- Aug 18, 2015
- Country Flag
- Club or Nation
I think the reality is that white people in this country are so oblivious to white privilege and systemic, institutional racism that any gesture unifying them is unlikely. Part of the problem is while many people say they are against racism, they are only referring to the overt direct racism. They don't believe that structural, institutional racism and white privilege exist. The recent action of taking the knee has not really been about drawing attention to direct racism, but to the structural, institutional racism that black and other ethnic minority people face on a daily basis. It was always going to be divisive because the reality is that most important issues are. Rashford's feed the children is an more of an exception to the rule and even then you still had Tory MPs campaigning against the issue. MLK is one of a long line of black activists and he is actually in the middle and there have been plenty more since and there still are as racism and structural, institutional racism is still a huge issue. He didn't decide one day to just start a campaign and once black people were given the vote he would stop. It's an ongoing process and an ongoing conversation and often it means persevering even when many people disagree with you, because especially in this case you are trying to change societal institutions and values that have developed over centuries. It was always going to be divisive. However, the more people talk about it, discuss it and research it, the more opportunity there is for people to change their minds.Its ok, no worries.
Yeah that's reasonable - I'm not solely laying it at the player's feet, I think it's a been a joint effort, but not intentional. Honestly though it's not really that relevant any more, it has been tarnished, there is pretty wide spread divide and it should in theory be a pretty unifying issue. The fact that split exists is what suggests to me it's not doing more good than harm.
https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2021-06/Ipsos MORI Euros 2020 polling_120621_PUBLIC.pdf
Page 4 on there has only 40% of the country supporting the kneeling, with a good amount being ambivalent and almost a third being against it - the largest "anti racism" gesture in the nation should in theory garner a hell of a lot more support than that. I suppose where you expect it to be comes down to the proportion of the country you think are actual racist, I'd wager about 10% are actually racists, so then 40% support looks really really low. If it was really unifying then I'd expect at least 70% support. It may well be though that others on this forum believe it's a much higher amount but unfortunately we dont have any real polling for the answer!
The polling doesn't suggest unity on an issue that should be unifying - does that not suggest we are probably going about it wrong?
Unfortunately the link above doesnt let you isolate factors etc as they've listed multiple reasons for opposing the gesture rather than having to pick only one and I dont have the time to slog through all the data, but if you did, it would give you a pretty clear indication of when and where campaigning and protests would be effective, especially if you had a concrete mainfesto/legislative aims to go along with it. It would be good to know how they gave them options as well but hey ho, it gives the skeleton of good info
I don't have data, but I am positive that more people will have reassessed their views as racist and started to think more about racism than will have been against racism and then decided that taking the knee means they should stop being anti racist. As I said most people who have moved from being anti-racist to anti taking the knee will probably have been surface anti-racism people who only focused on direct racism.
As for whether this symbol has run it's course and another symbol would be more effective. I think that's the wrong way to view it. Even if a new, effective anti-racism symbol was created, people who want to shut the conversation down would find a way to tarnish that too. All that would happen is you would keep moving from new symbol to new symbol, and that would be even worse as ordinary people was just get confused. While this symbol may be divisive, it certainly is clear with what it means.
Finally, the events of the past week and England nearly winning have actually gone a long way to showing why taking the knee is important and I think many people will have reassessed their view. Someone else mentioned this in regards to those politicians who have changed their tune and are coming off as hypocrites. Many other people will be the same and while they may be hypocrites, at least they have acknowledge indirectly that they were wrong.
I think that the conversation it generates is far more important that trying to be a unifying symbol that will defeat racism, because that ultimately is a pipe dream, this is a long process that will take time, but as long as people keep talking about it, progress will be made.