Jewish chronicle article on Spurs and the Y-Word

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Nutter-Naylor

Supporter
My son (27) was pissed off with the lack of response from the police who seemed to find someone being racially abused very amusing.

My sole definition of yid is a Tottenham Hotspur fc supporter and is a term I will continue to use with great pride, despite being born in Edgware, growing up in Golders Green and going to schools in Hendon and Finchley as well being a spurur a s fan I am not Jewish but I am 100% yid
The Police are only interested if you insult someone on social media. Accidentally refer to someone as the wrong gender on Twitter and it is a hate crime and will be investigated. Call someone a dirty Jew in front of the OB and they look the other way.
 
To quote Billy Joel:
We didn't start the fire!!




Just 'cos there's no 1890's footage on Instatwat of any Yiddeshe speakers using the word in a polite form, doesn't mean it didn't happen!!
I was not claiming that Yid had never been used positively before. My point was that it doesn’t matter. Word meanings change and the word is pejorative now. Its meaning now is all that matters.

I also appreciate the idea of reclaiming a word. But there also comes a time when it is time to just put a word to bed altogether. You see this in the African American community where the N word was reclaimed to a degree but many people now think it shouldn’t be used, even by black people.

Spurs supporters are overwhelmingly not Jewish. And being Jewish is not a very visible trait, as compared to being black for instance. If we stop making such a big deal about being a Jewish club, so will Chelsea and West Ham fans. There may always be a knucklehead or two who make gas hissing noises, but that doesn’t mean we have to up the ante by being combative about it. Shaming them is a more powerful force than fighting them (with words). Most West Ham and Chelsea fans don’t want to see their fellow fans make hissing noises and painting all of them as antisemetic.

Not sure why you are going on and on about “big nosed dirty Jew.” Nobody at our stadium is yelling “big nosed dirty Jew army,” now are they? If they did, I’d say it was equally misguided.
 
This is why the questionnaire was sent out. It's better not to be on the defensive and be prepared as a Club.

Then start with the actual racists at Chelsea and West Ham.

I'm not trying to simplify a complex debate, which this is, but the context in which this always comes up is due to OTHER clubs being racist, then the finger is inevitably pointed at Spurs supporters as the chants are equivalent to hissing, gas chamber chants and the like.

This is a nuanced topic with nearly 90 years of associated history. Treat it as such.
 
Then start with the actual racists at Chelsea and West Ham.

I'm not trying to simplify a complex debate, which this is, but the context in which this always comes up is due to OTHER clubs being racist, then the finger is inevitably pointed at Spurs supporters as the chants are equivalent to hissing, gas chamber chants and the like.

This is a nuanced topic with nearly 90 years of associated history. Treat it as such.
We are going to get some heat, AGAIN. The Club is preparing for that. It's also better to be seen as being proactive rather than reactive.

The FA are allover the Chavs last year and they have also responded proactively by running education corses and banning fans (the extent of this can be debated until the cows come home, whether it's box-ticking etc).

Whether we like it or not there is beginning to be a concerted effort and focus on us and it's coming real soon.
 

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Devil's advocate


"👏....👏....👏👏👏👏.... YIDS"

That is a very dark chant. If you were around when the nazi types were about, I can understand why that could be a very distressing thing to hear.

"How many 90 year olds attend football?" would probably be the retort.

There are going to be a few extremely controversial sentences typed below that have been wrapped using spoiler tags so as to protect from offence.

"You fucking manc cunt"
"You fucking pakie cunt"
"You fucking southern cunt"
"You fucking niggar cunt"

All four of those sentences refer to people from a specific geographical point yet two are classed as being racist, two are not.

Tbose that have a racial tag are connected to recent historical persecution.

Is it then fair to say that historically speaking, although without reference to geography, the female population was equally harshly persecuted. Well, in their case, persecution meant being burnt alive.

"You fucking witch cunt"

Is that sentence then, a racist sentence? It contains what appear to be the criteria which is used to classify racism, albeit lacking in geography. A group of people who face / faced persecution.

In writing the heading 'devil's advocate', is this entire text in some way conforming to the status quo?

