I want to address this here as there is currently a lot of talk of racism in football due to the recent missing of penalties by three black football players in the England squad at the Euro 2020 competition.
Firstly, ignoring all issues of race, the manager – Gareth Southgate – should not have put such young players in those important and stressful positions. Saka was 19 at the time of taking them, and no amount of preparation in training can actually prepare him for the actual event. On the positive side, he now has this experience to draw on should he be required to take penalties in the World Cup, starting in November 2021.
Onto the issue of racism. It goes without saying that people who focus on race are incapable of seeing the dialectic. It is not a definin characteristic of a human being, but it is the first thing we see when looking at another person.
And there are a myriad of experiments over the years that demonstrate in-group and out-group membership as important factors in cultural and collective identity creation. Everyone does this. Everyone on the planet is capable of racism, and some people within each country practises racism.
In the extreme, there are countries in Africa that forbid white people from owning land or other possessions.
What is Skin Colour Really About?
I’d like to come to the point.
Melanin pigmentation is adaptive and has been maintained by natural selection. Because of its evolutionary lability, skin color phenotype is useless as a unique marker of genetic identity.
Basically, light and dark-skinned humans have been living along side each other for thousands of years, and it is no longer the case that everyone started out as black (in Africa) and their skin lightened as they moved north to better-regulate vitamin D production in lower sunlight levels. See this Research Paper. The evolution of skin color is much more complex. There is not much point in me replicating the research here, so please read this article for a fuller account.
Dynamic Intelligence and Skin Colour
“The study confirms that societal constructions of race are not useful when it comes to genetics. “One of the traits that most people would associate with race—skin color—is a terrible classifier,” Tishkoff tells Yong, pointing out that there is variation even within dark skin. “The study really discredits the idea of a biological construct of race. There are no discrete boundaries between groups that are consistent with biological markers.”
What this means is, for an English person to be invested in skin colour as a separator for football players, is essentially a low-level perspective. These people lack the complex thinking required to be non-racist, and here’s why:
They miss the dialectic. If they cannot understand the above then their perspective is an irrational one. If it is irrational, it is limited.