Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Face of Europe


To the left is Paolo Di Canio, a star Italian Soccer player, giving a Nazi salute to his adoring fans. This is the face of Italian Soccer. No... Let me add that this is the face of European Soccer. The everpresent fascist screams from fans all around the continent has become an all too frequent sighting. And who is to stop it? Is it the soccer leagues responsibility to end this nonsense? Maybe, but will it help? Should the government step in and do something? Maybe, but will it stop? I would submit that the responsibility lays with the people of Europe. Do they have the moxie... No... Do they have the balls to stand up and disavow these people? Do they have the courage to walk up to these assholes and stop them?

Several days ago Bert commented on the desire of Nazi's to disrupt the World Cup. (BTW, I fell down laughing by his solution.) Then, by chance, I was watching ESPN as they ran a story about the rise of Nazi/ fascist attitudes at European soccer games. You should check it out when you have a chance.

What struck me as incredible is the seemingly passe attitude Europeans appear to have about this. As if it's no big deal. ESPN showed large crowds participating in Nazi salutes. Bananas are thrown at Black and African soccer players as screams of monkey reverberate throughout soccer games. Players from Central and South America are treated the same. Apparently, this is considered a sort of gamesmanship. A way to try to put the players on edge and find an advantage. But is this right? In some areas, fans will torment their own teams players for fun. Is that gamesmanship?

No. Its a sign of a moral and ethical failure in Europe and only the people themselves can stop it.

Let me add that if a large group of Nazi's, with their flags and salutes, showed up at a Raiders football game or at a Yankee Baseball game a riot is likely. And its not the Nazi's who would be walking away without scratches. I assure you that the fans themselves would put a stop to this behavior. Yes, America had segregation and slavery, but our society has learned to change, and it was painful-and continues to be. Nevertheless, America has come a long way. Europe still has far to go.

Overt racism and the European continents inhabitants unwillingness to stand up to this crap is foretelling. They still have not learned the lessons that brought the most destructive war to their continent this past century. It's as if they secretly condone these people. Afterall, silence is acceptance. As I heard once, all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. So far, I don't see them doing anything.

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