Females were never exposed to the term in a derogatory manor. The term meant death.



What does strike the interest bone is, as with Tottenham fan's use of the term being discussed is seen as being a defense mechanism, those targeted from African origin have also taken the same cause of action.

People from the North or South of England seem to class these sentences as 'banter', however, neither sentences refer to those people as being persecuted. That is unless you rewind history. The Banastre Rebellion, for example, was born out of persecution for disaffected knights against the rise of the Earl of Lancaster. But where is the derogatory use of these terms?

In stark contrast, Asian referred derogatory terms have not been taken on and 'owned' to the same extent.

Maybe there is evidence to be found of persecution across all races from geographical points throughout history?

In our era of time, we seem to remember past history in view of persecution or the persecuted in what seems to be a very illogical fashion. So what about the very strong links to derogatory terminology?

Is it viewed as being derogatory saying someone is a 'fat cunt', 'tall cunt', 'ugly cunt'? Is it also a form of persecution using the terms above to address?

Are the terms mentioned in this text nothing more than words of identity?
 

Spursdem

Willing to send post and packages
Is it that time of year again?

See below...

I'll never stop using the term.

Don't care who it offends.

What I don't get is why I can't take ownership of the word? I guarantee I, and most of you, have been called Yid in a derogatory manner by oppo more times than most Jews have by someone on the street or online.

They need to understand the word is not theirs alone to claim.

We will use it as long as its thrown against us. When they stop, we'll consider it. Until then, get fucked. The onus is not on us the victims.
 
How many fucking times?? Its not complicated... The word YID means/MEANT 'Friend/mate' in Yiddish... ask any Jew you like! (Not the Millenial ones, they don't have a fucking clue!)...
I always thought the word "Yid" simply meant "Jew" in Yiddish. The oldest newspaper for orthodox Jews, which has been going for 69 years out of New York, is "Der Yid" which I understood to mean "The Jew".



Whatever, your point is a good one.

When did the definition of the word CONTEXT suddenly fall out of the collective unconsciousness of society?
It's FUCKING context people!
Agreed, and by way of example, a personal experience. I was coming back from a match at the Lane some years back on the train into Liverpool Street. I'd been to the pub before, so things had thinned out from the normal crush. Anyhow, a few stops down the line a group of orthodox blokes got on, obviously nothing to do with the match, and as the train was pulling out of the station, a group of Spurs lads stood next to me all start pointing at them and going "Yiddo! Yiddo!", kept it up for about 20 seconds. The group of Jewish blokes were clearly very uncomfortable and visibly huddled together and looked at the floor until the train reached the next station where they got out and presumably changed carriage (or got off there, whatever). The context of the match was obviously a whole load different from a "normal" train carriage an hour later, but this was clearly lost on the numbskulls doing the chanting.
 
I was not claiming that Yid had never been used positively before. My point was that it doesn’t matter. Word meanings change and the word is pejorative now. Its meaning now is all that matters.
If that's the case, then I assume in years to come, when people fall ill, they won't be able to say they are "sick" because, as we all know, 'sick' means 'good' nowadays, as ALL the kids are using it in that way...
I still use the word 'wicked' as it was originally meant, meaning 'cruel'... yet in my youth, Wicked ALSO meant 'good' (bizarrly!)
The best example of what you say being true I guess is the word 'Gay' which obviously has a different meaning to it's original... you've only gotta read (And mentally edit) an Enid Blyton book to your 5 year old to find out the hard way...
But yes, of course I get your point.

I also appreciate the idea of reclaiming a word. But there also comes a time when it is time to just put a word to bed altogether. You see this in the African American community where the N word was reclaimed to a degree but many people now think it shouldn’t be used, even by black people.

