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Racism: Is it really what it sounds like?

Modified 19 Nov 2012, 20:20 IST

“You F*cking Black C*nt!”. Yeah, thats what John Terry supposedly said to Anton Ferdinand, which ultimately lead to a four-match ban, a hefty fine, and worst of all, disgrace. Notice the words censored here aren’t the ones John Terry was charged for, and nobody was prior to him, after all, didn’t Wayne Rooney yell “F*ck!” straight into the camera? JT got into legal trouble for calling Anton Ferdinand black. A few matches later, a Chelsea fan got into trouble for making monkey gestures towards Danny Welbeck. Yes, it’s happening time and again, a player or fan making gestures or remarks about a players origins, and being charged legally for their action. Now, let us reconsider exactly what happened.

John Terry got banned for four matches for calling Ferdinand ‘black’. So, if I were to go and call Terry ‘white’ will I be subjected to similar treatment? Will the ‘Society of White Lawyers’ come with their tails wagging with a racism suit? Let us not consider the expletives let loose by John Terry, they aren’t the reason he was banned. A Chelsea fan got into legal trouble himself when he made monkey gestures at Welbeck, something which Welbeck himself didn’t happen to notice. And could any person enlighten me on how calling a player ‘monkey’ could become racist? Naturally, there is no connection unless you are to force one. If John Terry were racist, then how could he be the captain of team featuring the likes of Drogba, Anelka, Malouda, Essien, and Mikel? How could the Chelsea fan sing praises and ballads about their Stamford Bridge legends of the African origin?

Ask any HR consultant at a big firm and they’ll tell you that with the sexism and racism suits these days, it has become literally impossible to fire an employee. Instead, they just give them impossible dead lines and hand them the pink slip when they ‘fail’ to perform, such is the manner of verbal assault, especially in such cases. Since when did being called ‘black’ become offending? Wasn’t Pele affectionately referred to as the ‘Black Pearl’? Whats wrong with the color black? In business, it’s black you want, the sweetest of grapes are the black ones, the best quality cotton grows on black soil. If some person were to call me ‘Brown’, since I am of Indian origin, I wouldn’t really mind, after all, I’m brown and proud!

In the aftermath of the sad affair, the Chelsea head honcho has decided not to extend John Terry’s contract any further, because he saw Anton and his family at the court and saw what they are going through. Oh, really Anton? Could you please tell us how tormenting it was for you a few months later to have been called ‘black’ by a rival footballer?

Remember, I’m only referring to verbal assault in this case. If it’s anything segregationist or discriminatory, I’d give up everything to oppose it, even if it is favourable to me. If it involves physical and deliberate harm, John Terry would lose all respect from my side. But that is not how things are working these days. Any court case these days is completely money-minded, even if the facts are distorted, or misinterpreted. How could a judge determine exactly how humiliating it was Anton to be called ‘black’? Had he been called a slave, with reference to the slave trade in 18th century, it might have made sense. Had John Terry made a remark about backwardness in reference to Africa’s indigenous tribes, it would have stung a lot, undoubtedly, I for one, would have felt the same way had anyone made similar remarks, but being called ‘black’? I find this situation similar to that of the reservation situation in India,where a section of the society is ‘backward’, supposedly, and therefore getting more than enough benefits, while they really aren’t backward in any manner. No black can be sued in his lifetime for a racist remark, while ‘no white dude can be allowed in the hood at night’. Such is the nature of people these days.

Such a sad and sorry affair.

Published 16 Nov 2012, 17:09 IST
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