Ecclestone way off the mark on Hamilton abuse

It seems that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has never been the victim of racial abuse because his comments on the recent treatment of Lewis Hamilton are woefully wide of the mark.

Hamilton was subjected to vile abuse by a small section of the Spanish crowd during testing with McLaren last month.

And Ecclestone has claimed that the FIA’s launch of an anti-racism campaign is unnecessary.

“All it does is give attention to people who want attention,” he told the BBC.

“I don’t think they’re fans, and I don’t think they were supporting [Fernando] Alonso in particular. They just like to abuse people.”

Ecclestone did claim, however, that if the incident occurred again than launching an official campaign would be worthwhile.

But why should Hamilton have to accept such treatment as “an isolated incident”.

The unsavoury scenario is unfortunately common across Europe’s sporting arenas, with the black players of both England and England under-21 football team subjected to taunts, as well as Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o.

This would never be allowed to stand in other aspects of modern living, such as the workplace, so why should our sports stars be expected to just shrug it off.

It is only when we firmly tackle racists that they will begin to understand that their behaviour is unacceptable.

Racism caused by brain shrinkage?

There is northing worse then people playing the race card.

One of the most serious allegations that can be levelled against someone is that they are racist – so it is abhorrent when the few, no matter what their race, bandy the term about.

However, where racism is clearly evident it cannot and should not be excused.

Which is why I was extremely sceptical of new research produced by Bill von Hippel of the University of Queensland.

According to von Hippel, brain atrophy can account for some of the racist language used by the elderly.

Brain atrophy is the shrinking of the brain as we age – and this new study claims that this can lead to ‘unintended racism’.

von Hippel says: “Because prejudice toward African Americans conflicts with prevailing egalitarian beliefs, older adults attempt to inhibit their racist feelings, but fail.”

Senility can cause an untold range of problems but is it logical enough to cause racism in some cases and not in others.

And why would it effect just the white population?

It seems to me that this study attempts to put a biological reason behind the evils of bigotry and that is something which is hard to swallow.

After all, wouldn’t young racists simply have the tendency to turn into old racists?

Emily meant no offence but had to go

Another Big Brother race row exploded this week as Emily Parr directed a racial slur at fellow housemate Charley Uchea.

Anyone who follows the television show will be aware of the controversy that followed last year when Shilpa Shetty was subject to racial bullying.

With that in mind it seemed obvious that any racial disharmony this time round would be dealt with in the most serious manner and when Emily was removed from the house there could be no complaints.

However, I think that I may be alone in expresssing sympathy for this naive young woman. Emily seemed to be making a misjudged attempt, as a middle class white woman, to speak to a young black female, on what she thought was her own level. It backfired… badly.

It is obvious that she used the word so comfortably that it must have been part of her vocubalry but labelling someone as a racist is a serious allegation.

The word in question has become so fashionable, mainly due to the popularity of rap music, that it may be part of the language of many young people. both black and white. While what Emily said was wrong it was not intended to cause harm.

As much as Emily would like to think that she is an intelligent and street wise young woman she has a lot to learn and her comment was plainly stupid.

But calling her racist is a step too far.

Justice must be in done in Jena

Jena, Lousiana, is a tiny old-fashioned town. It seems like nothing has changed in the last forty years… and that includes race relations.

Six black students are about to go on trial for the alleged assault of a white student and face between 30 and 50 years in prison.

The shocking events that led to the trial and the effect that it has had on the people have Jena have echoed the civil rights struggles of the 60’s.

It began when a black student asked the staff of the school if he could sit under a tree that was traditionally reserved for white students, another throwback the troubled era, and was told that he was free to sit anywhere, he decided to break tradition and relax under the tree.

The following day the students arrived at the school to find three nooses hanging from the same tree.

The incident split the community and heightened tension at the school. The majority of the white residents regarded it as a tasteless prank.

The black residents regarded the issue as far more serious. It was considered a symbolic and threatening gesture, a reminder of white domination in the region.

When the culprits had the expulsion from the school reversed and instead received three day suspensions it was just a matter of when a spark would light the powder keg.

Soon after that the alleged attack happened, six black students allegedly attacked a white student who suffered bruises and concussion but was seen later enjoying a night out.

The culprits, were brought in but instead of being charged with assault and battery were charged with attempted second degree murder and could face up to fifty years in prison.

The police were more even handed than the local newspaper who didn’t even say the attack was an alleged attack thus declaring the boys guilty in an attack it called ‘the worst in school history’.

There is no doubt that violence in many cases is wrong but under such provocation it is surely unfair to punish a school fight with 50 years in prison.

Justice must be done and the rule of law must be applied otherwise American race relations could suffer a blow from which it may never recover.

Scared of St. George’s?

Having being born in England but having parents from the West Indies I have always had a hybrid of cultures.

In some ways I consider myself an Englishman and yet there are some parts of the English culture, because they were never present in my household, are totally foreign to me.

As an ethnic person and an English person, I often try to ignore the ranting of random bigots and of course the BNP who try to make me feel as foreign as possible.

Maybe that’s the problem with St. George’s Day. Many immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants would love to feel a part of the country but are often soured by the small minded and the plight of their parents.

With the cross of St. George having being seized by football hooligans and other thugs, many English people are scared of displaying their flag. It should be a symbol of pride but is now a symbol of fear. We need to emancipate the cross!

We are a nation built in the free labour of slavery and of the plundering of riches from other countries (sometimes known as ‘The British Empire’). The legacy of this is that we have a multi-cultural, diverse and exciting society.

I think that this is what St. George’s day should be about. Celebrating the country for what it is today.