Race in Britain: English by Day, Others by Night? – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Race in Britain: English by Day, Others by Night?

Dr. Dhanpaul Narine -2

Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

In 1980 as the British were glued to their television sets two forces were competing for national attention.  The first relates to the English athletes in the Moscow Olympics.  One of the most prominent was the black athlete Daley Thompson who won the gold medal in the decathlon. Thompson would go on to win the gold again at Los Angeles in 1984. Tessa Sanderson was the first black woman to win an Olympic gold for Britain. She went to compete in six Olympic games.

As these and other black athletes brought glory to their country the media, including the BBC, kept reminding Britain, and the rest of the world, about the prowess of the stars. In several of the BBC reports the ‘English girl’ Sanderson that was leading the pack was black and was born in Jamaica in the West Indies. But that was little concern in the euphoria. 

The second force that caught the attention of the British public was race relations and more specifically the unrest that occurred on the streets. While the media embraced the black athletes that had wrapped themselves in the Union Jack, it was also playing the race hate game to incite anger and to turn public opinion against minorities.

Read more: Race in Britain – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Daley Thompson Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal at Moscow Olympics 1980

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  • dhanpaul  On 05/16/2016 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks Cyril for putting up the video clip. It adds more meaning to the discussion.

  • demerwater  On 05/17/2016 at 4:48 am

    This reminds me of an observation by Mr. E R Braithwaite in his book “To Sir, with Love” – they were acknowledging the uniform; they were not acknowledging the man.
    It was in comparison to the way he was treated while in the uniform of the RAF; and after he had returned to civilian life.
    Although qualified in the field of Electrical Engineering, he found it hard to find a job.
    It was quite revealing. His name on his job applications probably gave no clue that he was black. When this realization dawned upon him, he called up the Companies who had not yet acknowledged his applications. He informed them that he was negro / black; and to a man, they found some pretext to not call him for an interview.

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