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Back before the Rotherham Report came out, I pointed out in Taki’s Magazine why the British establishment had gone to such lengths over the years to cover up the widespread patterns of Pakistani pimps grooming and raping underage English girls. I wrote in “The Real Threat to British Elites:”
It’s difficult for Americans to grasp precisely why European elites are so terrified of populist organizations such as the BNP or the ascendant English Defence League that they instinctively cover up the crimes of barbaric foreigners.
A major difference between the US and Europe is that almost every European country has a rudimentary set of localist/nationalist organizations for young men already in place due to the more organic nature of sports over there.
The English Defence League, for example, emerged in part out of soccer hooligan firms. …
In the US, however, spectator sports were organized from the top of society down, which has largely kept them from being a vehicle for mass populism. For example, American football evolved among rivalries between universities with national pretensions: Harvard v. Yale, Army v. Navy, and Notre Dame v. USC.
Similarly, professional sports in the US always had a strongly corporate, upper-middle-class air. …
In contrast, European soccer clubs mostly emerged from their indigenous communities. European soccer teams sponsored local youth leagues that served as feeder systems for talent. American college basketball coaches, though, are lauded not for their training, but for scouring distant slums to recruit genetically gifted one-and-done stars. …
In recent decades, European soccer has been corporatized, with importation of South American superstars and fairly successful efforts to suppress hooliganism by making the spectator experience more genteel, like that of American football. Still, unlike American sports, soccer furnishes the skeleton of a system by which nationalist loyalties could potentially be organized.
This scares European elites. To them, Pakistanis are no challenge. Sure, they’re good at gang-raping little girls, but they’re hardly a threat to the establishment. It’s European men—with their talent for self-organization—who frighten Europe’s ruling class.
Now, in the New York Times, Seoul Brother #1 Jay Caspian Kang, author of “The Unbearable Whiteness of Baseball,” uses this logic to warn the American Establishment about this (not exactly) Impending Threat from white male hipsters in the Pacific Northwest who own soccer scarves:
The Dark [i.e., white] Side of American Soccer Culture
By JAY CASPIAN KANG JULY 12, 2016
For the stunted American male, frustrated with the changing demographics of the country and gripped by the belief that his days on top are coming to an end, there may be no form of pornography more satisfying than watching a bunch of hard-drinking, pub-singing soccer fans with thick brogues beat the hell out of one another. The scene is almost always the same: Singing men in red advance upon singing men in blue. When they meet in the center of the frame, red shoves blue, fingers are pointed and then, inevitably, a green beer bottle flies across the screen and explodes on red’s head. The lines of singing men collapse into a squirming, punching mass and by the time the police trot up, usually dressed to the hilt in riot gear, both red and blue have gone scurrying away, leaving a few behind sitting on the ground in a bloody stupor. …
This summer, I attended a Seattle Sounders game with a soccer-fanatic friend of mine. Seattle has become one of the main breeding grounds for Europhilic American soccer culture, boasting the highest attendance numbers in Major League Soccer and the Emerald City Supporters (E.C.S.), one of the largest, rowdiest supporter organizations in the country. I was surprised to see small signs in the stands declaring that anyone who said anything racist would be removed from the stadium. Many stadiums in Europe carry such signage for obvious reasons, but why would they be needed in a supposedly progressive city on the West Coast of the United States?
… Then, about a half-hour before kickoff, E.C.S. arrived to the beating of drums. They marched a few hundred deep up the alleyway, holding banners and scarves above their heads. Some wore bandannas over their faces; some held up flares of green smoke; the vast majority were white. In throaty unison, they sang: “Take ’em all, Take ’em all, put ’em up against a wall and shoot ’em! Short and tall, watch ’em fall. Come on boys, take ’em all!” Each phrase was sung with a disorienting British lilt.
