Kunta Kinte, Chicken Slayer, Roots. I was very young when the trio; a name, a nickname and the title of a show, were part of my daily life via the type of television screen which had its own ‘curtain’ employed when it wasn’t being stared at by us either being entertained, enlightened or – well before its demise – being informed by news from the NTA.
Roots was a show that portrayed the racial oppression of generations of slaves (initially) and black folks (over time) in the new world, where the white skinned was master and the dark skinned were plebeians (again, thank you headphones91 -_-).
In the end, generations after the aluta began, the dark skinned ones, in a general sense, achieved what had been fought for for long… to be treated as equal in everything (good) with the white skinned ones.
That struggle for equality was based on the slave trade bit of history, which I won’t bore you about, and has trickled down into the present day, subtly as the letter “b” there in some places and bare and bold as the letter “b” there in other places.
In football, where dark skinned players such as Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli earn quite an amount weekly, more so Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka at the other end of the world as well as Samuel Eto’o just off chilly Siberia, surely a thing as racism shouldn’t rare its colourless self.
Alas! It turns out that despite achieving equal status long fought for per se, racism now comes mostly in the form of verbal abuse from a person of one race to another of another race. Thus, overlooking status and getting right at the heart of the matter… and taking us right back to the mindstate we thought was dead and buried with Kunta Kinte generations.
In a world where a black man is the leader of the nation that wields its power the most, where a black man was the immediate past figure-head of the United Nations, where a black man is the fastest in the world followed by another and where a black woman; who had Tom up on her couch on her show, is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world… why would racism still exist?
John Terry recently apologised for being racist, despite playing alongside Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Ramires, Daniel Sturridge and for a while, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
But did he apologise because he was racist to Anton Ferdinand or did he apologise just so that the protracted matter; in which a court found him not guilty only for the FA to basically find him guilty, could go away at the expense of his ‘integrity’?
Now, Terry will be known ever more as the man who went after your ex-girlfriends, shared what’s on his mind in a racist manner when the ‘need’ arose and still captained a Premier League club.
It’s a good thing Terry isn’t on twitter, Anton’s brother Rio Ferdinand woud have had a good go; most likely subliminally, at Terry, with Terry responding likewise, Ashley Cole feigning ignorance on the matter and Piers Morgan being… Piers Morgan.
On second thought, that would have made quite an entertaining display having those. Unfortunately, the matter is much more serious and delicate than what it seems to me.
With talk of a black players association supposedly being muled upon in the aftermath of Anton Ferdinand’s, Patrice Evra’s and the England U21’s cases, football could well be on the brink of being split.
And as Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay reckons, and which I agree with, it is the racists that will be delighted with how the matter is being handled by all parties involved.
And while one would hope a solid resolution is reached on the matter, the FIFA president Sepp Blatter, deeply saddened by the matter, will hope such resolution is reached without punishment (pretty much) to any offenders and those offenders and the victims letting bygones be bygones with a handshake.
Not sure Evra will be cool with that though…