The fact that Lewis Hamilton endured the usual bout of racist remarks (puto negro etc) as he tested this weekend at Barcelona’s Montmelo circuit is bad enough, but the fact that in this day and age there are people who thought it acceptable to black-up boot-polish style and acutally appear in public in the stands (wearing T-shirts saying “Hamilton’s Family”) is quite astounding. It puts Spain about 20 years behind the UK in terms of what might be considered acceptable
social human behavior.
Of course racism is still a problem in the UK and beyond, but nowadays most racist idiots have the wherewithal to keep it to private conversations, or behind closed doors.
The regulatory body behind Formula 1 has apparently threatened to pull out of at least one of the two races planned for Spain later in the year (in Barcelona and Valencia) if there is any more of this nonsense, but I’m willing to bet that 1) there will be, and 2) absolutely nothing will happen as a result.
In terms of preparing and developing intelligent, open attitudes for the integrated, plural society that Spain has no choice but to accept it is fast becoming, it seems there is still a very very long way to go. There is trouble ahead, but hard and fast punitive action now could make a substantial difference. Let’s see if Formula 1, for a start, has the balls to put it’s money where it’s mouth is.