Racism: The Real Thing

2006-06-05

Although yesterday I joked about the spurious definition of cultural racism put forward by the Seattle Public School district, racism is not a thing of the past (it was especially sad that those educational bureaucrats in Seattle said that individualism is a form of racism, since it is precisely collectivism that underlies racism). Last night, while waiting to watch the Yankee highlights on ESPN, I was shocked to see a piece on overt racism among soccer (ok, football) fans in Spain, France, Italy, and even traditionally tolerant Holland -- monkey chants directed against black players, fascist flags being waved in Italy, the Spanish national coach calling France's Thierry Henry a black shit, all punished by fines that count as a mere slap on the wrist. Now, Americans don't live in a glass house by any means -- racist epithets were routinely hurled against Jackie Robinson when he "broke the color barrier" of American professional sports, but that was in 1946, people! Since then, black American players have become heroes to Americans of all colors -- from Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal. The kind of behavior that has been and is being tolerated in soccer stadiums across many countries in Europe would simply not be allowed in modern America. The next time someone blathers on about the moral superiority of Europe over America, think about how a significant minority of Europeans treat their most prominent immigrants, then weep about how they treat their least prominent.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal