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The Data Is Clear England Is Becoming A Kinder Place To Live Despite The Racist Trolls Sunder Katwala

The summer of football’s dream came to an end on a bitter note.
The final was lost due to penalties.
The horrific displays of chaos at Wembley, as well as online hatred hurled at three young players who missed penalties and partisan disputes about who was to blame, signaled a return to Earth.
Gareth Southgate has established himself as a leader who can bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.
His youthful team proudly wore the emblem, sang the national anthem, and refused to bend the knee.
The #EnglandTogether campaign, which galvanized civic voices from all faiths and none behind the simple statement “football is coming home – and it’s a home we all share,” coined by imam Qari Asim, praised the country’s inclusive pride.
To defend that vision, we must be vigilant – but not alarmed – in confronting the toxic racial fringe.
So we should talk about how anti-racism gained a 99:1 share of the online debate after the tournament.
Marcus Rashford’s popularity is not dependant on his performance.
Because the ball hits the post, he does not become any less English.
But it was heartwarming to see the hundreds of messages of support and protection left for Rashford as Manchesterers reacted with great compassion to the missed penalty and the foolish and abusive way his mural was vandalized.
This occurred at the same time as internet racist harassment.
It was no less vital to respond with love and pride because the graffiti was not overtly racist.
The reaction in Manchester demonstrated that England is definitely kinder now than it was in 1998, when David Beckham’s petulant red card at the World Cup sparked a barrage of criticism.
The national media fanned the rage, but this time the red shirts and broadsheets were kinder.
Calls to disregard online racist trolls, on the other hand, strike me as tone deaf.
Despite the decline of racist beliefs in society, I continue to receive more racist abuse than I did 30 years ago – there are many fewer bigots, but social media has developed as a new source of bigotry.
Everyone from an ethnic minority who speaks out about race in public is only a click away.
This is constant for important political and sporting figures, giving them a different, unequal experience of public life.
Twitter and Facebook’s media pronouncements declaring that racist abuse has no place on their platforms are contradictory because they maintain pro-racism standards.
When I complained about a tweet that said, “You will never be British, racism is the foundation of the nation,” I was assured it was not against the rules.
With the boycotters defeated and the booing drowned out, the players were able to win the symbolic battle about taking the knee, with a rising majority of fans supporting the gesture, with a third remaining opposed.
After standing firm, the players may choose to demonstrate the bridging spirit in victory that has been sorely lacking in national politics in the post-Brexit period.
They might choose to retire the gesture – as a step forward, not a step back – by gaining significant investments in anti-racist reporting, grassroots inclusion, and agreements to track how the level playing field on the field can be transferred to the dugout, boardroom, and press box.
It would be absurd to believe that Euro 2020 will bring an end to the “culture war,” but it has provided some essential boundaries on the field.
The right realized that “anti-woke” identity politics are a problem when they challenge young national heroes from a minority position, rather than some insane student plan, real or imaginary.
MP Steve Baker’s demand for more empathy across generational and ethnic divisions on racism echoes efforts on the left to appeal to people from all walks of life, generations, and ethnic groups.
In our more intentionally international United Kingdom, England is an atypical country, a stateless entity with no public recognition.
Sports fans will support Team GB at the Olympics and – four nations again – at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year, after cheering for England, Scotland, and Wales at Euro 2020.
In politics and civic life, the intuitive knowledge of most sports fans that we have more than one flag and national identity is far rarer.
Southgate, on the other hand, should not continue to be the public face of an inclusive England.
It’s time for civic England to find its voice in speaking for England, too, if we want England’s football manager to concentrate on how to better employ his attacking talents.
The Rugby League World Cup in England this autumn will be a major affair in the north, while England’s Lionesses will strive to win the European Championship on home soil next summer.
Those of us working to bridge social differences need a much better public story about how to link the dots and leverage such high-profile events to help develop a larger movement.
If we don’t do that, our efforts to celebrate what we have in common risk being misinterpreted as a status quo endorsement by the establishment.
According to Jill Rutter’s important Speak Together research report, narratives of unity must be linked with a clear understanding of the need to reform policy and practice in order to bridge our ethnic, religious, and social class differences.
I’ve long predicted that England will win the World Cup in 2026.
This young team will peak at the ideal time to put an end to 60 years of suffering, 30 years after Euro 96, in perfect harmony.
So on the way to school on Friday morning, we sang Three Lions again in the car.
It already conjures up memories of our Euro 2020 summer, but it’s also a tune of anticipation.
Let us stand up for a united England full of hope, but we can’t expect football to do everything.

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