RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

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RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by kk20gb30 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:29 am


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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by jgriffin » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 am

Might be better occupied reviewing why a sport with a high BAME contingent is almost uniformly white from senior coaching and countrywide admin up to Board level.
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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by RichieB » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:31 am

jgriffin wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 am
Might be better occupied reviewing why a sport with a high BAME contingent is almost uniformly white from senior coaching and countrywide admin up to Board level.
Absolutely agree with this - same in football too.

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by JP14 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:44 am

jgriffin wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 am
Might be better occupied reviewing why a sport with a high BAME contingent is almost uniformly white from senior coaching and countrywide admin up to Board level.
Maggie Alphonsi is the only Black/BAME member of the RFU Council, it's like Ellis Genge said if the predominantly white male council is doing its job then that's not an issue, it's when there are BAME people who could do the job better and are not getting the opportunity to do so.
"Our Greatest Glory Is Not In Never Failing, But In Rising Every Time We Fall" Confucius

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by JP14 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:46 am

Many fans were unaware of its connotations whilst chanting it ever since they were children, this is one of the fundamental problems in the UK at the moment with the shocking lack of education.

I agree with Alphonsi, now the fans know its slavery roots it's up to them whether they want to still sing it.
"Our Greatest Glory Is Not In Never Failing, But In Rising Every Time We Fall" Confucius

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by wellstiger » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:23 am

Jerusalem ? Or am I offending?

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by wellstiger » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:25 am

If my memory serves me right didn't Paul Robeson sing Sweet Chariot -

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by johnthegriff » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:32 am

The song has been sung by rugby fans because someone more than sixty years ago invented certain hand movements to go with it. Yes it is a spiritual but are we to ban the singing of all of them and of Blues music or are we going to say that they can only be sung by black people, will sea shanties be banned because they might have been sung on slave ships?
Slavery was not invented by the British or even the Americans, probably not even by white people, the Romans had slaves in fact I think the word slave comes from the Romans using captured Slav people as forced labour but thousands of years before the Romans as peoples were conquered captives were transported and forced to work.
All lives matter equally, we can do nothing about the past but lets make sure that as we move forward we do it together.
Rugby and soccer have many BAME players many of whom are not British and will move on after their playing days are over but hopefully a percentage of those that intend to stay in the U.K will take coaching qualification and remain in the game as an inspiration to others. There are twelve Premiership clubs that is probably less than fifty senior coaches between them with many fans wanting Southern Hemisphere coaches so not many if any BAME in rugby so far but surely only a matter of time before an Itoji, Sinkler or Lawes is putting themselves forward to share their experience with the next generation.

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by wellstiger » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:12 pm

You know life was a lot easier when -

We could sing and make merry. Either songs from the charts, Hymn book or Rugby book of lewd songs.
Tell a joke over a pint - maybe have a cigarette.
Have an opinion and a discussion over a pint - at work - at a sports venue..
Chat up a member of the opposite sex..
It was a way of laughing at ourselves and taking a poke at how stupid life is/was

Then we had all the above questioned and then removed.

And mental health issues are now on the increase. There you go I've just offended all of civilisation cause I shouldn't have an opinion.

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by Scott1 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:12 pm

Absolute ridiculous! Politics only leads to tears but does everyone know when the last big BLM spike was? 2016. And now another one exactly 4 years later,what's happening in America this year? I'll say no more. I will also say SkySports actions during their reintroduction of football have been nothing short of a disgrace!

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by Jacko27 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:11 pm

I have to say I've never been that keen on "Swing Low". I remember when it was part of the repertoire of hymns, spirituals and bawdy songs sung in rugby clubs up and down the country on a Saturday evening but I never quite understood how it morphed into becoming England's unofficial anthem. The trouble is we don't really have an alternative. For years we, wrongly, sang God Save the Queen which is the British National Anthem, not England's. Or Jerusalem which, imo, is too mystical, too poetic, too obscurely religious to express English patriotism.
So we're back with "Swing Low". It is open to the charge of cultural appropriation (mainly white people singing an African enslaved person's song) but to me it doesn't seem to be at all disrespectful. This latter view seems to be held by former players like Ugo Monye. So the message to fans seems to be sing it if you wish but spare a thought for the song's origins.

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by daktari » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:25 pm

johnthegriff wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:32 am
The song has been sung by rugby fans because someone more than sixty years ago invented certain hand movements to go with it. Yes it is a spiritual but are we to ban the singing of all of them and of Blues music or are we going to say that they can only be sung by black people, will sea shanties be banned because they might have been sung on slave ships?
Slavery was not invented by the British or even the Americans, probably not even by white people, the Romans had slaves in fact I think the word slave comes from the Romans using captured Slav people as forced labour but thousands of years before the Romans as peoples were conquered captives were transported and forced to work.
All lives matter equally, we can do nothing about the past but lets make sure that as we move forward we do it together.
Rugby and soccer have many BAME players many of whom are not British and will move on after their playing days are over but hopefully a percentage of those that intend to stay in the U.K will take coaching qualification and remain in the game as an inspiration to others. There are twelve Premiership clubs that is probably less than fifty senior coaches between them with many fans wanting Southern Hemisphere coaches so not many if any BAME in rugby so far but surely only a matter of time before an Itoji, Sinkler or Lawes is putting themselves forward to share their experience with the next generation.
'Cultural Appropriation" a phrase that gets my goat. Culture works by appropriating things from other cultures, a great example is 'The Blues'; originated with slaves/poor freeded ex slaves in the US....but the blues in itself appropriated from European folk music mixed with the culture of the slaves brought from Africa. Context is everything and there are' professional offence takers' ready to be offended by anything and everything. If we don't allow culture to be shared and cross pollinate it will stagnate. Should only white English people perform Shakespeare? Of course not, it's nonsense. The questions is, what is the perceived issue with Swing Low in the context of a Rugby match? What is the problem with a spiritual song being sung at a sporting event?
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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by Wayne Richardson Fan Club » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:29 pm

Scott1 wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:12 pm
Absolute ridiculous! Politics only leads to tears but does everyone know when the last big BLM spike was? 2016. And now another one exactly 4 years later,what's happening in America this year? I'll say no more. I will also say SkySports actions during their reintroduction of football have been nothing short of a disgrace!
Or does it spike when real evidence of Police behaviour surfaces?
There are big issues here in the UK but not on a USA scale.
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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by Scott1 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:36 pm

Wayne Richardson Fan Club wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:29 pm
Scott1 wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:12 pm
Absolute ridiculous! Politics only leads to tears but does everyone know when the last big BLM spike was? 2016. And now another one exactly 4 years later,what's happening in America this year? I'll say no more. I will also say SkySports actions during their reintroduction of football have been nothing short of a disgrace!
Or does it spike when real evidence of Police behaviour surfaces?
There are big issues here in the UK but not on a USA scale.
I dont really want to go into it ,politics and sport doesnt mix or rather it shouldnt be mixed (talking to you again SkySports!)

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Re: RFU To Review The Use of 'Swing Low,Sweet Chariot' ; Connotations of Slavery ?

Post by ABClub » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:41 pm

jgriffin wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 am
Might be better occupied reviewing why a sport with a high BAME contingent is almost uniformly white from senior coaching and countrywide admin up to Board level.
Agree with this. The game has become more diverse in the last two decades so hopefully as more BAME players retire we will see a shift in that regard.

I rewatched the 2003 Rugby World Cup final the other day and it really struck me how few BAME players there were in the sides. For England it was only Jason Robinson. For Australia George Gregan, Lote Tuqiri and Stirling Mortlock. Interestingly 3 out of those 4 were rugby league converts as well.

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