… Fans meet in the stands, decide to get organized (or “organised”) and then go about studying the rituals of their European counterparts, whether on trips abroad or, increasingly, through YouTube voyeurism. The E.C.S. march is taken from European traditions. Many of the songs, which often involve some reference to drinking, come from England. “Tifo” — a choreographed display involving gigantic cloth banners painted by volunteers from the Emerald City Supporters that are unfurled before every home match — comes from Italy.
The selective borrowing cannot be a matter of simple naïveté on the part of American fans. The ugly incident in Marseille this summer was widely reported by the international media, and it was only the latest iteration of a lengthy and well-documented history of racism among European soccer supporters. In his 1990 book “Among the Thugs,” Bill Buford followed around a group of Manchester United supporters, completely immersing himself in their rituals. He drank with them and followed along as they incited mayhem, trying to discover the origins of their rowdiness.
A more subversive interpretation of Buford’s book, which I read a quarter-century ago, is that he found participating in soccer hooliganism to be a blast.
… “Among the Thugs” is an incisively told, gripping account of years spent with violent men, but Buford’s occasional surprise at the racism he encountered never quite sat right with me. I wondered about the herculean denial required to ignore what was plainly in front of him. …
A reverse echo of iSteve’s Orwell quote: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle …”
In Seattle, I saw glimpses of the same denial. A march of mostly white men and women through the streets of Seattle singing “put ’em up against a wall and shoot ’em” is absurd on its face (oddly enough, the lyrics of the original song by Cock Sparrer, an English band from the Oi! punk scene, derisively refer to “Americans in dark glasses”). But when these lyrics are sung in pubs in England or at National Front meetings like the one Buford attended, it also raises the question: Who, exactly, is “ ’em?”
Fortunately, Kang has a plan to prevent mobs of Portland / Seattle soccer snobs from launching the Trumpian Fourth Reich: American soccer fans must be browbeaten into rooting for the Mexican national team.
There is another sort of elision happening, one that’s more disturbing than middle-class Americans’ cosplaying working-class traditions from the Continent. The spread of Europhilic American soccer culture excludes much of the population of American soccer fans, a healthy portion of whom are Latin American immigrants. When the Mexican national team toured the United States last year, it drew in an average of 59,000 fans, roughly two-thirds more than the crowds that watch the United States men’s national team. … And yet, for the most part, M.L.S., the United States Soccer Federation and even the apparel and sports-drink companies that market to American soccer youth have drawn a line between whose attention is worth pursuing and whose is not.
It’s like how baseball cap retailers racistly refuse to intensively market Boston Red Sox caps in Staten Island. If you really think about it, you’d realize it has something to do with Trump.
There are now two separate American soccer cultures: one white, the other Latino. And while some of the Europhilia can be attributed to the relative newness of American soccer fandom (traditions, I suppose, have to start somewhere), it’s worth asking why soccer fans in a country with millions of immigrants from soccer-crazed countries in Central and South America would look so longingly toward Western Europe, or why the American media’s coverage of soccer culture, however scant, focuses on soccer bars in gentrified Brooklyn and fan organizations in majority-white cities like Portland, Ore., and Seattle.
If Alexi Lalas wants to know why so many Mexican-Americans choose not to root for the United States, he doesn’t need to look much farther than the crowds who gather in M.L.S. stadiums and bars and sing songs inspired by groups who shove black men off subway trains and travel to foreign cities to taunt Muslim immigrants. There is nothing wrong about borrowing what you love, but it should be called what it is — a dream of an ultimately monochromatic gathering in which thousands of white men can brawl (but safely and without guns!) in the streets and drunkenly sing Phil Collins melodies in pubs, lending a hooligan snarl to a white, suburban culture.
Obviously, the affectations of a few thousand fanboys in Portland and Seattle explain why an African-American lady my family knows in Pasadena, CA dreads a victory by the Mexican national team over the American team in the Rose Bowl around the corner from her house. The reason that for decades Mexicans have been celebrating each win over America by drunk-driving around and around her block for hours blasting “La Cucaracha” on their car horns is because they had time traveled to the future and seen that Pacific Northwestern hipsters would eventually get into English soccer.
As we all know, only white males have agency.