British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Interior Minister Priti Patel, notwithstanding her being at the receiving end of barbs quite often, sounding apologetic following the unseemly vandalism by English football fanatics after the UEFA Euro Cup final might have been a political compulsion in the face of trenchant criticism by the opposition, human rights activists and the comity of nations. To think of the ‘racism’ that the prime minister has acknowledged as the version the world had witnessed in the late mediaeval epoch would, however, be a stretch. On the one hand, whatever goes on inside the minds of White people, expression of any discriminatory idea is disastrous the world over in this day and age. Add to that the lenient migration policy of the United Kingdom, along with those of several western European countries, and racism becomes untenable. The composition of the French soccer team is a case in point, where more than half the players are not of European ethnicity, what to talk of the demography of the whole of France that has for long been home to Maghrebis not limited to Algerians and Moroccans. On the other hand, the nostalgic pull of recent imperial history may not let this part of the West come to terms with the reality that they are no longer the rulers of the world. Lecturing the third world, which has become more of a misnomer since the rise of China and the emergence of India, from a pulpit is, therefore, a habit that will die hard. With their governments’ newfound tolerance for the people of different races, the Whites now have an excuse to mount their high horses again, never mind that an average citizen of Germany, say, may not share the enthusiasm of Chancellor Angela Merkel of embracing Syrian refugees. In this battle of the mind between wanting to be the Adolf Hitler of the 1936 Berlin Olympics but never mustering the impunity of the Nazis to be flagrant chauvinists, the Whites of England turned into an unaccountable mob that would pour scorn on the Black footballers of their national team and riot for the loss to Italy.
After earning notoriety in 1985 by turning a football arena into a horrifying battlefield post-Liverpool-versus-Juventus match, English football fans had created mayhem in Euro 2000, 2016 and UEFA Nations League 2019 — not every instance in which gave them an opportunity to pit the people of one skin colour against those of another. However, as Western commentary on this anarchy has been little more than tergiversation, these hoodlums have never borne the cost of their misdeeds according to Hoyle. Calls like “Don’t Be That Idiot” are too benign to shame today’s ruffians; an appeal such as this presupposes they are still dealing with the legendary stiff upper lip British gentry. French daily Libération begins what is supposed to be a damning editorial with “The England team’s defeat has been sad for the players and for supporters who were enthused by this young, talented team representing a vibrant and diverse nation.” What kind of a namby-pamby denunciation is that? Even Italians, at the receiving end of abuse the day before yesterday, had La Stampa saying no more than a brusque “No fair play, we’re English”. Il Sole 24 Ore said, “We came back from London with contradictory feelings… The cup was in the suitcase… but our gaze remained on what was happening around us, before and after the final.” What a pussyfooted condemnation! “There were only 1,500 fans from Italy — normally it is a third [of the crowd]”, said the ethnologist Wolfgang Kaschuba on Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “This balance of power should have obliged an elegant, cool and friendly host to deal with the situation fairly.” Platitude!
The attitude betrays the insincerity of those who claim to have overcome racism. The complexity of this racism pervades biological races. This is hesitancy to admit that the supremacists of yore are no longer supreme, not at least in conduct. They believe there can be a reason to go mad if a former king loses his kingdom; it makes no difference if the kingdom is a field of sporting activity. This is a closet racist’s soft corner for a brazen klansperson. And worse than bland statements is the law. It does nothing to end the racism that is part of the mental makeup.