PSG And Istanbul Basaksehir Walk Off In UCL Against Racism

PSG And Istanbul Basaksehir Walk Off In UCL Against Racism

As football clubs PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir walked off against racism in their football match, let’s look at the incident behind it and racism prevalent in major football leagues.

Crux of the Matter

PSG And Basaksehir Walk Off After Incident Of Racism
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) played Istanbul Basaksehir in a UEFA Champions League Match. However, the match was stopped in the 13th minute.

The match was stopped after the 4th official allegedly used racist language. The match was replayed on 9 December, where PSG won 5-1.

The Incident
Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo strongly protested a refereeing decision. Vehement protests are punishable with yellow/red card. However, the 4th official Sebastian Coltescu reported the incident to the referee in the following way:

“The Black one over there. Go and check who he is. The Black one over there, it’s not possible to act like that.”

Basaksehir refused to restart after UEFA offered to swap 4th official and assistant Video assistant referee (VAR). PSG team (including stars Neymar and Mbappe) walked off in Basaksehir’s support. The move gained unequivocal support from the Turkish Football Federation, the French Sports Minister, both clubs, etc.

Racism In English Premier League
PSG-Basaksehir was not an isolated incident, with racism being prevalent in major leagues too.

  • Raheem Sterling of Manchester City in EPL has been abused racially multiple times. He claimed after one incident that “regarding what was said at the Chelsea game… I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better”.
  • A Tottenham supporter threw a banana peel at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal (2018).
  • Paul Pogba of Manchester United was abused racially after missing a penalty (2019). His teammate Marcus Rashford, who defended him, received racial abuse himself instead.

Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism And Other Discrimination In EPL
Discrimination also occurs on a different basis in the EPL.

  • Mohamed Salah of Liverpool was called “bomber” in Islamophobic chants by Chelsea fans (2019).
  • Southampton fans allegedly chanted “Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz, Hitler’s gonna gas them again” against Jewish fans of Tottenham Hotspurs (2019).

Notorious Serie A
Serie A of Italy has been cited as one of the most racist leagues. One notable incident occurred with the then Juventus player Moise Kean, who received racial abuse from Cagliari fans (2019).

Oddly, Kean’s own teammate Leonardo Bonucci called his goal-celebration ‘provocative’ and termed the blame “50-50”. Similarly, Mario Balotelli, Samuel Eto’o, and several other notable players have been subjected to ‘monkey chants’ by whole stadiums in past.

  • Kick It Out is a campaign started in 1993 and as an organisation in 1997. The organisation works within the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and work for positive change.
  • Any team that wins the Champions League three years in a row or five times overall wins the right to retain a full-sized replica of the trophy (UEFA retains the original at all times). Six clubs have earned this honour so far: Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool, and Barcelona.
  • Queens Park Rangers Football Club is an English professional football club based in White City, London. On 20 December 2007, it was announced that the family of Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal had purchased a 20% shareholding in the club from Flavio Briatore. The purchase price of the 20% stake was just £200,000.

Racism In Medical Practice

Racism In Medical Practice

Amidst recent protests in South Africa over the ‘unfair’ trials of Covid-19 vaccine, the racism prevalent in medical science since centuries surfaced again to the public eye.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Incident In South Africa
Recently, protests against the Covid-19 vaccine trials occurred at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. The protesters claimed that the human participants are not informed clearly about the experiments, and that consent is either not taken, or taken improperly.

The development came after Oxford University “rolled out” its first clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa.

History Of Trials On Black People
Several instances of unfair trials on black people have been recorded throughout history, with the following unfair practices being done with them:

  • Injection of toxic or radioactive substances without informing.
  • Monitoring of the subjects instead of treatment.
  • Invalid consent.
  • Insufficient explanation of the nature of the trial to the participants.
  • Forced trials.

Early Instances

  • 1839: Samuel Morton published Crania Americana. In the book, Morton claimed that Caucasians, or the white people, had the biggest skulls, and consequently the biggest brains. In contrast, he claimed that black people had the smallest brains and skulls.
  • French scientist Louis-Pierre Gratiolet added to Morton’s studies, claiming that in the black people, the brain was “a sort of helmet for resisting heavy blows.”
  • 1846: For “re-establishing the capillary circulation”, Dr. Walter F. Jones of Petersburg, Virginia poured boiling water on naked black slaves having typhoid pneumonia, as part of his “experiment”.

