The war against racism in Scotland has suffered a considerable setback in recent times, despite the multitude of diversity workshops being run regularly in our country. Such setbacks have not come courtesy of a group of marauding right wing thugs embarrassing our nation but an ignorant media displaying a complete lack of self-awareness and compliance with the material and training provided in the aforementioned diversity workshops.
Our national broadcaster, BBC Scotland, lowered the crossbar considerably, providing a platform for allegations that a victim’s claim of racial abuse was solely motivated by a desire to deflect from another news story, and thus lacked credibility whilst at the same time repeatedly demanding evidence of such claims, running contrary to the teaching that a racial crime is an incident where the victim perceives that the conduct directed towards them was motivated by hatred or prejudice. Not only seeking to discredit the victim but providing justification (allegedly) for such motivation.
Perhaps in lieu of “Narcos inspired” columns about a Columbian footballer appearing in the Daily Record we should also disregard the pitfalls of racial stereotyping. Better still, suggest that the victim lacks some measure of mettle or bottle if they cannot cope with such abuse. Way to go Davie Provan -target the victim instead of the perpetrators – wind that clock back at least 20 years, and whilst you are there perhaps you could tell us how damaging that orange top was to the peace process.
Before I’m accused of viewing this unedifying episode through blue tinted spectacles, its worthwhile reflecting on this tweet from columnist and Tv presenter Jean Johansen :
There has been something of a mixed reaction to the Rangers statement on social media. Whether you liked or loathed it, I’m far from convinced that the silence of the Rangers board is justified due to ongoing Police investigations. Much of the unedifying media content and conduct occurred well before the game which gave rise to the latest criminal proceedings. Call me cynical, but the catalyst to this latest Rangers statement release appears to be the recent attack on James Traynor rather than the long standing catalogue of attacks on Alfredo Morelos. As many of us repeatedly warned the Murray regime “So as you sow, so shall ye reap”. Dignified silence is neither dignified nor effective, it is a complete abdication of responsibility – an easy out for those are afraid to fulfil the sacred trust bestowed upon them as directors and guardians of our club.
Any Traynoresque statement is akin to a red rag to a bull for some in the Scottish media. Graham Spiers just cant help himself, becoming afflicted with the irrational red mist which he attributes to the foaming bigoted Neanderthals he so often castigates.
Never mind the racial abuse – so long as your p’s and q’s are in order. Why bother with the gravity of the message when there is an opportunity to shoot the messenger?
The Rangers board are not the only ones guilty of silence. Where are all the anti-racism campaigners and charities, funded to challenge obsolete and draconian attitudes towards racism? Not a single word.
This final paragraph in the Ranges statement has drawn some comment :
“Finally, Rangers would be more than happy to accommodate the young person involved in this latest incident on one of our courses designed to help people understand why racist and sectarian abuse is unacceptable. Indeed, if any of those journalists/pundits who got it so badly wrong would like to attend we’d also welcome and help them.”
Some have suggested it was both crass and undignified.
Given the monumental failings of our media – it certainly wasn’t unnecessary.