry at a few people is a distraction. When it happens, the problem is not that people shout racist abuse, it is that they want to shout racist abuse”,
We all know it is true, that players like Raheem and managers have difficulty accepting “an explanation” for the racism rather than elimination of racism. The reality of racism is exactly what John Barns alluded to, but didn’t dare to clarify that racism is a class issue. Racism was used and continues to be used by the rich and powerful to prevent the vast majority in our society from uniting all people against all inequality.
The better known examples of division of people on grounds of race are Apartheid in South Africa, Segregation Laws in USA and Apartheid in Palestine. In these circumstances the powers that be in Football supported Apartheid mainly with silent approval. Sir Stanley Rous spent his entire tenure at President of FIFA using lies & deception to prevent Apartheid SA from being expelled from FIFA, and even when South Africa faced expulsion at the FIFA Congress in Montreal on 16 July 1976 by 78 votes to 9 the racist Sir Harold Thompson alone spoke in vain against expulsion. Football players like Eric Cantona, Frederick Kanute, Didier Drogba & others signed petitions against the brutality visited on Palestinian football, including its clubs, its players, its children who have been; delayed when travelling abroad to play international matches, missed their flights so that they could not play. Many arrested like Mahmoud Sarsak at age 21 tortured, jailed without trial for 3 years, and only imminent death following 96 days on hunger strike earned his freedom, players returning from training deliberately maimed for life with bullets in the feet, stadiums destroyed, equipment & kit sent from supportive players stolen, players in Gaz prevented from travelling to West Bank to play, so they play in separate leagues, whist their WHITE oppressors are rewarded with access to the most prestigious tournaments in the world (Champions League, Europa League, European Nations League) whilst they remail expelled from the Asian Football Confederation for racism.
The attack on Raheem Stirling was the final straw that made Lord Ouseley give up on the farcical “KICK IT OUT” campaign that not only turned a blind eye to the most extreme manifestation of racism in world football – Apartheid but FIFA & UEFA with the support of the FA are actively rewarding racism.
It is this hypocrisy at the highest levels of our otherwise beautiful game, that everyone knows about but cannot mention the word. It may well be construed as racist to name the oppressor here.
Palestinian refugees in desperation to escape the awful prison that is Gaza, and the walled-in villages that is the West Bank, are bringing their stories of the reign of terror that injures, maims, jails kills young and old for the crime of being of “the wrong race” with them on boats etc as they escape from refugees camps to come to European cities.
John Barnes is right to identify White Supremacist as the root cause of racism, in all its worst manifestations, and he has got to come out and say it. They we can all line up behind him, shoulder to shoulder alongside him, march in front of him and take the knocks aimed at him. He has the stage now, that Lord Ousley has gone. John Barnes is the first footballer to point out that its not the odd ignorant ass on the terraces that is the big problem, but the white supremacists, as the villain that needs to share the spoils of imperialist slavery, lest we all fall victim to race hate.
Football Against Apartheid
12 December 2018