John Terry has been acquitted of racial assault, and you’d think that’s it, case closed. Not according to Garth Crooks, latterly of Man U and Spurs, but nowadays of the Kick It Out campaign. According to him, ‘this isn’t the end of it.’
His fellow kick-it-outer Paul Elliott, a former Chelsea player, agrees: “[Terry’s case] highlighted the re-emergence of such issues [as racism in football] and we have to attack that with vigour, with education at the grassroots.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Myself a tireless campaigner for multiculturalism and political correctness, I too think that many vital issues have emerged during the trial. However, perhaps my take on the issues is different from that of Messrs Crooks and Elliot.
You see, the word ‘black’ that, according to the court verdict, Mr Terry used in self-defence only, wasn’t just grossly offensive to every progressive person (in my yesterday’s post I go so far as to suggest that this egregious adjective be banned altogether, regardless of how it’s used). It was also incorrect.
The Ferdinand brothers, or bruvvers as they prefer to call themselves, aren’t really black, which is fairly evident to anyone who has ever seen them. Their facial features and indeed the Pontone reference of their skin instantly identify them as half-white. That a person’s racial provenance should be identifiable at all is of course an affront to every principle I hold sacred, and in due course we ought to file a class-action suit against God, citing Drs Mendel, Morgan, Weissmann, Watson and Crick as co-respondents, all but one of them posthumously.
Still, however offensive this state of affairs is, it is nonetheless a fact. This was made plain yet again by the court appearance of Mrs Ferdinand, the mother of Anton and Rio. This very charming woman sported translucent white skin and a nice head of auburn hair, leaving one in no doubt of her racial origin. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the brothers’ father, but, even assuming he’s completely and laudably black, they are only half-black.
So why do they call themselves black, and not half-black or half-white? If they find the hyphenated words too cumbersome, why not call themselves white then? Of course they are free to choose one or the other half of their racial makeup, but one can’t help noticing that most half-casts both here and in the USA describe themselves as black, not white.
This smacks of reverse racism to me, and yet the issue never comes up, not even in the pronouncements of such prominent anti-racism campaigners as Messrs Crooks and Elliot. A suspicion begins to creep in that, given the choice, it pays to be black rather than white.
Thus Barack Obama won his first presidential term, and is likely to win the second, mainly on the glittering promise of becoming the first black president. Closer to home, centuries ago I worked at NASA, where one of my co-workers was a girl, oops, sorry, I mean a person, who had one black great-grandparent. To anyone with a modicum of mathematical nous this would mean that she was seven-eighths white. Yet she was described, and self-described, as ‘black’ in all her papers. Affirmative action being what it is, that self-designation made her practically unsackable, and Nancy wasn’t bashful about boasting about that to anyone willing to listen. I was one such willing listener for she was very good-looking, a quality that’s bound to make a female person a most welcome interlocutor.
In hindsight though it’s hard not to think, this time seriously, that regarding anyone with a particle of black blood as a black is sheer racism, not a million miles away from the Jim Crow variety formerly practised in the south of the United States. Having lived there for a number of years, I can testify that in those days the region had plenty of despicable, usually half-drunk roughnecks saying things like ‘a drop of tar, all nigger.’ I found that sort of thing disgusting then and I find it disgusting now.
So much more distressing it is to see the same mentality, if with a different spin, reappear these days in both the USA and Britain. Neither Mr Obama Sr nor Mr Ferdinand Sr produced offspring by parthenogenesis. There were human mothers involved in each case, and yet their humanity is being contemptuously dismissed. If this isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is.
This brand of racism must also be ‘attacked with vigour’, to borrow Mr Elliot’s phrase. However, somehow one doubts that he’ll lead the attack. And neither will Mr Crooks take upon himself the onus of ‘education at the grassroots’.