17 November 2011

Missing the point

Twitter's self-importance reaches new heights with every scandal. Sepp Blatter has casually dismissed racial abuse as something that can forgotten with a handshake.

But while a comment of this nature would instantly require the resignation of a politician in this country, Blatter is essentially a dictator so in the words of a 10 year old, who's gonna make him?

People become dictators so they can say what ever they like and do what ever they like without having to resign. In other words, to dictate. I think that's why they're called dictators.

The progressive sandal wearing Twitterers RTing each other the "BlatterOUT" hashtag will unfortunately not change this. Twitter is a fairly liberal social network, but most people aren't liberal in the real world.

Which is why this is not a big deal in any other country. No one in Spain or Italy for example cares about this. I'm not in fact convinced it's a big deal in this country. I think we are still just as racist in this country as Italians or Spaniards. We have just made a better attempt at hiding it in very public places.

The FA is very pleased with itself over the progress it claims to have made with racist behaviour. But I don't think any real progress has been made in terms of people's attitudes towards racial discrimination.

The people who were racist in the 70s are still racist now and have brought up kids who will also be racist. Usually the people who claim we're not at all as prejudiced as eastern European countries or Italians or Spaniards, or the French or the Senile Swiss community, are fairly well off Guardian readers who don't like in places where racism is obvious.

It's in most pubs though. Most lower league football grounds that don't have quite so much CCTV and most work places. But we're so tangled up with Political Correctness now I'm not even sure if most people can define racism. We know have racist people and sort of reverse racist people who discriminate against white people to show how progressive and liberal they are. People who scream racist whenever any reference to race is made regardless of context.

In real terms and in actual fact, the true ignorance comes from those Twittery people in their open toed sandals and olive oil based diets who seem convinced that Sepp Blatter's comments are exceptional. But they're not. The heat of the moment argument was used by many journalists to explain away John Terry's possible racial abuse.

It's not Blatter's comments that are the real problem per se, it's the response to his comments, or more importantly, the lack of response. So to single out a mental old Swiss (Cough German cough) duffer from a generation who took racial distinctions to never to be forgotten levels is to miss the point.

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