Tuskegee Syphilis Study

  • The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was started in 1932 by the U.S. Public Health Service and lasted till 1972.
  • The experiment aimed to study the development of syphilis in black males and enrolled 600 men. 399 of the total participants had latent syphilis, while 201 were free of the disease (taken as control group).
  • The participants were told that they were receiving free medical care. In reality, the patients were provided only placebo treatment as the aim of the study was not to treat but to observe the “development”. Even after penicillin was approved as the official drug against syphilis in 1947, the doctors were told not to treat the patients as that would “disrupt” the study.
  • The study went on even after several patients died or became blind due to the disease. The study was stopped in 1972 after the actual motive was leaked to the press.
  • By the end of the study, 28 people had died from syphilis, while 100 others died from “related complications”. Moreover, the disease passed over to 40 spouses, while 19 children were passed the disease at birth.

1980s and 1990s

  • Fenfluramine, a drug banned in 1997, was injected inside 100+ hispanic and black children to test certain chemicals for violent and criminal behaviour. The study ended with the brains and the health systems of the children being severely damaged.
  • Mississippi Appendectomy from 1920s-1980s: In the experiment, poor black women were told that their appendix was removed for health measures. In reality, these women were sterilized forcibly as part of the ‘Eugenics’, where people believed in enhancing civilization through selective breeding.
  • In 1973, 12-year-old Mary Alice Relf and her 14-year-old sister Minnie were forcibly sterilized. According to experts, more than 150 thousand women were sterilized in that decade.

Nuclear Testing Of 1940s

  • 1945: Ebb Cade, a black truck driver, was injected with Plutonium, a highly radioactive element, to test its effects in humans, on the pretext of treating his recent accident without informing him.
  • Several hospitals in 1945 injected Fluorine or Plutonium in patients without informing and studied their “development”. According to analysts, more than 60% of such patients were African Americans.

African Experiments

  • 1900s: Dr Eugene Fischer, a German doctor, conducted research in Africa to prove racial superiority over the Africans. Besides attempting to ban interracial marriages, he sterilized several African women forcibly to decrease their population.
  • 1970s: South African army forced sex change of lesbian and gay soldiers using chemical castration, electric shocks, etc. More than 900 cases reported from 1970 to the end of 1980s.
  • 1990s: Pharmaceutical firm Pfizer used the Trovan drug during the Meningitis pandemic in Nigeria. Children were provided the drug without proper consent from parents. While 11 children were reported dead by the experiment, the Nigerian government claimed that more than 50 children died while several developed physical and mental deformities.
  • Zimbabwe: AZT trials were conducted in 1990s to test the transmission of HIV from mothers to children. Besides the unclear explanation of the trial to mothers, several placebo drugs were used, which did not stop the transmission. By the end, more than 1,000 children ended up receiving HIV from mothers which was preventable.
  • The Declaration of Helsinki is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed for the medical community by the World Medical Association (WMA). It is widely regarded as the cornerstone document on human research ethics.
  • Placebo-controlled studies are a way of testing a medical therapy in which, in addition to a group of subjects that receives the treatment to be evaluated, a separate control group receives a sham “placebo” treatment which is specifically designed to have no real effect. Placebos are most commonly used in blinded trials.
  • An academic clinical trial is a clinical trial not funded by pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies for commercial ends but by public-good agencies to advance medicine. These trials are a valuable component of the healthcare system; they benefit patients and help determine the safety and efficacy of drugs and devices.

Global Brands Revamping In Light Of Anti-Racism Protests

Global Brands Revamping In Light Of Anti-Racism Protests

After a wave of protests following George Floyd’s death, global brands are rebranding age-old products which once signified racism and also showing their support towards the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Crux of the Matter

Evolving Names, Logos & Tag Lines
The past few weeks have seen an international wave of apologies and product removals. A number of consumer-goods companies are rebranding old trademarks following weeks of anti-racism protests in the U.S.

For decades, Indian advertisers have propagated an association between skin fairness with career success and social status. Unilever patented Fair & Lovely in 1971 after patenting niacinamide, a melanin suppressor which is the cream’s main active ingredient. Melanin is the natural skin pigment. To revamp its identity, Unilever announced to drop the word fair. Fair & Lovely has an average sales of over ₹3,400 crores/year in India

If we have to make our brands contemporary then we have to keep innovating and renovating them.

Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman Hindustan Unilever

After an Indian-American woman named Hetal Lakhani launched a campaign against the very popular website, they announced the removal of its skin-tone search filter option which allowed users to search for those with fair or dark complexions.

Johnson & Johnson after being accused of systemic racism they have announced to take all skin-lightening products like Neutrogena Fine Fairness off their shelves. Other brands like Loreal are also now being criticised for their products.

Brands know that it is bad business to be antagonizing large segments of vocal consumers who have the power to sway public opinion for or against them.

Karthik Srinivasan, Indian Branding & Communications consultant

Quaker Oats is changing the name of its 130-year old Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup whose brand logo features an African-American woman named after a character in 19th-century minstrel shows and is rooted in a stereotype of a friendly black woman working as a servant or nanny for a white family. 

Uncle Ben’s owned by Mars Food and Mrs. Butterworth syrup owned by ConAgra Brands have announced to revamp and evolve the brand’s packaging in response to ongoing protests against racism. Cream of Wheat owned by B&G Foods Inc. also will review its current packaging which depicts a character named Rastus, a derogatory term for Black men.

Nestlé has decided to review its portfolio of more than 2,000 brands and 25,000 products to ‘identify any required changes to our use of imagery or language.’ It will rename its Red Skins, Chicos, and Beso de Negra products.

More Efforts by Brands To #BlackLivesMatter
Nike has inverted the brand’s tagline to ‘Don’t do it’ and also released a powerful video encouraging people to resolve the issue of institutionalised racism. Google added a message of support to the BLM along with a black ribbon. Spotify created a silent playlist that lasted for 8mins 46seconds, the time for which George Floyd was choked by the American policeman. Nickelodeon went off-air for 8:46 minutes.

Amazon & Netflix celebrated the role of black artists, writers, and producers by putting out messages on their social media handles. Doritos gave Black artists major outdoor ad space to promote their messages as part of new investment in the #AmplifyBlackVoices effort. It also aired a 30-second spot, “Do You Hear Us Now?”

Twitter changed its profile picture to a black version of its logo and also real Tweets from Black users around the world were transformed into OOH boards in U.S. cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia where major protests occurred.

Mississippi Removes Confederate Emblem
Mississippi House and Senate passed a bill on June 27 to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag which was originally used by the slave-owning states that lost the US Civil War and was seen as a racist symbol. It was the only remaining US state flag to feature the Confederate emblem and the recent protests reignited a debate over its use.

Mississippi was the only remaining US state flag to feature the Confederate emblem which was originally used by the slave-owning states that lost the US Civil War and the recent protests reignited a debate over its use. On June 27, Mississippi House and Senate passed a bill to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag which was seen as a racist symbol.

  • Lakmé is named after the French form of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It was started in 1952 famously because then PM Jawaharlal Nehru was concerned that Indian women were spending precious foreign exchange on beauty products and personally requested JRD Tata to manufacture them in India.
  • Unilever patented the brand Fair & Lovely in 1971 after the patenting of niacinamide, a melanin suppressor,[1] which is the cream’s main active ingredient. Melanin is the natural skin pigment that gives colour to the skin.
  • 8:46 is a 2020 performance special by American comedian Dave Chappelle about violence against African-Americans. The special was released via YouTube on June 12, 2020. The performance is not a traditional stand-up comedy special, as it was recorded at a private outdoor venue due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ohio and features long stretches without humor.

Top Brands Pull Out of Facebook Ads

Top Brands Pull Out of Facebook Ads

Growing concerns over the rampant spread of false information and hate speech on Facebook has started the #StopHateForProfit campaign prompting hundreds of advertisers to stop spending on the platform resulting in $56 billion loss of market value in a single day.

Crux of the Matter

#StopHateForProfit Campaign
After the death of George Floyd and subsequent anti-racism protests, a coalition of civil rights groups namely Color of Change, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sleeping Giants, Free Press, Anti-Defamation League, and Common Sense Media accused Facebook of not taking efforts to control the spread of racist content online.

The coalition urged businesses to pull their ads from Facebook and Instagram and this movement is now widely known as the ‘Stop Hate For Profit’ campaign. This campaign is now not limited only to the US but also is spreading globally as nearly 160+ companies have decided to not advertise on Facebook for the next 30 days.

99% of Facebook’s revenue is generated from its 8 million advertisers. Though many of them are small companies, there are several big corporations like Unilever Group & Verizon, which alone spends nearly $42 million & $2 million respectively yearly on Facebook ads, that have halted advertising. Some also have stopped ad-spends on Twitter and other social media sites.

