Gary Younge

Gary Younge is an author, broadcaster and award-winning columnist for The Guardian, based in Chicago. He also writes a monthly column, Beneath the Radar, for the Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute. He has written three books, "Who Are We - And Should it Matter in the 21st Century?", "Stranger in a Strange Land: Travels in the Disunited States" and "No Place Like Home: A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South". Gary has made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from the Tea Party to hip hop culture.

Read Gary's article on Muhammed Ali

Read Show Racism the Red Card's exclusive interview with Gary Younge (2013):
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Here is an extract from Younge's "Who Are We - And Should it Matter in the 21st Century?":

'Indeed, oftentimes, the emphasis on racial and ethnic differences is rivalled only by the negligible basis for those differences in biological fact. The outward difference of skin, eyes, lips, nose and other physical attributes are just that – outward. It is only thanks to the way race is constructed that these physical differences are transformed into racial characteristics. In 1998, the American Anthropological Association declared, ‘With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g. DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic “racial” groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means there is greater genetic variation within “racial” groups than between them.’ In short, we really are more alike than we are unalike.

'If race is an arbitrary fiction, then ‘race-mixing’ is a conceptual absurdity. ‘In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions,’ the AAA continues. ‘Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.’ Put simply, to the extent to which ‘mixed race’ makes any sense at all, we are all mixed race.' [Read this chapter]

To purchase Younge's books, please click on the following links:
Who Are We - And Should it Matter in the 21st Century?
Stranger in a Strange Land: Encounters in the Disunited States.
No Place Like Home: A Black Briton's Journey Through the American South.

Kevin Maguire

Show Racism the Red Card welcomes Kevin Maguire to our honorary patrons. On joining Writers Against Racism, he said:

"Racism is evil, an irrational prejudice which ruins lives. Most people are decent and together we must confront and change - or defeat - hateful racists. So let's Show Racism the Red Card."

Kevin Maguire is an Associate Editor on the Daily Mirror as well as a columnist on a string of magazines including the New Statesman and Tribune. He regularly makes, presents and appears on TV and Radio programmes, Before taking on his role at the Mirror, he was The Guardian's Chief Reporter and Daily Telegraph's Labour Correspondent.

Kevin's won awards for his journalism and co-authored a book on Great Parliamentary Scandals. Born in South Shields on Tyneside, he works in the Houses of Parliament and lives in London.

Decca Aitkenhead

"After a summer of racist chants at Euro 2012, and John Terry's trial, it was extraordinarily affecting to see Doreen Lawrence carry the Olympic flag. I became a journalist in the year of her son's murder, and an honorary patron of Show Racism the Red Card following my recent interview with her, which you can read here. The only interviewee who has ever moved me to tears, Doreen Lawrence knows how far we still have to go before racism is behind us."

Decca Aitkenhead writes the Monday interview in the Guardian. She grew up in Wiltshire, studied politics in Manchester, and has been a columnist and features writer for most of Fleet Street's broadsheet newspapers, as well as a regular contributor to BBC radio and television. She and her partner and their two young sons live in east London, and spend as much time as they possibly can in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

Dorian Lynskey

Dorian Lynskey writes about music for the Guardian & Q amongst other publications. He is also the author of an excellent book on the history of protest songs; '33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs' and The Guardian Book of Playlists.

“Having written extensively about the power of music to build bridges and change minds, I believe the same is true of sport. At its best it has the same combination of inspiring individuals and communal energy. Recently I’ve been spurred into writing about racism on my 33 Revolutions Per Minute blog by news stories which have reminded me that there’s still a long way to go. I celebrate Show Racism the Red Card for continuing to do that vital work.”

Daniel Taylor

Daniel is the Chief Football Writer for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, as well as leading their online football coverage. He has also published three football books - two on Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, and a book on Nottingham Forest, published in 2005.

"The fight against racism is often called a 'war.' Except wars, of course, generally have endings whereas this one may never have. Football has been reminded about that too many times but organisations such as Show Racism The Red Card are making sure it is always on the agenda and deserve enormous credit for their work. For the campaigning to work, it's incredibly important that the media are pro-active, too. The Guardian and The Observer have tried to be at the forefront of this and will continue to be so."

Luke Edwards

Luke Edwards is the Daily Telegraph’s North-East football correspondent. He began his career as a news reporter at The Journal after graduating from Newcastle University. He went on to become the newspaper’s chief sports writer. He is a regular contributor to national radio and television.

“I first encountered the work of Show Racism the Red Card as a fresh-faced news reporter for the Newcastle Journal and was immediately impressed by the passion, zeal and vision of the men and women behind it. I have been an active supporter ever since and have seen first-hand the excellent work they do and the difference it has made.

“Racism will, sadly, always exist and society, as well as football, has been guilty of letting its guard down in recent years. However, thanks to the work in schools done by Show Racism the Red Card across the country, there will always be an anti-venom to racism’s poison in the battle for young minds.”

