‘No Escapism from Racism’
This is one of those Sir Bob Geldof and The Boom Town Rats ‘I Don’t Like Monday’s’ moments, but I’ll say good moanin’ to the grumpy ones and good morning to the more philosophical thinkers. I was only 2 years old when a young, vibrant and all white England football squad won the World Cup in 1966. As a pre teenaged kid aged 12 10 years later I was part of the Perivale Middle School league winning squad class of 1976(middle row bang in the middle). Our squad really was Diversity in the mid 1970s before Ashley Banjo and his BGT crew took the stage in the millennium, with 7 African Diaspora Windrush children and one Asian brother and 8 white Caucasian kids. Racism in the UK was ever present, but as a multicultural team we wore our green & black stripes with pride just like the national team players did wearing the three lions last night. I went on to play for my Ealing Green High School and Sunday football for Perivale Dormers, hanging up my boots circa 1985 when I fell further in love with my spiritual wife music. As a Spurs fan I am used to the euphoric highs and agonising lows of football, and as a huge football fan at 57, I still like to think I could run with the ball like my nicknamed ‘Glue foot’ days of when I wouldn’t pass the ball, because I wanted to dribble like my idol Pele.
I watched England’s progress to the finals and despite being quite sceptical in the beginning I was pleased to see that diverse multicultural team reach the final. We can all be armchair commentators and managers sharing our Beverley Knight ‘Shouda Coulda Woulda’ theories, but with the end result that is the way the mop sometimes flops. I’m gonna be transparently honest..after Kane and McGuire score their respective penalties and saw that Rashford, Sancho and Saka would be taking theirs, I did put in an emergency Loose Ends ‘Dial 999’ “this is an emergency call” to the African Diaspora ancestors, to guide them in taking theirs, as I feared the worst of what has now materialised as in reality. I virtually and spiritually felt some of their pain in not scoring and I felt very protective our my young black brothers, because I knew this was going to be the calling card for the racists patriots and bigots. With all the documented racist abuse on social media people will still object to the significance of taking a knee!(Big up to the Italian Stallions for part taking in that process before the opening whistle was blown).
You see we that are non Caucasian, live in this world and this country knowing the system and anticipate in our auto pilot mode it’s triggers. We already know the anthems..”If ya white ya alright and if ya black stay back” or ‘Their ain’t no black in the Union Jack”. I predicted that the old school hooligan mentality would kick off if England lost and true to form it happened like it was written ‘In The Stone’ like EWF. There are those who think as blacks that when we serve the country we get a pass but if we are seen to disappoint then are dispensable like our ancestors were treated via slavery based on our colour. They practice their cognitive dissonance to what Raheem Sterling did carrying the team on the goal scoring front before Harry Kane found his shooting boots, and I’m so glad Raheem didn’t take and miss a penalty, as you can imagine that he would have gone from hero to zero status in the snap of a finger. This is where the ugly head rears itself in the so called ‘beautiful game’ sadly.😢
I saw the despair on Jack Grealish’s face and Gareth Southgate consoling a distraught Saka, and the shock off all the players and it was very uncomfortable watch. Regardless of the undesired outcome ‘This England’ team despite the trolling and objections to taking the knee showcased multiculturalism and did for at least the best part of three hours brought the country together, as well as through the whole tournament. That said congrats to Italy who other than England till the end of the final were undefeated in the Euro Championship and big up ya chest to all of the England team..who have great potential for the future with the injected pride via Gareth Southgate. I have a smile on my face this morning when I look at us liil Perivalian munchkins aged 12(some of whom I’m still mates with on Facebook) doing our bit for UK multiculturalism albeit innocently and bringing the shield home… shame that 45 years later there is no James Brown ‘Escapism’ from RACISM.. Peace and have a blessed day Fitzroy