Isn’t Priti Patel’s attitude to footballers ‘taking the knee’… racist?

It seems to me that the Home Secretary is being disingenuous – if not downright deceitful.

She is deliberately trying to associate “taking the knee” – which is a gesture of solidarity with black people who continue to suffer oppression from modern nation states – with anti-social or even outright criminal behaviour.

Yes, it has been associated with the Black Lives Matter organisation and there are strong reasons to question the behaviour of those involved with it.

But most people who “take the knee” aren’t doing it because they agree with the politics of that particular pressure group. They’re doing it to make the simple point that black lives do matter – at a time when racists have been asserting the opposite.

So it is wrong for Patel to make a false connection between what the England team are doing and any questionable motives, just as it is wrong for her colleagues like Gillian Keegan to condemn the gesture as “creating division”.

How can a show of solidarity with an oppressed group be divisive? It’s an expression of fellowship.

It is also inappropriate to suggest that football fans who boo the England team for “taking the knee” are doing so for any justifiable reason.

I think Patel is right to say that those people are booing because they don’t want to see protests against racism. In other words, they boo because they themselves are racists.

Patel’s support for their position is therefore entirely consistent with the attitudes she has already expressed – for example, towards people of ethnic minorities who she has locked up like sardines in concentration camps where they were made vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.

In short, it seems clear that she supports people who are racists because she is a racist herself.

Source: Priti Patel says fans have right to boo England team for ‘gesture politics’ of taking the knee | The Independent

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