Monday, 20 August 2012

Why is it OK to be racist towards the English?

Hello all

I haven't blogged for a while, I hope you've all been behaving yourselves whilst I've been away, but I'm rather irritated tonight a feel I need to vent my spleen. The reason is thus-

Up until a few hours ago, England were the No1 ranked side in cricket. We were comprehensively beaten by a superior South African side and now they are No1. This is not the reason I am annoyed. The reason I am irritated is the shameless way Twitter and various public forums have lit up, bad mouthing the English in quite insulting ways saying how we didn't deserve being No1 anyway, how does feel to loose? and basically falling back on bad spelling and grammar to insult the English nation and everything in it.
To set the record straight, we did deserve to be No1 as we beat India last year who were then No1, thus taking their place at the top of the tree. Thats why South Africa are No1 now, because they beat us. This is how the system works. You don't get to be No1 in anything without hard work. It's not a quota system based on who hasn't been No1 for a while, you beat the best to become the best. Secondly, it feels fine not to be No1 anymore. It's not the end of the world, my life isn't in ruins because we're not the best team in the world and I'm not going to stop watching cricket because of it. Ultimately, it's a game. A game which the vast majority of people don't understand and in the grand scheme of world importantness is pretty much irrelevant. Also being English it feels somewhat strange being the best in the world at something. We're not really used to being a nation of winners despite the best efforts of our Olympic team.

But what I'm driving at here is the fact that whenever the English lose at something, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Football, whatever, everywhere suddenly becomes vitriolic in their hatred for the English and yet no one complains. I'm not talking about banter. A gentle dig and some winding up of the opposition is vital in any sport so long as it doesn't get out of hand. What I'm talking about is derogatory, offensive language or just mindless stupidity aimed at a nation of people simply because they lost a sporting event. Can you imagine the uproar if a white person used offensive language to a black South African or an Indian or Pakistani? They'd be labelled a troll, ridiculed and possibly have criminal charges brought against them or, at the very least, their Twitter account closed down. I can't see any of this happening tonight despite the amount of abuse flying around Twitter
It's not just cricket, I noticed the same sort of abuse flying around during the 6 Nations and the Rugby world cup. It's not just sport, I've noticed anti English sentiments seeping into most things. The difference is, we're one of the few Nations who don't do anything about it. But why? Why are we still hated? Yes I know we once had an Empire and treated some indigenous people horrendously but you know what? So did a lot of other countries with Empires and they were far worse than we were. The treatment of the native people of the Congo by the occupying Belgium's was mind numbingly savage but woe betide anyone who has a bad word to say about the people of Belgium. Lets not forget the treatment of Jews and other minorities by the Nazis but don't bad mouth the Germans because that makes me a backward looking xenophobe who harks back to the war and is obsessed with 1966. The Africans were selling each other as slaves for centuries before the Arabs and Europeans got in on the act lets not forget, it was the British who banned the slave trade. There was still segregation in the U.S up until the 1960's, apartheid wasn't abolished in South Africa until the 1990's and yet the English are still seen as the bitter ex colonialists who it's OK to have a pop at.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe it's just me but I wouldn't insult someone just because of where they come from. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to start a petition just because the French refer to us as "Le Rosbefs" or if someone laughs at me because I'm so terribly English. Stereotypes do exist for a reason, but I refuse to take racist abuse from people just because I'm a white Englishman. To clarify, I've never suffered racial abuse personally and no I wouldn't know what it's like to have bananas stuffed through my letterbox or to be chased down the road by a bunch of BNP/EDL fuckwits, but that doesn't stop me from being upset when I see my nationality being insulted.

I'm not having a go at any one group of people, although it's telling that non of the abuse being thrown around tonight on Twitter is from South Africans (non that I've seen anyway). I would just like the English to stop being the worlds punch bag. Call me a "wingeing pom" if you like (I am one after all), but don't insult me just because I'm white and English. We have feelings to you know