In recent days I’ve grown to dread reading the news. As if the pandemic gloom wasn’t enough, we now have the displeasure of the far right and organised football hooligans.
‘Organised hooligans’, that’s a contradiction. I’ll never forget the trail of buses carrying Old Firm fans to Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow during my childhood.
I’m passionate about football. I passionately loathe it. As a kid, I always knew which team had lost.
As losing fans rolled past and spotted an Asian, they would always bang on the windows to share their racist vernacular.
Now, they claim to be united and organised. Old rivalries put aside to face a common foe – the threat of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
They come here, take our jobs, steal our women, attack our monuments – Anonymous
Cue fascist human barriers and running battles around the country. In London, swastika-wearing Neo Nazis protect the monument of Churchill – I wonder if the irony is lost on the masses.
I have respect for Winston Churchill (well, to a point), his leadership was pivot in helping to defeat the Nazis during World War II. Yet, here we are in 2020 and we have Nazis in Great Britain. Not so great is it?
Also not great is that last week Black Lives Matters protesters in Bristol pulled down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston. A justified act perhaps, but criminal. What happened to legal process?
Hiding or destroying the past will not educate future generations. It will only breed more ignorance.
No surprise that the far right came out in force.
How do we move on when racism is a fabric of society?
Peaceful protests hijacked by violence and vandalism are all distractions from the real issue at hand. In 2020, an unarmed black man died at the hands of a policeman.
George Floyd was one victim, there are countless more. We’re told that it’s just a racist minority, yet these small groups are allowed to form political organisations thanks to freedom of speech.
The pandemic, far from being a unifying event, has served to amplify societal differences. UK reports suggest Black & Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have a higher risk of dying of Covid-19, with racism being cited as a barrier to seeking medical help.
The can of worms has been open for a long time. It’s just not a priority.