Last night, at Perth, the teams wore their support for Show Racism The Red Card, in the same week that Club 1872 demanded, and got, a sit down with the organisation. Their agenda was not to promote racial harmony. It was not to advance the needs of SRTRC or the anti-racist agenda at that organisation’s core. It was to intimidate. To bully. To slander. To smear.
And the organisation bowed to it, even insofar as they allowed the notoriously unhinged Sevco supporters organisation to release one of their noxious press statements which essentially took a hammer to one of SRTRC’s own staff members.
Let’s be clear here; Show Racism The Red Card have thrown one of their own people under a bus with the way they’ve reacted to the Phil McGiollabhain thing, not to mention that in doing so they’ve also libelled the man himself.
To see that badge on the shirts last night was to remind us of what an utter shambles the last few weeks have been for them.
SRTRC is an organisation funded from the public purse, and I know that like most organisations of its type it requires more than just a mission statement.
Organisations which generate fancy buzzwords and woolly concepts are good as theoretical discussion groups, but at a time of crippling austerity people are going to rightly ask why the taxpayer should fund them … and so these organisations have to be sharply on message, to work according to their basic principles, to function as intended and they must be ever vigilant that they carry public support with them.
Phil McGiollabhain has written extensively on anti-Irish racism. He was, therefore, and he is, an expert in the field. SRTRC had every right, even a responsibility, to engage with him and seek his input. But that’s not all Phil has written about, of course. He has also written about Rangers, and that’s part of the problem these swivel headed goons have with him.
A bigger part of their problem is that Phil has also written about racists, and it was in that context that he wrote his fictional parable The Incubator.
Anyone who’s read it knows exactly what it is. It will not to be to everyone’s taste. Some will call it a sledgehammer way to make a point, but the point is what matters and the point here is that racism and bigotry is a mindless monster, shambling through our society, causing destruction … but Phil has crucially pointed out that in addition we can’t pretend it appeared by accident or that it was something that simply grew out of nowhere.
The hate that drives that monster was manufactured somewhere, as all hate is.
One of my favourite movies in the world is American History X. There is a moment of incredible beauty and razor sharp perception in that film that almost always goes unremarked on. It’s the scene where Ed Furlong’s character has come to the final realisation about himself and his brother, and for reasons the film never explains it cuts to a scene on a beach, the two of them little more than children, staring in doe-eyed wonder at the sea and the sand and the birds. And it always gets me that moment, because when you are that age you’re like a sponge soaking up everything, with nothing laid out in front of you … and Tony Kaye, the director, made such an incredible statement in that scene; hate isn’t something we’re born with.
It gets into you, like a disease; it comes from outside of you though, from somewhere else. Phil’s point was that hatred is something you can create in the lab, something that you can actually craft, very deliberately, and turn loose.
An anti-racism charity should be about confronting racism. Did Phil use ugly language? Yes he did, but he’s dealing with an ugly subject and horrible human beings. He’s writing about the very people SRTRC was set up to drive out of our society.
Drive out. Not invite for tea and biscuits. Not pander to.
We are not born with hate, but when hate becomes your functioning mind-set, when your whole sense of self is defined by it, it’s no longer something that can be easily educated out of you or forced into retreat; it’s something that has to be confronted, and those steeped in it marginalised and confronted with the full horror of what they are.
Because that’s the only way the next generation stands a chance.
Show Racism The Red Card has forgotten its purpose. It’s forgotten its mandate. If they are going to slam anti-racist campaigners and lump them in with the racists they are fighting against, like Trump pontificating on the “very bad people on both sides” at Charlottesville then I suggest that first they adopt a name change, to something more appropriate.
Show Racists Where The Coffee Machine Is, perhaps.
Club 1872 demanded, and got, their pound of flesh. Another dissenting voice has been silenced and that’s all they wanted. Another brick has been knocked out of the equality wall, just as they had hoped it would be. The craven surrender to them was completed last night with that farce, an anti-racist charity promoting its work in front of a skin-crawling display of bigotry and bile right out of the 17th century; up to their knees in blood, telling the descendants of Irish Catholics to “go home” and looking forward to the death of a Scottish football icon, not to mention the rain of objects from the stands which again the SFA is stonily silent on.
Why not? It’s become a habit now. It’s “the new normal.”
If Club 1872 cared about the anti-racism agenda it would be their voices raised loudest in condemnation of that sickening outpouring last night; but here’s the elephant in the room, here’s what SRTRC apparently don’t want to confront … some of the people represented by those they had over for snacks around the conference table were in those stands last night wallowing in the muck.
Someone, somewhere, has decided that the organisation should now be focussed on helping the racists back into the light.
A little love and understanding is all they need.
Pretentious fence sitting so you don’t have to pick a side … when the whole point of such an organisation is to pick a side.
Educate bigots? Reach out to racists?
Bring them “on board”?
At the same time as you participate in a hatchet-job on one of the people who’s devoted the better part of his life to standing against them?
Aye, okay then.
I mean seriously … are you kidding me?
The idea is like a sick joke. It makes me want to throw up.
Last night was a travesty, coming at the end of what was a tragic fortnight in the history of the organisation, one that has completely lost its bearings. It wasn’t show Racism The Red Card as much Show Racism The Red Carpet.
It was a definitive statement of how weak some of society has become, where even those supposed to be on the sharp end have lost the stomach for the fight.
It will carry on like this, and get worse, until it’s properly confronted and those responsible called out and held up to the humiliation and scorn of all right-thinking people.
Anything else, and the folks at Scotland’s anti-racist charity just aren’t doing their jobs.
In case they haven’t noticed, governments everywhere are cutting projects like theirs to the bone, and these guys have succeeded, in the past fortnight, in pushing away, in spectacular fashion, the very people who would have been their most vocal supporters and valued allies.
Hell of a job, folks, like Dale Carnegie in reverse.
How To Lose Friends And Alienate People.