What is it – nostalgia for a less complicated yesterday? A rush of blood to the head? Or maybe just pure bloody racism. Whatever the answer, the incident on the Paris underground where a black man was repeatedly ejected from a train carriage leaves many of us, I suggest, weak with disgust.
“Our captain is a racist and that is why we love him, we love him, we love him!” That was the chant the Chelsea fans fired at the ejected man. Which gives a heavy hint that it was bloody racism. And wouldn’t you know: there was an Irishman on board and one who’d been a former PSNI AND a former human rights worker.
Despair and contempt might seem the obvious responses to such behaviour but maybe pity would be more appropriate. Pity for people who only feel at home in the world when they’re mocking what they consider their inferiors. People who feel that if they can only do down the guy with the funny-coloured skin they will feel better about themselves and become an accepted member of the knuckle-draggers club.
What a way to move through life, propelled by hatred. And what a waste of a unique human life.