Saturday, November 20, 2004

SIMON BARNES absolutely nails it, writing on London's Times about the racist chants during a football (soccer for the yanks in the audience) match last week in Madrid (see below for more post about this issue). Rather than the chants themselves (being bad in themselves, of course, but these things happen when there's hooligans around) is the casual reaction to it by the rest of us. It shows, alas, the country's moral fibre:
SPAIN has a reputation for tolerance and on Wednesday night we were privileged to witness the lazy, relaxed tolerance of the nation displayed in gloriously unequivocal circumstances. What’s all the fuss about? Don’t worry about it. You’re making too much of it. Who honestly cares if people are insulted because they are black?

That tolerance was more shocking than the insults themselves. That cheery, easy, smiling assumption that racism really doesn’t matter a bit. Bigots who make a nuisance of themselves is one thing; all countries have bigots. What defines a country is the degree to which it tolerates its bigots.

I am most emphatically not talking about politically correct responses from politically correct politicians and administrators and other geeks in suits. I am talking about the response of real people. People such as you and me. People who perceive something and say instinctively: that can’t be right. That’s awful. I hate it. It is, in fact, intolerable.

[...] The Spanish went back on a pre-match agreement and displayed advertising material for the Madrid bid to host the Olympic Games of 2012. This was a deliberate nose-fingering at the London bid. I am not sure that this bit of mischief did the Madrid bid much good. I wonder, does the city of the monkey chant really want the Olympic Games? There tend to be, you know, a fair number of black people at the Olympics. They tend to win at least their fair share of medals as well. Ask Hitler.
You should definitely read the whole thing.

(via HispaLibertas)