So I was perusing Twitter this morning with my morning coffee when I came across some interesting tweets accusing the Countdown math-magician Rachel Riley of racism. She had tweeted a response to an Arsenal fan who happened to be an Indian who lives, believe it or not, in India.
Having seen these accusatory tweets directed at Rachel, I had a look at the supposedly racist tweet. Now to ensure that I give you a full and balanced account of these interactions I will show the tweets below.
The Offending Tweets
As you can see from the image above, Ms Riley, a Manchester United fan, was tweeting about football after the Manchester United Europa League match against Copenhagen (which Manchester United won 1-0 if you are interested) when she Tweeted:
Rachel Riley: “For an embarrassing amount of time this season I (was) convinced that Wan Bissaka’s first name was Obi. Anyone else?”
Now I don’t see anything wrong with that tweet as she was probably just thinking of Obi Wan from Star Wars and got a little confused.
As you can see by the tweet’s above Twitter user @Supriyoarsenal sent a reply tweet that said:
@Supriyoarsenal: “no, every Man Utd fan is like that plastic glory hunter”.
Again I see absolutely nothing wrong with that tweet. It’s simply harmless football banter. As every football fan knows, calling someone a “plastic glory hunter” is a playful jibe that football fans say to other football fans who support teams from somewhere other than where they themselves are from, or who switch teams in order to reap the glory of that team’s victories. So this was obviously a reference to the fact that Rachel Riley was born in Rochford, Essex and yet supports a Manchester team.
No one in there right mind would take offence at someone calling them a “plastic glory hunter” in this situation. It’s just a bit of football banter. Indeed, I myself have a friend that is just such a plastic glory hunter. I am from Manchester and have been a Man Utd fan since birth, that’s how we do it in the UK, you pick a team and you stick with them for life!
My mate Rob on the other hand, was a City fan while we were kids. Unfortunately though, after a particularly good run that another team was having during the 80s, Rob committed the ultimate cardinal sin and switched teams! To make matters worse, he switched to a team that is, and always has been, to any Manchester club, the arch enemy, the ultimate nemesis, the ancient evil that is, Liverpool FC!
Since that day Rob has gone by the new moniker of “Plastic Scouser” (oops, was I just racist to Liverpudlians?). As Rob had switched teams seeking glory once already, even he knew he couldn’t really ever get away with doing it again and is now still, a Liverpool FC fan from Manchester (or, a plastic Liverpool fan).
So knowing now what we do about “plastic glory hunters” (if you didn’t already know) let’s take a look at Rachel’s supposedly racist tweet response:
Rachel Riley: “Say’s Arsenal fan in India”
Now to anyone with even the slightest bit of intelligence you can clearly see that Rachel’s response tweet is nothing more than a playful pointing out of the irony that an Arsenal fan who lives as far away as India is calling her a “plastic glory hunter” for supporting Manchester United when she originally comes from Essex.
Unfortunately, living in an environment these days where even the most innocent of jokes can be met with extreme intolerance, with freedom of speech under a continuous onslaught from the free-speech hating political left, Ms Riley can’t simply have a bit of football banter with another Twitter user without the, unfortunately all too common, accusatory slurs of her being a racist. Directed at her by the self-appointed left-wing Twitter racism police.
And the reason for this? Well for the most part it seems to be because of the fact that Ms Riley mentioned that the Arsenal fan was from India Apparently where he comes from isn’t relevant and therefore mentioning India in the tweet was obviously a racial insult. Well, sorry but as we have seen above, in the context of calling someone a “plastic glory hunter” or “plastic football fan” where the person comes from in regards to the team that they support it is absolutely relevant.
To be quite frank, anyone accusing Ms Riley of being racist because she mentioned that the user she was responding to was from India, could themselves be accused of being racist. Why? Because those people saying that mentioning that the user was from India is somehow bad, are themselves suggesting that there is something wrong with coming from India.
Clearly then by that logic, that is something that the person that Rachel was responding to should be ashamed of, and that therefor, is something that should not be spoken of or highlighted. Here’s a thought, would it be racist if the user came from, let’s say, Australia? No, of course it wouldn’t because why would anyone be ashamed to come from Australia? Yet apparently it is a problem if they come from India?
In reality, there is nothing wrong with coming from India and as we already know from the explanation above, in this instance it is very relevant where the Twitter user, @Supriyoarsenal lives, in relation to where the club he supports is based, in order to point out the irony of his original tweet (India to London is a lot further than Essex to Manchester).
But alas as we know all too well these days, if people, want to find racism badly enough, then they will find racism.