Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Racism in Cricket

It's been interesting watching the growing controversy over the racism row in cricket. Now cricket isn't a game i follow for any other reason than my wife - she loves it. It's not really played in my home nation. Anyway, basically what has happened is some sections of the crowd in India have used racial abuse against an Australian player.

When it was first reported the Indian cricket authorities initially denied it happened, or suggested it had been a mis-understanding. When proof was produced, they finally did something about it.

What is interesting is the amount of "what is the fuss, Australia is racist too" type of comments floating about the internet, a prime example being here:

Other examples also here and here:

Again the same old tired defenses about whites being racist, Australians being racist to "us" (in this case Indians) makes it OK to be racist to 'them'.

What is also interesting is that some writer referred to an Australian government report on Racism in sport, citing it as proof that Australia is indeed racist. However, having taken the time to read the report I was, i must admit, a little surprised. The report can be found here:

What i found surprising is that by reading the report you find out:

1. That the majority of professional sporting codes are actively pursuing programs to engage minority groups and aboriginal peoples (albiet room for improvement)
2. All major sports have implemented member protection policies and programs
3. Racism has been identified as a problem and action is being taken, monitored, evaluated and fine tuned.

Now, how is this a racist country? I would think that a country that actively takes steps to reduce racism, foster involvement across racial groups and backgrounds is one that is a positive country rather than one that sticks it's head in the sand and pretends that racism only happens to it and it's people!

It's denials like the ones made by India that fuel xenophobic nazi-style morons in western countries. It's people taking the attitude that "all Australians are racist" that lead to those same people seeing every potential issue they have with people of that background as 'racist'

It's like visiting France. Now, i learned French in high school. Don't remember allot of it, but enough to travel. I love France and the French people, but almost EVERY person i know who has expressed fear and hesitation about going to France because of the 'rude people' has generally come back and spoken about how rude people are. If you LOOK for "it" (racism, rude people, bad food, whatever) you will invariably find it.

So how does this related to the racism row in cricket? well for one, I'm sure that various loony 'white power' groups on the net are going to use this as a chance to encourage people to 'stand up for themselves' and other nonsense. I'm sure that some dumb-ass rednecks in Australia will take it upon themselves to 'give it back' to the Indian team. I'm also sure that any negative cheering etc by Australian crowds will be deemed by the Indian media as being racist. Simply negative energy and thoughts feeding off each other. So what to do? Well, i for one will be attending my wifes family re-union at the time Sri Lanka are touring Australia. We will be watching a 'test' - i think they are the things before the main tournaments? anyway, take a stand - EVERYONE. If some red-neck Aussie hassles the Sri Lankans, I'll tell them to stop. If some Indian cricket fan tries to tell me (again) that the behavior is appropriate I'll, again, correct them and advise them to take the higher ground.

Point being: Asian Racism has again been exposed, the denials again (initially) loud and the same old justifications trotted out. How is racism in the west going to be beaten once and for all if westerners are treated this way? it only adds to the negative perceptions and fuels suspicion and mis-understanding. Only by admitting the problem exists and taking firm positive action to educate and correct peoples thinkings can we rid the world of racism, in all it's shapes and forms.

Rid the world of Racism. Admit that it exists. Confront it. Educate and Emancipate people from narrow perspectives!

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