The Tale of the Golliwog: Part 1½
In considering the second part to the tale of the golliwog, I was gifted by Providence an illustration of the wider point I was hoping to make. Although outside the domain of school education, the example seemed so apposite that it justified the interpolation. And so, I set aside Part 2 temporarily to address this issue with a Part 1½:
A friend was telling me about a recent Rangers game which took place in France to an empty stadium- as per Covid guidelines. Prior to the game the team were obliged to ‘take the knee’ in an act of obeisance to, ostensibly, BLM and their racialist claims. This ‘protest’ was clearly divisive for the players; the Whites mainly ignoring it and the ethnic and mixed-race others enthusiastic, some to the point of raised fists - Black power! A message directed, one can only suppose, to (or against?) in order, football fans, Rangers fans and their fellow players.
One can imagine how quickly any expression of disagreement between players will segue to the usual accusations and become divisive; thus damaging of team unity.
Many fans objected to this display on social media, arguing that this issue is nothing to do with Rangers or Scottish football. In response, certain Rangers players accused their own fans of racism. The chairman became involved too, but not as a defender of the club whose purpose is football, nor of the fans attempt to distance themselves from the controversy of racialist arguments, but of the apparent principle that underlies the BLM protest.
This issue will run on, but note that the confrontation starts with an insult to fans – who are supposed to accept, as a given; the legitimacy of the BLM movement, the premise of the racialist assumptions that underlie it, their own complicity in this alleged White racism and the rightness of Rangers’ involvement in it. Leaving aside the temptation to explore these issues, and not least the various ironies involved in wealthy and privileged ‘black’ sportsmen pretending to be brave and principled at the expense of their own fans’ feelings, we return to our thesis.
What does this tell us with respect to our argument regarding racial justice and school education?
Firstly, by being in a completely different societal domain it reinforces what we already know about the destructive impact of this collective, anti-racism madness. Namely, that no institution is safe from accusations of racism, regardless of the relevance or ridiculousness of such claims, and that the interests of those affected by such claims are ignored. That those who should protect us from such have got no intention of doing so; indeed, so important is it for them to appear on-board with the anti-racism mission, that they will willingly, sometimes gratuitously, alienate shareholders, customers and (in the case of Rangers) those supporters whose loyalty gives life to the institution. Suddenly, the fans find that their club has been repurposed to a political end; and that although they might be the club, they don’t own it, nor enjoy the proper respect of those who do! Such for Rangers - and the same for any other sports club, organisation, or school!
Secondly, a template is held out to school children, irrespective of their interest in football, of how to behave and think; your favourite team apparently recognising the truth of White systemic racism by kneeling and black fisting for racial justice. And those who query, however slightly, the legitimacy of this movement are cast into darkness by social media, news media, celebrity puppet-activists, even club chairmen. How could this NOT be seen as operant conditioning?*
Finally, and most importantly, it illustrates the power which lies behind this racialisation of social life. This has largely been invisible within the school context, as it may have seemed to arrive on the back of the citizenship elements of the curriculum. Concerned adults and parents could perhaps dismiss this development as a passing phase or a minor issue.
But when we consider the case of BLM and Rangers as a representative of this racialisation of seemingly everything, we realise that we are dealing with a force much more powerful than a mere foreign protest movement. And that has implications for the development of racial grievance politics in our schools.
How can it be so, that a newly, and supposedly spontaneously, founded foreign, political-activist organisation - predicated on issues that have no connection to us – can arrive in Europe fully-funded and able to instantly exert such influence? How can it be so, that our native football teams are obliged to do homage to, largely, career-criminal Black Americans repurposed as saintly innocents. Try to get the football league, or your own favourite team, to take the knee as a protest for injustices that concern you or us in Scotland and see how far this gets you? You already know the answer!
In thinking this through we can see the intent and gigantic power behind this phenomenon in its ability to subvert, divide and co-opt accomplices, even to the point of them destroying their own organisations and businesses. We must surely, then, fear its potential within schools, faced with much more innocent minds – not least the already gulled, fem-bot teachers.
If only we could discover which group may be behind this phenomenon; they would have to have international access to massive funding, control of social and news media and have global political leverage. Hmm!,…this does not seem to describe Black people. Perhaps someone will work out the answer?
What think ye?
* Repeatedly modelling behaviour to the target to get them to copy it without even thinking. By encouraging certain behaviours, this technique also legitimises the associated thoughts or theories behind it - also without thinking about it.