Of little consequence

writtenbyQ4u By writtenbyQ4u, 16th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

As anyone who writes and reads knows, words have power. certain words have more power than others.

After all, they are only words.

We - I speak as the voice of black people - know that they are only words. We know that their actual power is in the reaction. We know that some, as we are all lumped together as one, use the same words, the vile utterances used to degrade and disempower, with careless impunity, claiming in its usage, some sort of power, as they spit it out in aggressive raps.
We know that some; those of a younger generation, those who have never been part of the urban, melting pot, city environs, believe that the fuss over alleged or real racial slurs is so much hot air. After all, it is only words. Just words.
The power of words have brought down governments, ended wars, started revolutions. No one should ever underestimate the power of words.
There are elements, historical precedent, that give certain racial words more power. That being said, every other racial insult is empowered by the precedent set by those words.
The dehumanising nature of the words, backed by a well documented history, is what makes them so powerful. That and something else.
Every race has insults that are specific to that race. For most, the insults only really carry weight, like most racial insults, when coming from a viewpoint of superiority.
Only the Jewish race perhaps, really understand what it is like to be seen as the worst type of being.
What the Jewish race, or any other race, do not understand or appreciate, is what the world is like with a paucity of successful role models. In our media savvy world, we are bombarded by the images of the great and the good. The Times newspaper produces a rich list annually, lifestyles of the rich and famous are a mouse click away.
Admittedly there are lots of well to do black people in the media; sport, music, film and television, we are well, if not handsomely, represented. In business, in the world of movers and shakers, the black faces become more scarce. In political circles, there are more women regarded as power players than there are black people.
What about Obama you say? The fact that Obama's ascension to the White House was such major news, in a country where only the Red Indians have any depth of history, was an indication of how acute the issue was.
Here in the UK, the possibility of an 'Obama', 'Patel', 'Ching' or anyone who did not come up through the class system, reaching and holding a position of power is, sadly, remote.
There have been a few stories, all in the sports pages, of alleged racial incidents. Black people are prevalent in sports, especially the major sports on both sides of the Atlantic; American football and soccer in the UK.
I do not know about American football, but in the UK, racial abuse was rife from the terraces and throughout Europe in the seventies and eighties. Black players would routinely have bananas thrown at them, be subject to monkey chants and other forms of verbal abuse.
In the nineties, following a couple major incidents in the eighties - Hillsborough and Heysel stadium disasters - and with the inception of Sky sports, soccer needed to become more publicly friendly. No longer could it be the preserve of neanderthal, grunting, working class men. They needed to sell it to families and women. They needed to make it civilised.
The Kick Out Racism campaign in the nineties was backed by many a leading player. With a lot of the players being popular and important within their teams, the campaign worked well. The frequency of racial incidents, within the UK anyhow, fell dramatically. These days, at any major arena in the country, the spectators will be made up of people of all colors and creeds. The insults still happen, but they are few and frowned upon.
A definite improvement on decades past, I am sure many would agree. When, however, Sepp Blatter, the head of the football governing body, FIFA, a man whose ability for verbal oafishness is only matched by his tenacity for holding onto his post. When Sepp Blatter says that any racial insult hurled on the football field, should be left on the field of play and forgotten with a handshake, I think he has, perhaps, gone senile!
In an age of omnipresent cameras and microphones, news in an instant and judgment by media, not only is this a naïve statement, it is a dangerous one.
Still, the power of an insult can be nullified by the person who receives it. Disdain is a powerful tool when combating small mindedness.
Racism will never be eradicated, it is too much ingrained in human nature,the desire to try and oppress, for whatever reason, those they feel are lesser. But it can have its power diminished. After all, they are only words.

Tags

Fifa, History, Racism, Soccer, Words

Meet the author

author avatar writtenbyQ4u
I am a fitness instructor dreaming of being a film script writer. I tend to write - or rant! - about anything that takes my fancy.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
17th Nov 2011 (#)

Unfortunately as populations grow people struggle and increased racism is one symptom of growing populations and the struggle that too many people in too little space, brings.

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author avatar Obadiah
17th Nov 2011 (#)

Beautiful article. Very well written indeed.

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