Either I am a completely out-of-touch old baby boomer, or the world has gone totally overboard about racism and hate crimes.
I am referring to the international (more than Italian where the incident happened) frenzy over Paulo Berlusconi, Vice-president of AC Milan football club referring to newly signed player Mario Balotelli as our “little black boy”. More details in this report in the Guardian.
The self-righteous liberal media people have got their nickers in a collective twist over this comment. It reminds me of the Alchemist of old who turned base metals into gold. The media people are making breaking news out of thin air.
It might not have been the most politically correct way to refer to the player, but to call it a racial slur is fabricating an insult that was not there and obviously not intended.
Let’s look at the facts:
- The player is unquestionably black so that is a factual statement.
- Older Continental men often affectionately refer to a much younger man as “boy” with no malicious intent. As do fathers to their adult sons.
- The excellent skills of top-level black players makes them sought after by top clubs and therefore a prize to be celebrated by the club that signs them.
Or was the whole incident an oblique ambush on the other Berlusconi brother’s attempt to contest the election for Italian Prime Minister again?
In another incident, a football club was fined a large amount because its alleged fans chanted “racial insults” at a player. If the insults were proven to be instigated by a club official, I could begin to see a connection. But how is a club supposed to control the behaviour of spectators in the stands, many of whom may not be fans or supporters and could be amateur or professional agitators just out to cause trouble like the soccer hooligans of a few years ago.
This latest controversy comes after serious charges and career damaging allegations were made about other top players for trivial incidents made in the heat of competition that would have been non-events if the players involved had been of the same colour.
Ironically, if the incident involving John Terry, the English captain at the time had been a foul tackle resulting in a broken leg for the other player, he may have been shown a red card and sent off the field, at worst suspended for a match. Not dragged into court on a criminal charge, suspended for a lengthy period and deprived of his captaincy.
All that for muttering an obscenity and an accurate description of the players colour, that the victim did not hear and was not aware of until it was gleefully pointed out to him by some self-righteous racial justice crusader. In normal times, the obscenity would have been considered a much worse insult than the colour reference
Professional soccer players and those in other high-profile sports get paid huge amounts of money. It is accepted that spectators will make derisory comments about players’ performances, skills, appearances, or lack thereof, it is part of the turf. Players of the same race can be mocked about their origins or place of residence, but God help any player or spectator who accurately mentions someone’s colour.
The current paranoia about racial and hate crimes is even punishing ultra religious people of the same faith.
Last week in the USA, an Amish elder was convicted of a hate crime and sentenced to 15 years in jail for organising a beard cutting vendetta against members of his religious sect who he and his strictly orthodox followers, judged to be unworthy. Other crimes were alleged, if there was sufficient evidence that he was guilty of more serious crimes, then he would deserve his punishment and I would have no sympathy for him.
But to elevate beard cutting to hate crime status and send an old man to jail for 15 years is ridiculous, especially when compared to lighter sentences for incidents involving serious injury or even death.
I do know what it is like to be on the receiving end of racially inspired hate crimes, my father was murdered and my mother crippled by terrorists solely, because they were white. We lost our farm, all our assets and I was thrown in a filthy police cell by the Zimbabwe government for the same reason. The fact that I employed 180 black people and generated valuable foreign exchange with my exports was irrelevant. I was white therefore our land had to be stolen, our crops destroyed, our workers left to starve and the farm allowed to revert to bush.
With very few exceptions, all those wonderful supporters of human rights and crusaders against racism, either individual or institutional from the UN down, stood by and allowed Mugabe to ruin the country and hundreds of thousands of lives. Why? Because most of the high-profile victims were white and similar to what happened in Rwanda, it would not fit the liberal view to highlight black-on-black violence, it does not make compelling media reporting.
Is there a need for hate crime legislation? Absolutely yes, to prevent another Holocaust, Serbia or Rwanda genocide. But let’s bring some common sense back, using the soccer examples, if the alleged offenders would not be prosecuted for assault, libel, slander or similar charges then why waste taxpayers money and ruin careers by playing the race card.
100 000 people have died in Syria, thousands die every day in Africa and elsewhere from wars, disease, starvation, corrupt and ineffective government, but the media chooses to develop an innocent reference to a highly paid soccer player’s colour into breaking news of crisis proportions.
Time to get our priorities right. How? By speaking out for common sense and against the waves of political correctness that are ruining our education systems, muzzling free speech and threatening the very fabric of our Western societies. By being more discerning in what we read, watch and accept as truth. By using critical thinking to make up our own minds instead of following the herd.
Much of what is being broadcast as concern for minorities would have been classed as the insidious propaganda it is just a few short years ago. The ease and speed with which social media can help “news” go viral – even if it is totally incorrect – is an added worry.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
Wishing you success.
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