DAN WOOTTON: Why couldn’t the hate-filled trolls of the Left even celebrate Emma’s brilliant British win without weaponising it for their toxic culture wars?
What a sad indictment of our toxic culture that the first thing a host of leading political figures and celebrities thought to do after 18-year-old Emma Raducanu’s historic victory on Saturday night was to use her heritage to make a divisive political point.
Genuine patriots were joyously celebrating watching an actual fairy tale in real time as the Brit who was ranked 361st in the world before Wimbledon and has recently completed her A-levels won the US Open against all odds, becoming one of our biggest – and richest – sporting stars overnight.
But the first instinct of the bitter loony Left was to play the race card to try, once again, to paint the most tolerant nation in the world as something we’re not.
Divisive Mayor Sadiq Khan, a specialist in sowing division online, immediately headed to his poisoned keyboard to politicise what should have been a unifying moment for the UK.
What a sad indictment of our toxic culture that the first thing a host of leading political figures and celebrities thought to do after 18-year-old Emma Raducanu’s historic victory on Saturday night was to use her heritage to make a divisive political point
Mayor Sadiq Khan (left) headed to his poisoned keyboard to politicise what should have been a unifying moment for the UK. Of course, Gary Lineker (right ) got in on the act too
Without even bothering to spell Emma’s name correctly, he posted alongside emojis of the Canadian, Chinese and Romanian flags, as well as the Union Jack: ‘Emma Radacanu’s (sic) story is London’s story. Born in Canada to Chinese and Romanian parents, she moved to London at two-years-old.
‘Here in London, we embrace and celebrate our diversity. And if you work hard, and get a helping hand, you can achieve anything.’
The even more toxic Alastair Campbell – a bloke who helped spin the UK into the illegal war in Iraq – thought it made sense to use the win by the apolitical teen from Kent to stick it to the government over immigration.
He tweeted to the Home Secretary, whose own parents are immigrants from Uganda: ‘Isn’t it great to be from a country where a child born in Canada to Romanian and Chinese parents can come to Britain aged two and become a (British) national heroine within 16 years? Let’s try and keep the country that way shall we @pritipatel?’
Good Moaning Britain’s pale imitation of Piers Morgan, Adil Ray, who spends his life chasing Twitter likes, waded in too.
Playing to his liberal following, he wrote: ‘Get in. Emma Raducanu the immigrant from a Romanian, Chinese, Canadian family grand slams the haters. This is the Britain we love.’
Why late on a Saturday night, as most folk like me downed copious quantities of booze in the pub as the big screens showed the tennis free-to-air, would these prominent faces of the so-called liberal Left decide to stoke an argument about immigration and ethnicity if they were not race-baiting?
And why the need to so publicly define Emma as an immigrant?
In that moment, Emma’s skin colour and where she was born should have been completely irrelevant.
She’s British – and she was representing Britain!
Why the desire to always define everyone and everything by ethnicity?
It’s more irrefutable proof that it’s the Left in this country always desperate to start a culture war based on identity politics.
Perhaps the worst take was from liberal TV executive Dominic Minghella – the creator of ITV’s Doc Martin – who proclaimed: ‘You can celebrate your Raducanus or you can push back boats. You can’t do both.’
Of course, Gary Lineker got in on the act too. Less than two hours after Emma’s victory, he posted a two-day old Daily Express front page that juxtaposed a headline about illegal migrants being turned back to France with a picture of Raducanu, with the words: ‘Oh the irony.’
The London mayor posted emojis of the Canadian, Chinese and Romanian flags, as well as the Union Jack
Tennis sensation Emma Raducanu lifts her trophy after her stunning US Open win
Adil Ray, who spends his life chasing Twitter likes, waded in too. Playing to his liberal following, he wrote: ‘Get in. Emma Raducanu the immigrant from a Romanian, Chinese, Canadian family grand slams the haters. This is the Britain we love’
Er, what? It’s completely disingenuous and somewhat outrageous to suggest immigrants to the UK believe in illegal immigration and open borders.
In reality, the more illegal immigrants streaming across the Channel from France, largely young men for economic reasons, the fewer opportunities for genuine refugees or immigrants like Emma’s family to legally enter the country.
As Will Carling hit back: ‘Emma’s story is her story. Not one to be hijacked by politicians.’
It’s clear to me that Emma is about as normal and well-balanced a privileged British teenager as you get. Sure, she was born in Toronto to a Canadian mother and Romanian father, but she moved here at two-years-old.
In a recent profile for Vogue magazine she spends the bulk of the time referencing her childhood and background by reeling off the vast array of extracurricular activities she took part in growing up in Bromley, from ballet and tap dancing to motorsports, golf, karting, dirt biking and, of course, tennis.
And the only moment in the in-depth interview where she speaks about her ethnicity, it’s about to talk about the fact her mother is Chinese.
Emma told the magazine: ‘My mum comes from a Chinese background, they have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture.’
Raducanu adds that her parents, who both work in finance, are ‘very tough to please and have high expectations’, ensuring ‘to keep me grounded’.
They sound like just the type of British parents we should be celebrating.
The desire to brand Emma as foreign in some way, despite being completely British, is borderline racist and resonates with me personally.
I am a proud British citizen. While I was born in New Zealand, both my parents were born here (my mum in Essex and my dad on a British army base in Malta) and both my grandpas fought in World War Two for Britain.
Emma Raducanu poses outside Arthur Ashe Stadium with the championship trophy after she defeats Leylah Fernandez in the women’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships
I am also a proud New Zealander – one of those lucky people who has had two passports since I was a child and identifies strongly with both nations.
Very often my critics – who often ironically have Be Kind hashtags planted all over their social media accounts – tell me to go back to where I came from.
My accent might be a little bit funny, but I’ve lived here all my adult life and have been accepted as a proud Brit while still maintaining my Kiwi heritage and upbringing (although don’t expect me to have anything positive to say about the ghastly Jacinda Ardern).
The best way to show acceptance of immigrants and how truly multicultural we are is for the Left to shut up about Emma Raducanu’s cultural heritage and start celebrating her as what she is: 100 per cent British and 100 per cent brilliant.
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