Saturday, 1 November 2008

Lewis Hamilton: race or the race?

I am shocked by this story about Spanish grand prix supporters unleashing racist insults upon Lewis Hamilton.

I don't pay much attention to the Grand Prix any more. I watched it out of boredom with my dad when I was a kid. But I have always admired Lewis Hamilton. He comes from the English town of Stevenage, which is where my parents currently live. I am not sure of Hamilton's exact background, but that town is a rough, poor place. It has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the country. Drug abuse and broken homes are rife. For Hamilton to make it as far as he has, coming from a place like that, is impressive, and his age makes it even more impressive to me.

The people who write on this racist website are cowards. They cannot admit to the fact that they hate Lewis Hamilton for irrational reasons, like the fact that he had a fallout with one of their favourites, and may beat another favourite to win the title. These reasons do sound pretty pathetic but that is what sport does to people.

Instead of admitting to their pettiness they grasp onto something that they can cling to: his race. I know Spanish people with darker skins than Hamilton. Just saying. But the race thing gives them a sense of power; it separates him clearly (at least visually) from other drivers.

However, in this instance it is difficult to understand their drawing of the race card. Hamilton is a talented driver. Racists usually try to link race to percieved inferiority, of intelligence or ability. In this instance they are using insulting racist words to describe someone who is succesful, talented, and may well win the Grand Prix title and become the youngest champion ever. They seem to be linking race to superiority instead of inferiority in this instance. Essentially they are saying that black people are superior to them. They really have kicked themselves in their own backsides with their logic of racism here.

The fact that they have resorted to racial insults in this case shows just how inferior they are feeling right now. There are levels that one shouldn't stoop to if one wants to project a certain level of intelligence and maturity.


sass said...

yeah, we same to be on the same topic today - racism on the internet. i'd like to think that if you've got brain cells sufficient to guide you to the internet, you'd be above bigotry and racism, but it seems more and more racists and bigots are taking up residence on the net. really disturbing to me.

po said...

sass: the internet is an ideal tool for people like that unfortunately.

People tend to be inspired to write when they are angry or hate something more than if they are happy and well adjusted I think

Moe Wanchuk said...

It amazes me that there are true racists out there anymore. Don't we all just want to live a happy life?

There used to be a lot of racism between black and white here, but that really seems to be disappearing, which is cool.

Since 9/11, It seems like it's moved away from black/white to America vs the radical arab world.

po said...

moe, I think these grand prix fans are using race as an outlet for all their anger, but it is really a front for their true reasons. It is so pointless to me i cannot believe they would waste their time.

LadyFi said...

Some people are just idiots - like the case in point. They sound like real losers, and people who are insecure always need to find a scapegoat. They don't have any case or point here so just resort to mindless racist words. Unfortunately.

And - even more unfortunately - the Interent is a perfect outlet for stupid comments. I think that racism and bigotry are growing on the Net because it is so much easier for like-minded bigots to find each other.

po said...

ladyfi: totally agreed. I think it is much harder to spread lack of racism on the internet than to spread racism.

Rox said...

Everything I learned about the human race has been from noting how some people don't get out of the road when ambulances or cop cars are trying to pass.

Sadly, there are just too many stupid, mean and horrible people in the world, all just waiting for a way to vent their nastiness wherever possible.

po said...

rox: interesting social observation! I like to believe in my little bubble that race is but a social construct and does not exist at all but for the meanings we have chosen to give it. But try convincing people of that!

6000 said...

I think he shut hem up in the best way possible.


But the Spanish are becoming known for their racism. Their national footy coach, their fans, their sports (tennis and basketball, I think) teams pre-Beijing.

Rox said...

It's quite staggering how many stupid, narrow-minded people there are in the world hey.

po said...

6000: he won, I was so happy! I mean I don't even watch bloody grand prix, but I almost felt proud after living in Stevenage a few years.

rox: well, their weird voodoo attempt at popping his tyres didn't work so bummer for them.