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  • Shabazz L. Graham

SHABOOM! 💥: "RACISM" IN FOOTBALL; IN CONVERSATION WITH THE PRIME MINISTER'S SISTER, RACHEL JOHNSON

Updated: Jun 7


Wales' Chris Mepham takes the knee prior to their game against Albania on Saturday. Picture: PA
Wales' Chris Mepham takes the knee prior to their game against Albania on Saturday. Picture: PA


London's Biggest Conversation; LBC, is a radio station that has 'triggered' me quite a lot in the years I've listened to it. The issue of "racism" seems to never leave its shortlist of feisty conversation points. Almost all the station's very talented presenters are like lightning speed gunslingers who are quick on the trigger, of "race" and "racism". Sometimes it seems like "racism" is literally London's 'Biggest Conversation' topic. It's almost become a fixation, probably because it works. We are triggered by the war of words and the ongoing battles based around "race" and "racism".


Being a divergent thinker, and social advocate, I find the topic of "race" and "racism" makes me somewhat interested in hearing whether or not society can break out of the vicious circle of the problem they call "racism", and the solutions proposed to 'end' it.


I say I'm a divergent thinker, with disruptive ideas, because I think outside of the boxes and literal categories most people try to place me in. This has obviously meant not everyone can accept my proposed solutions to the problems society is hampered by, like "racism".


You might be asking why I'm persistently using quotation marks for the words "race" and "racism", this is part of my intentional divergence. I personally do not like the words. One is an artificial social construct, and the other is a weakly defined by-product of that social construct.


"Race", the social construct, is a biological myth that was created with the intention of implanting hierarchy into societies that use it as a framework for population categorisation (hierarchy is at the heart of the meaning of different "races"), and "racism"; the term and philosophy around the language of the word, is a deficient word ill-defined to identify the problems it was created to address; the problems of prejudice and discrimination, based on skin pigment (colour).


To truly cure a disease, a correct diagnosis needs to first be made in order for the appropriate treatment to be given to address the core problem. Failure to diagnose a condition can lead to the condition becoming worse, rather than it going away. This is what’s happening in society with the problem of "racism" and "race".

The myth of "race" and its defectiveness contributes to the confusion surrounding the malleable idea of what is or isn't "racism". We're constantly seeing evidence of this fact by the nonsensical farce refusal to accept the label of "racist" by people who clearly express and exemplify the attribute of what textbook "racism" is supposed to be. It's painful and laughable when people who are called out for calling others the ugly "N-Word", vehemently refuse to be described as a "racist", almost as though a word (that has clearly lost its power and meaning) can change the truth of their clear disgusting prejudice, bias and discrimination.


I believe we'd be better to address the real problem of hatred in the human heart by diagnosing the condition more correctly. We don't need mysterious or fanciful words like "racist" or "racism" to do this, more than ever we need truth, and honesty, rather than cheap redundant words which have lost their power and meaning because they originated from a system that ingrained skin based prejudice into the 'artificial process of our socialisation; a socialization process that everyone in society has been born into; meaning we are raised to believe stereotypes and myths about people with different skin pigments than ourselves, which we make real by the bias we are taught and the language we are given to comprehend our bias.


We are primal and tribal, and we take our cues as to who to tribe up with based on the social constructs which have been handed down to us to guide our paths.


Whoops, I didn't mean to get so nuanced so early into my blogging, I aim to share more about these contentious aspects in future blog posts, as I share more about the story I'm writing on the topic.


So with all this running through my mind, you can only imagine how I feel when I hear another LBC radio presenter yet again discussing the nuanced problem of "racism" in a "black" or "white" fashion. To say I get a little perturbed is an understatement. So I decided to call into the station tonight, to share a few pence on the topic.


Tonight's topic was around the recent (June 2021) booing, by football fans, for players taking the knee before a football game; a protest symbol of solidarity with "BLM" and the anti-"racism" movements in UK football. It's a gesture, of support, but like many 'protests' against racism, its become the main talking point rather than the issue it was created to address.


Rachel Johnson is sister to the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. I'm glad she took my call. I appreciate Rachel for allowing me to get my main point across, although I wished I asked her more directly what approach she felt would be appropriate to protest the ongoing skin based prejudice and discrimination in football and society (what people call "racism"). It's sad that viable actionable solutions to the problem of prejudice and discrimination in society, do not seem to not be as exciting as the talking points about the perpetual criticism of the problem, of "racism".

Anyway, I thought I'd share my call and short conversation with Rachel Johnson in this post. I share a few strong opinions in the call, and so would love to have a constructive follow-on-conversation here with you, in the comments section of this blog post.


Whether you agree or disagree with me I'd be interested to know. Your feedback (if constructive) will help me in my writing. Thanks in advance.




AFTERTHOUGHTS


The main point I was trying to make in this call was that “racism” (Prejudice and skin discrimination) is not ‘in football’ it’s in people, and for that reason it’s not going away, in the same way that ‘sexism’ or any of the other human prejudices are not going away.

What needs to happen Is for a thorough reevaluation and deconstruction of the problem of human hatred based on skin pigment to occur, in order for us to find the true issue and then create adequate counters to the ongoing problems with this bias (if adequate counters can even be found - but I’ll leave that for another discussion)


All ”racism“ is, is an ‘empathy deficiency’.


To curb this deficiency, try to show some love and empathy to those who need it, and encourage this essential healthy human trait in those around you who cannot be bothered to.

Peace and Love:


I am Shabazz, and these are my thoughts.


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