Owen Jones

 Sheffield-born Owen Jones is a prominent political writer and commentator, and currently Policy and Media Advisor for the Centre of Labour and Social Studies (CLASS).

He graduated with a BA Honours in History from University College Oxford in 2005, before gaining a Master of Arts in US History in 2007. After graduating, Jones worked as a trade union lobbyist, before becoming a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party.

His most well-known piece of work, his book Chavs, was one of the New York Times' top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. The work was also long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Jones is currently working on his second work, set to be pubished in 2014, which explores the class issues around the British Establishment.

Jones previously had work published in the Guardian before moving to the Independent, where he writes regular columns. He has also had work published in New Statesman, the Sunday Mirror

In February 2013, the Political Book Award named Owen Jones Young Writer of the Year 2013, and donated his winnings.

Daniel Trilling

Daniel Trilling is the Assistant Editor at the New Statesman and is the author of ‘Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far-Right’.

‘Bloody Nasty People…’ charts the rise of the BNP over the past 10 years and details the emergence of the English Defence League. The book also explores how mainstream politicians have underestimated the far-right in Britain and while pursuing policies that have contributed to the growth of far-right movements.

Daniel said this about Show Racism the Red Card "I think that it is a great campaign. It’s doubly important that we don’t only rely on official initiatives - like the Football Association’s own anti-racist campaign, for example - but have grassroots projects that can challenge existing power structures."

Paul Laverty

Paul Laverty is a Scottish Lawyer and Scriptwriter. His writing delicately balances the political and emotional. He's best known for his 15-year creative partnership with SRtRC patron Ken Loach which has yielded outstanding feature films such as Carla's Song, My Name Is Joe, Sweet Sixteen, Ae Fond Kiss and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. A recent Spanish-language script for Even the Rain (directed by Icíar Bollaín) won a slew of awards, including a Goya nomination and an Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

William McIlvanney

Scottish novelist William McIlvanney was born in 1936 in Kilmarnock, the son of a miner. He has played a significant part in Scottish cultural life for more than 30 years. He specialises in crime stories, novels and poetry, and has penned books such as Remedy is None, A Gift From Nessus, The Big Man, The Kiln, and many others.

McIlvanney has won many awards for his work, such as the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (for Remedy is None), the Scottish Arts Council Book Award (twice, once for A Gift From Nessus), amongst others.

Mark Steel

Mark Steel
has performed as a stand-up comedian since 1983. For Radio 4, he has written and performed four series of both The Mark Steel Solution and The Mark Steel Lecture, which transferred to BBC4.

Mark has also hosted the BBC Radio 5 sports programme Extra Time, produced a weekly column for The Guardian and now does so for The Independent.

Rowena Sommerville

Rowena Sommerville
is a writer, illustrator and poet. She specialises in children's books, and has written three: If I Were a Crocodile, The Martians Have Taken My Brother and Other Poems, and Don't Step on That Earwig.

Rowena is Director of TVA (Tees Valley Arts), a Middlesbrough-based participative arts organisation. Like Show Racism the Red Card, TVA specialises in educational work, "designing and delivering innovative programmes for students of all abilities". TVA also proudly works with asylum seekers and refugees.

In support of Show Racism the Red Card, Rowena said:

"I believe that the key vectors of peace, love and understanding are sport, culture, food and sex, and I’m happy to be a writer and singer supporting those aims, and contributing to the other areas where I can!"

Lynn Huggins-Cooper

"I believe that the struggle against racism is a continuous effort.  It provides the basis for the creation of a society where all are considered equal, and where diversity is as natural as breathing.

"I believe that change is possible. I believe in transformation and the potential to learn from stories and the experiences of others. As a writer, it is my job to share those stories to develop a society that fosters the understanding of people different to ourselves; to value all people regardless of race and colour as we value our own families."

Lynn Huggins-Cooper is a primarily non-fiction author based in County Durham. Lynn has written books for young children, such as the Play and Learn series, specialising in educational resources for children and teachers alike. She has also written books for adults such as Blooming Pregnancy, Raising Teenagers, and Downshift to the Good Life.

Marina Hyde

"Anyone who doubts sport's power to remake as well as simply reflect society need only look at the American civil rights struggle to see how pivotal sports were in driving the movement's messages. Today, football not only reflects social attitudes but has the power to shift them, and I admire the work Show Racism the Red Card does, particularly with young people."

Marina Hyde studied English at Oxford before starting in journalism as the secretary on the Sun's showbiz desk. She has worked at the Guardian since 2000 and formerly wrote the paper's Diary column. She currently writes three columns a week for the paper: one general comment, one on sport and one on celebrity.

Marina became an honorary patron of Show Racism the Red Card following her Guardian article condemning Sepp Blatter's comments on racism within football.