betting my last dollar that there isn’t one single racist in Italy
today. With Balotelli’s performance yesterday, he went from mad Mario to
Super Mario and now everybody seems to have turned egalitarian and
all-embracing of the darker race. It’s incredible how success can make
people forget that you’re short, skinny, black, yellow or wear hair
was born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants. After he fell ill as a
toddler he was fostered by an Italian family in Brescia. Though he took
the name Balotelli from his foster parents, he only uses it on his
shirts when playing football. In the beginning of the Euro 2012
tournament it was rumoured that he would use both family names on his
shirt; he had also claimed that if he was racially abused during the
Championship, he would walk off the pitch – neither one happened – as
far as I could see he only used Balotelli on his shirt, and despite the
many racist comments, he never walked off.
now, after his incredible performance yesterday, everyone is rooting
for him, no one seems to mind that he’s darker than the night, comments
likening him to King Kong have given way to words of praise and God-like
powers, and his historic outbursts are on the way to becoming
the change of heart had nothing to do with the multi-million dollar
anti-racist RESPECT campaign that UEFA has been brandishing all these
years. Unfortunately, it neither had to do with the logical and
scientific evidence that proves that whites, blacks and all shades in
between are, essentially the same.
what has eradicated racism (albeit temporarily) so effectively, is an
emotional, illogical and passionate compulsion to win a game that will
ultimately make absolutely no difference in anyone’s lives…. except
those of the bookmakers.
as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and the best thing about
all this is that successful black people like Balotelli cannot hide
success stories cannot pretend to be anything else, so when they make
it, it is out there for everyone to see, everyone, including all the
ignoramuses who associate character traits, abilities, intelligence and
self-worth with skin colour.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about people of different sexual orientations.
the exception of a few, most gay people in successful positions don’t
advertise their sexuality unless asked about it directly. They argue
that who they sleep with has nothing to do with their success, or their
role in society and of course, in most cases this is entirely true.
to my mind, keeping your sexuality a secret is equivalent to keeping
your wife/husband and children hidden unless somebody asks about them
also means that homophobes – those lovely people who don’t think that
homosexuals are not equally human and able - keep feeding their
self-fulfilling prophecy that homosexuals never amount to much.
a result, those fearful parents who suspect that their son is gay, will
keep pushing him the other way because they love him to bits and they
want him to make something out of his life but have never seen anyone
gay who’s really made it.
favourite politician is straight, their favourite footballer is
straight, their doctor, their lawyer and their architect neighbour, are
all straight. The only gay they know is Little Britain’s ‘only gay in
the village’ and they’d rather die a painful death before letting their
son go down that road.
whilst efforts such as the Labour Party’s ‘It Gets Better’ video are
welcome, and might go a long way at winning the gay vote, it is ‘the’
gays themselves who will eventually make the biggest difference.