Fri | Jan 27, 2023

Alfred Dawes | The World Cup of causes

Published:Sunday | November 27, 2022 | 12:10 AM

Quite frankly, I just want to watch football. It’s a diversion from the usual endless stream of doom and gloom constantly fed to us by the mainstream media. Yes, there is a major war in Europe that our empathy was steered towards, without any...

Quite frankly, I just want to watch football. It’s a diversion from the usual endless stream of doom and gloom constantly fed to us by the mainstream media. Yes, there is a major war in Europe that our empathy was steered towards, without any consideration for the other conflicts that have frozen so many black and brown people into states of constant suffering. Yes, there is global inflation and a recession caused by Western hegemony over the financial markets and unchecked greed. Our sea levels are rising almost in tandem with our local crime rate, and only prayers and tears are the solutions offered up. But just let us celebrate with Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Japan!

What is with this constant virtue signalling on the world’s biggest stage? Did these teams and journalists even care about Qatari human rights records while the stadiums were being built? Do they know anything about the plight of the LGBT community in Qatar? They don’t need to. They are there to show they’re more morally upright than any other non-Western people because they have now got it right in their own countries. So they must drag the names of the Arab, African, Eastern Asian worlds left unenlightened by progressive human rights.

Ask them about their own countries’ selective treatment of migrants versus “expats” and they will quickly deflect. These Western countries that have so much to criticise about the World Cup, from how it was awarded, to how migrant workers were slaughtered in the building of the venues, still continue to extract more pain and wealth from the developing world that provides these migrants. It is curious to watch them waving LGBT flags as a means of atoning for their continued repression of all peoples. It is if by supporting LGBT and migrant workers, you have black friends, therefore, you can’t be racist. Virtue signalling at its best. It helps none of the groups. They are just able to appease their consciences while they continue to do evil.

BREAD AND CIRCUS

Well, I’m tired of it. Give the people bread and circus, your ancestors said. Well, this is my circus. Only every four years. Do, let me hope, fret, jump with joy, or the gods of football forbid, cry out in sorrow should Brazil let me down. But just let me be. I don’t need to see your values or piousness paraded on the world stage. I never tuned in to the qualifiers to see why your causes made it to the World Cup finals and mine didn’t. Go virtue signal somewhere else. Who has given you the right to rain on my parade with your causes without asking me about mine? I have quite a few I’d love to protest at Qatar but my causes never made it to the finals.

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself. There’s a whole list of people who were involved in his sex trafficking ring. I want to see that list read out before the final.

What’s the deal with all that grain from Ukraine that was supposed to go to the starving third-world countries as part of the deal to get Russia to lift the blockade? How much of that grain actually made it to the poor countries you lobbied for, versus going to Turkey and then into Western European countries?

What was the deal with Saudi Arabia’s human rights record making them a pariah state after the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, yet when gas prices got too high … ahem! I’m getting confused on this whole human rights problem the more I think about it. Libya was bombed to protect protesters from Gaddafi, yet thousands of freedom fighters have been slaughtered by Western-made and -funded weapons in Africa, Central and South America, Palestine and South East Asia.

WAR CRIMINALS

War criminals only hail from Africa and never Western states. Yet who has invaded, pillaged and killed more in the last 20 years? An arbitrary time frame selected, because we like to talk about how civilised you have now become since colonialism and it is the burden of the West to now bring those values and morals to the rest of us.

I want to protest the CFA Franc. Why is it that France still has so much power and influence over its former colonies, requiring that central banks of these eight participating countries with a combined population of 105.7 million people and a combined GDP of US$128.6 billion hold 50 per cent of their foreign assets in the French Treasury? It is for the stability of the currency, right? The former coloniser’s burden to save the poor, corrupt Africans from themselves. No mention is made of the difficulties this creates with trade and development in the region. Half of a region’s foreign reserves concentrated in the French Treasury is solely the great defenders of liberty, humanity and fraternity, carrying out the morally correct salvation of the African.

The debates as to how one could support teams from racist countries is perfunctory. They all have some skeletons in their closets. What I don’t appreciate is some of the greatest offenders sending their teams and media dogs to push whatever agenda they determine we should focus on during the games. We should just hold a World Cup for Causes and the qualifiers make it to the next Finals. I’d be wearing an England jersey, of course, as a supporter of the country I’d like to cancel the most.

- Dr Alfred Dawes is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and CEO of Windsor Wellness Centre. Follow him on Twitter @dr_aldawes. Send feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and alfred.dawes@gmail.com.