I sometimes find it hard to believe that in 2008 the problem of racism still dogs society, despite the progress that mankind has made some people still judge other people by race rather than "the content of their character" as The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther king famously said.
In Spain recently at a motor racing event the young British driver Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racist abuse by Spanish fans who had blacked up to abuse him, motor racing for god's sake !
Spain has a particularly bad reputation on this and the authorities have failed to address it.
Any country which lived under Franco for so long would hardly emerge unscathed but that alone does not explain it.
Thierre Henry planned a reaction when playing for France against these Spanish thugs, when he scored a goal he walked across to where the worst of the abuse was coming from and stood with his arms on his hips and just stared at the people who were abusing him, he held this stance for a while and his team mates stood aside before congratulating him, it was devastating and powerful, Spain was held up to ridicule.
The problem is world wide and Britain including Scotland has it's share, the amount of anti English feeling that exists here is sickening and damaging to Scotland's reputation.
The campaigns to 'kick out racism' in sport are well meaning but they are not enough, something tougher is required like banning those guilty of racism including teams and countries from events as well as clamping down hard on other race/hate crimes.
I remember all those years ago when Tommy Smith and John Carlos stood on the Olympic Podium and gave the Black Power salute, it was one of sports most thrilling events of the twentieth century.
We cheered and shouted that racism was on it's way out, that's not the only thing we got wrong but, we must not give up, this and other evils can be overcome, we need the political will to do it.