Paul Gascoigne, the former football star is an alcoholic but not a comedian. During ‘An Evening With Gazza,’ he insulted Errol Rowe, his Black security guard. He said, ‘Can you smile please, because I can’t see you?’. There were only more than a thousand people present! Gascoigne was charged with racially aggravated abuse and pleaded guilty, eventually. Nonetheless, Gascoigne defenders emphatically denied it was insidious racism. It was and in some ways, insidious racism is the worst kind of racism.
Insidious racism is a daily occurrence for Black folk. When White people ignore Black people or give too much attention or ridicule, that is insidious racism. Few Black people experience overt racism such as the English Defence League mobbing, Black people, though I fear the latter takes root; or White police officers murdering Blacks, although Black people do suffer police discrimination.
White Is Right – Insidious Racism
Black Brits live in a society where the social and political structures are racist. White is the default race, the good race. Our society continually peddles that message. The Independent carried this headline; ‘Black and Muslim killers are “terrorists” and “thugs.” Why are White shooters called ‘mentally ill’?’ The answer to the question is racial inequality, and it resides in the headline. Black and Muslim equalled killers and White equalled shooters. The Independent had insidiously branded Black/Muslim as dangerous and the White person the skilled hunter. This form of racism is everywhere. In the Bible, Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas is Black. The problem with this image is that Judas was a wealthy merchant who did not need silver.
White social and political structures oppress Black people as a homogeneous mass. For example, Black people face stricter punishments for the same crimes. The system supports White people individually. Therefore, when Black people speak of racist systems, White people see it as a personal attack. They then defend their belief that they as an individual are not racist. Therefore racism does not exist, and Black people are either too angry or too sensitive. If White people let themselves see it, they will find that is has been there all the time.
Paul Gascoigne – Insidious Racism The Worst Kind
Gascoigne bullied his employee; Rowe was his bodyguard. He was not in a position to respond to the racist taunt. Gascoigne, however, as a sporting hero, was in a position to influence. He could have sent a positive message to the audience. Instead, he chose a cheap shot at the expense of a Black employee. It was humiliating for Rowe, who was not part of the act.
We tut-tut and fool ourselves, that acts of insidious racism are inconsequential. However, a study by Professor Alvarez (San Francisco State University) says otherwise. ‘These are incidents that may seem innocent and small, but cumulatively they can have a powerful impact on an individual’s mental health.’
Racism does not have to be overt and violent to be offensive or harmful. In fact, it typically starts with the little throwaway comments, like Gascoigne’s. The little jokes that gently and surely chip away at the fabric of society’s moral decency and the individual’s self-esteem. It sets the stage for stereotypes and discrimination which leads to overt racist behaviour. Since Brexit, hate crimes have risen sharply. Recently, a White thug kicked a pregnant Muslim woman in her stomach, and she miscarried. In France, a pair of White reprobates attacked a pregnant Muslim woman. They shaved her head and kicked her in the stomach causing her to lose her baby.
White people have the power to change racist systems. Some are already trying. White people can challenge other White people in their life to think critically about racism. White people have the power to openly call out and reject White privilege and racism they witness or experience, as the video below shows.
Connect with me on Twitter
Follow my blog on Bloglovin’