Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The child of ignorance

The child of ignorance

Actor Paul Newman once said, ‘A man with no enemies is a man with no character.’ In a sense he is right for anyone worth their salt will stand firm to their principles and tell some hard truths when required. Sometimes on life’s road those hard truths need to be told to friends and if they are real friends they’ll value your opinion and the fact you didn’t coat it with sugar.

Firstly with regard to events at the Cup tie with Stranraer, let’s be quite clear: Celtic’s fairly comfortable win was overshadowed by the antics of a small section of the travelling support who seem not to give a damn what the club they purport to support says. Of course the Scottish media has been laying it on thick but what’s even thicker is the behaviour of those who hand them a big stick to beat the Celtic support with.  Just as the denizens of Ibrox are squirming after yet another embarrassing airing of the sixteenth century’s greatest hits the headlines are all about the selfish minority who drag Celtic’s name through the mud. Let’s be honest here, these chaps are engaging in behaviour which is infantile and dangerous. They seem not to give a damn about the club’s opinions on Pyro, the legal position nor the comfort or safety of other Celtic fans. The sort of Marine Flares we see at football are available on the internet for under £10 and are dangerous. They burn at 1600 degrees and are on occasion in the hands of people the worse for drink. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Imagine for a moment if that huge plastic banner at the front of the away end caught fire?

Of course telling ‘hard truths’ is a two way street. If, like myself, you offer a strong opinion like the one above, you must be prepared to have others offer you the benefits of their wisdom. My recent article on sectarian singing at Ibrox didn’t go down well with everyone. One of the marks of good debate is to try and figure out exactly what your protagonist is saying and respond to his points in ordered fashion. My article was greeted by a ‘Mr Black’ with the following words…

‘How easy is it to say that a workmate of yours called Balde a sectarian racist name. But I can point you in the direction of the Mark Walters incident and several Celtic supporters being prosecuted for racist abuse of black Rangers players, but that won't fit with you warped agenda.
What songs were sung in the first few minutes that you found offensive?  Go on now, tell us. The swearing from the Main Stand or the enclosure below was apologised for long after you switched off in the first few minutes. so more falsehoods from yourself.  How ironic that you add in Jews and Muslims when the anti-Semitism at Parkhead is rife, but there seems an affection for all types of indiscriminate terrorism, But that is obviously not part of your selective moral compass. You do not consider songs about the IRA and INLA to be sectarian but you conveniently disregard the numerous racial and sectarian atrocities committed by these sectarian murder gangs.

The rest of your badly written agenda is utter nonsense and cannot be backed up by any factual information. You are best to look inward at your vile racist and sectarian club before you cast your eyes elsewhere. Your hatred of Rangers Football Club is clear for all to see. I could not care less about Celtic. A Club founded on bigotry. How else would you describe a hate filled sectarian racist? Because that is exactly what the author of this blog is. If you have such a hatred of Scotland then I suggest you go and live elsewhere, There is a foreign country on our west coast that favoured the Nazi's, favoured anti -Semitism and incarcerated abused and raped children in institutions supported by their Government and their church.’

The word ‘prejudice’ is based on the old Latin word ‘praejūdiciumwhich means to pre-judge. Just about every point he makes is easy to disprove but he isn’t listening and as I shall demonstrate he wilfully or ignorantly fails to actually read what I’ve written. He starts by doubting my anecdote about a workmate being a ’90 minute bigot.’ It is true and I still work with the chap. He then asks what songs I heard in the first few minutes of the Hibs v Rangers game which were offensive. I didn’t actually say I watched the ‘first’ few minutes,’ I said I ‘caught a few minutes’ of the game, late in the second half as a matter of fact. Next it was the ‘Mark Walters incident not fitting my warped agenda.’ I linked him a blog I wrote about that very game in which I ripped into the few idiots who let Celtic down so badly 28 years ago. I was then castigated for saying Irish nationalist songs aren’t sectarian, a statement I stand by although I have often called for Celtic supporters not to corrupt them. He then moved onto ‘anti-Semitism being rife at Celtic Park’ despite the fact that all he bases this on is a few online idiots abusing Director Ian Livingston. I have never in all my years supporting Celtic heard a fellow supporter make an anti-Semitic remark. I also wrote scathingly about the abuse of Mr Livingston and my article was even quoted in the Herald. As for my article having ‘no factual basis,’ it actually quotes the foremost historian in the land. I could go on but by now you’ll see the rather clueless ‘Mr Black’ is telling us more about himself in his words than he is saying about me. His prejudice is actually quite sad. It speaks of a failure in the education system somewhere along the line and too long spent in the company of people who taught him to hate.

People who hate ‘the other’ in a given society need to develop what some sociologists call ‘Legitimising myths’ and such myths offer spurious moral and intellectual justification for prejudice against other groups in society. Social Dominance theory outlines the basic framework such prejudice is built upon. For instance in Hitler’s Germany, Jews were absurdly portrayed as both money grabbing capitalists and revolutionary Bolsheviks. They were stereotyped as work shy, corrupting and plotting to destroy the nation. In the end Nazi propaganda portrayed them as vermin fit only for expulsion or extermination. Jews in Nazi Germany made up less than 1% of the population but offered a convenient ‘enemy within’ to unite some sections of German society behind Hitler.

In ‘Mr Black’s’ case the legitimising myths which prop up his absurd belief system are centred on those he sees as enemies within. When a person he has never met criticises an element of his group for engaging in bigoted chanting, rather than engaging with the verifiable facts, he chooses to ignore them and attack the messenger. Thus he throws child abuse, fascism, sectarianism, hatred of Rangers, disloyalty to the country and anti-Semitism at the author of an article he disagrees with. It is said that the bigot will always see the worst in his enemies and the best in his friends and I think we see that in Mr Black’s ludicrous utterances. We should be charitable towards such people as it is clearly difficult to escape an upbringing which inculcated such attitudes into him.

He may well read these words and try to justify his earlier nonsense but I would hope a glimmer of light breaks through the darkness of his prejudice. Prejudice really is the child of ignorance.

Life is too short to waste it hating. Far better we pass through this world and try to do a little good when we can.


  1. Of course Mr Black will do a bit of Good for his fellow man..As long as He's up to his knees in Fenian blood as well..Hail Hail

  2. A reasoned response to a rant. Well done.

  3. Mr Black.....and sane reasonable discussion are complete and utter strangers to one and other.

  4. i try to be as objective as possible, when hearing criticism,from a group of people,up to their own knees in hatred and sectarianism , both here and in the part of ireland, where they dont tell us to fuck off back to , the only part of any debate,they want to reach is to get to the, if you dont like it,go back to ireland,then the paedophile angle kicks in, this cretin is not alone,it is rare to hear/read from them anything of relevance.