Some major brands who have paused advertising on Facebook include CocaCola, PepsiCo, The North Face, Starbucks, Unilever Group, Honda Motor Co, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnolia Pictures, The Hershey Company, REI, and Verizon.

We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.

John Nitti, Chief Media Officer Verizon

After the announcement by giants like Unilever and Verizon, the shares of Facebook dropped by 8.3% along with Mark Zuckerberg losing $7.2 billion of his net worth. Even in the past Facebook has faced backlashes over its handling of user data but its revenue was never seriously impacted by any of the protests. Facebook has lost nearly $56 billion in revenues.

The advertisers are unhappy with Facebook’s laissez-faire attitude towards posts from US President Trump. The organisers of the 2020 US presidential election fear that a highly polarised audience on social media could increase the potential for spreading misinformation and discriminatory content.

Unilever in India has dropped the word ‘fair’ from its popular skin-lightening product called Fair and Lovely. The outrage over the death of Floyd has led to an unprecedented reaction from corporations around the world.

Response by Facebook
Facebook conducted a conference call with over 200 of its advertisers and informed that they were working towards addressing the ‘trust deficit‘. The founder Mark Zuckerberg announced changes in content moderation policy via a live stream.

Facebook will now necessarily not take down posts that may violate its policies, but will instead begin to label them. The posts that ‘may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote ‘will be taken down regardless of who has shared it or whether it is newsworthy. It will also label political speech that violates its rules and take measures to prevent voter suppression and protect minorities from abuse.

I am committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues. But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content, no matter where it comes from.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder Facebook
  • Facebook’s main color is blue because Zuckerberg has red-green color blindness. In an interview, he said that “blue is the richest color for me — I can see all of blue.”
  • In finance, FAANG is an acronym that refers to the stocks of five prominent American technology companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet (Google). The term was coined by Jim Cramer, the television host of CNBC’s Mad Money.
  • Facebook users in the U.S. will have the option to “turn off” all political advertising on the platform. The new feature will give users more control over what they see — at least for users who decide to flip the new setting to “off.”

BLM Makes The World Revisit Historical Figures

BLM Makes The World Revisit Historical Figures

After the murder of George Floyd, there have been mass protests all across the world. Importantly, the protests have been accompanied with a reconsideration of racism as propagated in words of not only civilians, but historical figures which are revered for the grand actions.
Summachar Coverage: History Of Racism In The US

Crux of the Matter

Statues Smeared
Statues of several historical figures have been defaced or vandalized for their apparently racist views. The following are the major historical figures, along with their quotes displaying their racial prejudices.

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister at the time of World War II. However, he also displayed racist views regarding Indians and blacks in his speeches and writings. His statue was defaced in London during anti-racism protests

I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion

It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir… striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal Palace

On Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was India’s renowned freedom fighter known particularly for his use of ‘non-violence’ in fighting the British. However, he apparently held negative bias towards black people and Africans. His statue was desecrated by BLM protestors outside Indian Embassy in Washington DC.

We believe also that the white race in South Africa should be the predominating race.

We could understand not being classed with the whites, but to be placed on the same level with the Natives [Africans] seemed too much to put up with.

[Black people] are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.

Edward Colston
Edward Colston was an official in Royal African Company (RAC) which was the major slave-trading firm in England in the 17th century. In his tenure, around 84,000 slaves were transported, and 20,000 of them died. His statue was toppled and thrown in a river in Bristol.

Revisiting Other Legacies
Andrew Jackson – US president from 1829 to 1837 – is the face of the $20 bill of US. He has been brought in debate as he sanctioned the ‘Indian Removal Act’ which forced the migration of native American tribes, which ended up in a genocide of the black people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

Harry Truman, who was the US president at the time of World War II, implemented several economic reforms and initiated the NATO. However, his attack on Japan with atomic bombs has brought him in the light of discussion even though he justified the step by saying, “I decided that the bomb should be used in order to end the war quickly and save countless lives–Japanese as well as American”.

  • The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country of about 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific Coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written in weekly installments and published in his journal Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. In 1998, the book was designated as one of the “100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century” by a committee of global spiritual and religious authorities.
  • The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is conferred in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. There is no formal provision that recipients of the Bharat Ratna should be Indian citizens and hence, the former South African president Nelson Mandela was awarded it in 1990.