Spurs supporters are overwhelmingly not Jewish. And being Jewish is not a very visible trait, as compared to being black for instance. If we stop making such a big deal about being a Jewish club, so will Chelsea and West Ham fans. There may always be a knucklehead or two who make gas hissing noises, but that doesn’t mean we have to up the ante by being combative about it. Shaming them is a more powerful force than fighting them (with words). Most West Ham and Chelsea fans don’t want to see their fellow fans make hissing noises and painting all of them as antisemetic.
Not sure why you are going on and on about “big nosed dirty Jew.” Nobody at our stadium is yelling “big nosed dirty Jew army,” now are they? If they did, I’d say it was equally misguided.
It was just a way of pointing out that just by NOT using the Y word, someone can still cause offence... anf having been called both, I can honestly say I found the bout nosed Jew comments more offensive than being called a Yid.
 
Article from Jack Pitt-Brooke on The Athletic:

The Y-word?


By Jack Pitt-Brooke 7h ago 28
At the end of the minute of applause for Justin Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon, just before the game kicked off, thousands of Spurs fans paid another tribute to their former player after his tragic death in June. They chanted “Yiddo, Yiddo”, and it was a heartfelt expression of fraternity and love.

Christian Eriksen got similar treatment when he came on, and Tanguy Ndombele when he went off. That chant, along with “Yid Army!”, is part of the furniture at the new White Hart Lane, just as it was at the old one. Going to football is about identifying with a community, and these words, viewed by Jewish groups as a slur, are part of how many Spurs fans do that.

It is an uneasy balance and one that could soon change. Last week Tottenham Hotspur emailed their supporters to open a consultation on whether they should continue to use the Y-word at games. Spurs fans have until Sunday to tell the club how they feel about the issue and what the word means to them, through a series of multiple-choice questions and the chance to agree or disagree with various statements and tweets.
It is a brave move by the club to reopen one of the English football’s most difficult debates. Racism and antisemitism are on the rise in football and in society. Any complacency that these issues had been solved, or even agreed upon, should have been knocked out of us all by now. With growing racism there should also be growing vigilance. The Community Security Trust (CST) describe the Y-word as an “antisemitic insult”. So, given all that, can it be used as a sign of affection? Can a slur not be a slur if it is meant to be inclusive?

The history of Spurs fans’ use of the word is told as a positive story of reclamation, defence against racism and even allyship. Spurs were traditionally the Jewish club of north London but they faced antisemitic abuse, much of it centred around the word ‘Yid’. When Tottenham fans chose to use the word themselves, about themselves, they did so to make it their own and, the theory went, to rob it of its hateful force. It was about pride in Spurs’ Jewish heritage but also disarming the antisemitism they faced at grounds around the country. Spurs fans speak of the empowering feeling of using it as the ultimate riposte to abuse.
Stephen Pollard has been going to Tottenham since the 1970s and is the editor of the Jewish Chronicle. “I will proudly chant ‘Come on you Yids,’” he says. “You cannot ignore the question of intent. I think it is ludicrous to describe something that is said with affection, by people who mean it with affection, towards people who receive it with affection, as being racist.”

The modern reality of the Tottenham crowd is that only a small minority of their fans are Jewish. Most of the people using these words are not Jewish. So, is Pollard comfortable with non-Jews using this word as widely as they do? “I am not just comfortable, I think it is fantastic that they do,” he says. “I love the fact that they have adopted the word. You cannot ignore the history of it. It started off as a way to remove it of its potency as an insult from other fans. I love the fact that non-Jewish fans now use the word as a description for being a Spurs fan.”

But there is no getting past the fact that there are plenty of people who are deeply uncomfortable with the word being used in any context.

“The Y-word is an antisemitic insult,” says Dave Rich of the CST. “That is what it is historically, that is still how it gets used in ordinary day-to-day street context. It cannot be a good thing to have thousands of football fans all chanting a racist insult in a football ground, whatever their motivations are for doing so. It is that simple for us.”

The CST has just published its latest report on antisemitism in the UK, showing a record high of 892 antisemitic incidents in the first six months of 2019. This is 10 percent higher than the 810 incidents recorded from January to June 2018, which was itself a record. The CST’s total figure for 2018 of 1,688 incidents was also an annual record. The figures for February and March 2019 made them the joint-fourth and sixth worst months for antisemitic incidents since CST records began in 1984. When antisemitism is worse than ever before, it raises the question of how meaningful deflecting or disarming it can really be.
“Because antisemitism has become much more of an issue, and has been increasing in recent years,” says Rich, “perhaps that’s a reason why people are now looking again at the Y-word and thinking it is not okay to just give it a free pass.”

