Another weekend of adventure awaited Mr N and I as we took ourselves off to watch the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. Like Downton Abbey, Sharks and Christmas, I am an avid watcher or Formula 1. I was planning on saving this information until a later date but the outcome of this monumental race and the negative, upsetting, and downright disgraceful response from certain fans prompted me to get on the RAMJS Blog.
Like many sporting events, in F1 there are different teams and therefore different fans. As with most sports, fans choose their teams, wear their colours and share the highs and lows of their team which in Mr N and I’s case happens to be Mercedes. They employ 2 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and as has been the case for as long as we have followed this sport, number 44 aka Lewis, is our boy…I cheered him on with such vigour that I have currently, and for the first time in my life, lost my voice!
Not only is he an amazing driver, a 7 times world champion in fact, he is also a wonderful role model (in my opinion) to those who follow the sport. He is a passionate sports person who is working to make racing eco-friendlier and more diverse by looking at ways to support people from other backgrounds, race and gender to enter the sport.
Whether you agree or disagree on the outcome of the race (Lewis unfortunately made contact with Max Verstappen resulting in a catastrophic crash), the enjoyment for many sporting fans is the hearty debates with those who do not support the same team. Whilst at the racetrack, we see the most amazing displays of friendly competition between all the varying fans; at no point did we see anything other than respect for a sport that is highly charged and potentially dangerous.
To observe the heated debate on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram continued to bring about more discussion, “Max was in the wrong place!”, “Lewis should know better than to overtake on Copse Corner!” but at no point did the colour of Lewis’ skin get called into question by any of the fans who, like Mr N and I, LOVE this sport.
As news came in regarding the racism and hate that Lewis Hamilton has received since his victory, I feel despair for the world in which we live. I spoke last week about my LOVE with our school; one of the biggest reasons I LOVE RAMJS so much is because of it’s diversity. We have over 18 languages spoken, we celebrate a variety of faiths and beliefs, we educate each other on our cultural differences, and we challenge racism with a vengeance.
The children at RAMJS were made aware of the continued use of racial slurs as we watched our England Squad face hatred and racial abuse following their missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final. Our children talked in their classes about how we are living in a culture where we make our sports people ‘Heroes’ when they are winning and ‘Villains’ when they are not. Despite Marcus Rashford being a hero for so many children and their families throughout this pandemic, the life changing impact he has had was forgotten by so many, simply because he missed a goal…how truly heart breaking!
As always, I see my glimmers of hope in our RAMJS children, who were appalled by the total lack of ‘Love’ being displayed by so called fans, who instead found ‘Hate’ and ‘Racism’ appropriate; we ask what model are these people setting to their children, their grandchildren and the future generations of our world.
Many of you will not know that Mr N and I are from very different backgrounds; I identify as White British as my family heritage is entirely from the British Isles whereas my wonderful husband considers himself Anglo Mauritian, a badge he wears with immense pride. In our house, colour is not, nor ever will be a consideration because our relationship is built on love. We had the wonderful experience of meeting our Mauritian family, who welcomed us into their homes and shared their culture and traditions with us; an experience that not only strengthened our love of diversity but also increased the love we felt for each other and our families. My Mauritian family are Muslim, whilst I am a Christian; we shared a mutual understanding of our differences and welcomed our similarities. Colour, faith, or gender was not a factor and nor will it ever be.
The future of our society depends entirely on the strong messages we share with our children so that they can share these same principles with their children; this is how we make positive changes. At RAMJS we will not tolerate these negative attitudes to infiltrate our world of culture and diversity. We will continue to work together to make our world a better place. As Martin Luther King said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skins, but by the content of their character!” That day has already arrived, and the children are RAMJS are the carrier of that message, we show LOVE not HATE and we will continue to stand up for what is right as is moral purpose!