Date: 20th November 2012 at 9:49am
Written by:

The Society of Black Lawyers circled today as the day when the term Y*D will be officially complained against for being offensive, regardless of who and how the term is used.

Now why the 20th of this month was the day chosen to draw the line in the sand. Why not the 25th when we play West Ham, a game where abuse is bound to be flowing from both sides? Is it just to give us all five days notice? Now just for the record, I am not Jewish and don’t even have any friends that are openly of that belief, therefore am I really able to understand whether the Yid/Yido phrase is taken as being truly offensive or whether there is understanding in their football supporting community that understands and accepts the reasons why our fans use the term both with affection and also as a means to counter racial bigotry from other supporters.

I say football community, because I wonder if there is a difference, in actually witnessing the usual football banter or abuse and how it is given and countered. Certainly in my time of going to WHL, the anti Jewish chants are not as regular or seemingly issued with such venom as my early years at the Lane, not that any such insults are acceptable whether whispered by one person or shouted by a whole stadium. As a Spurs fan writing this, I am very interested to hear the thoughts of our Jewish fans and perhaps their reasoning will make me think again about my using words that may genuinely offend. To many it may be a badge of honour or just singing a song that now typifies our club, but would we really want to sing it if it made our fellow fans quietly uncomfortable. I know I wouldn’t.

Personally racism rarely touches my life. I live in an area where 95% of my locals are White/English, not even British and the joke is usually more about inter-breeding and marrying cousins than anything else. Perhaps that in itself is an ist or ism of some sort. What about Yokalism? Perhaps I should form a society to protect them? What I feel however is a divide in my thinking. When I listen to views from the likes of David Baddiel as a Jewish man, I have to take his point, if he says it offends his faith. Equally I never feel I am being racist when I sing the Yid word, as I strangely feel part of my clubs history, but if I knew it was upsetting to some people around me, would I still be so innocently happy to join in with me fellow fans?

As for Peter Herbert and his fellow Society members, I fully agree with the comments from John Barnes that their current work, will only cause resentment from the majority and will continue to be ignored by the minority that cause the problems and for me, targeting Tottenham fans is an easy and high profile target that may hit the headlines, but is for me hitting the problem from the wrong side. But is any victory however small, still a victory worth fighting for, however small and far from the core problem? Of course, if Spurs fans are to be complained against, we must also see complaints made against rival clubs when anything deemed unsuitable is shouted, perhaps when all abuse against Spurs fans and their Jewish connections is irradiated, there would be a genuine reason to argue against our chanting the Yid word.

In the last few days, the site have had a couple of members ask to change their long standing username to one that no longer has the word Yid or Yido in it. Perhaps to some it is a major over-reaction, but I wonder if others privately are now reconsidering the suitability of their username and for all our dismissive comments about Peter Herbert and David Baddiel some are at least considering their use of the words and as a club, can we ever see a time when the use of the Y-Word is no longer used by our fans and any form of racism is no longer part of our great game???