Kick It Out are just as clear. “We have clarified our policy on antisemitism and the use of the y-word on a number of occasions – we believe it has no place in football regardless of context, which we reiterated in the release of an antisemitism film and stewards training resource last year,” said a spokesperson. “As always, we support Tottenham Hotspur’s decision to open up a consultation for their fans and will continue to liaise with the club, as well as Jewish community organisations, to find a productive way of taking these conversations forward.”

In this view, the intent is irrelevant. The word is wrong and should never be used by anyone. In simple terms, this is not a word that we want to be in circulation. And if we want to live in a world where no one says it, then people just need to stop using it.

What if the best way to disarm antisemites is not to use the word but to stop using it?
There is an argument that even Spurs fans using it in their own way can give cover to antisemites at other clubs. Chelsea have found in their own antisemitism education campaign that some of their fans use the word because they associate it with Tottenham, not because of its antisemitic roots. There have been high-profile interventions by Jewish Chelsea fans, such as David Baddiel, who have campaigned against the use of the word. For Pollard, the connection between the two things is not so clear. “The entire argument is about Spurs fans being held responsible for the racism of other fans,” he says. “It is up to Chelsea and other clubs to sort out their own problems.”

Action Against Discrimination and its chairman Jonathan Metliss have taken a strong stance on the issue, calling on a ban to help the fight against antisemitism. “AAD strongly believes that these terms are abusive and offensive to the Jewish community and to Jewish people generally, and arguably a criminal offence as being an abusive term for a Jew,” said a statement. “It provokes and encourages antisemitic chanting from opposing supporters both at Tottenham and at other grounds around the country, particularly at Chelsea and West Ham, along with unacceptable antisemitic behaviour and statements on the internet. Antisemitism is racism.”

The link between Spurs fans’ usage and other fans’ usage is one of the many contested points of this debate. “There is not antisemitism because Tottenham fans call themselves ‘Yid Army’,” says Simon Johnson of the Jewish Leadership Council. “But it is my view that you will never eliminate antisemitism within football whilst Tottenham fans continue to call themselves the ‘Yid Army’. It is not part of the cause, and it would be unfair for anybody to say that it was. But there is no question that it would have to be part of the solution.”

Traditionally Tottenham have defended their fans’ right to use the words as a “badge of honour”, but even if the club’s position were to change it is difficult to see how it can be stopped.

The modern prevalence of the chant owes something to the last clumsy attempt to stamp it out six years ago. In September 2013 the Football Association decided that the word was “inappropriate in a football setting” and “could amount to a criminal offence”. Within weeks three Spurs fans had been arrested for using it and were charged with racially-aggravated public order offences. But in March 2014 the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was “insufficient evidence” to convict because of the context in which the words were used. This futile crackdown catalysed a new terrace chant: “They tried to stop us and look what it did, the thing I love most is being a Yid.”

Those failed prosecutions have hung over the issue ever since, and for some fans, the transgressive or improper nature of the word makes it more attractive. Especially as pushing boundaries of acceptable behaviour and inverting the meaning of words have always been part of being an English football fan. For some Spurs fans, this is part of their identity that can never be commoditised and sold back to them by the club. It will not be put on official mugs or hoodies sold in the club shop.

It is hard to imagine Spurs fans ever being convinced by anyone else to give these words up. Football fans have a tribal, defensive nature and do not like being lectured. Prosecutions have failed in the past and more would be counter-productive. Having stewards root out offenders at games would be totally impractical. Only a thoughtful, gradual, fan-led cultural change programme could ever make a difference, bringing fans with it rather than pushing them away.

“We’ve always said change on this issue has to come from within,” says Rich. “From within the club, from within Tottenham fans moving on from using that word. It cannot be enforced from the outside. So if this consultation is a step on that road, that can be a good thing.”
 

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