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Michael Holding says racial 'brainwashing' must end with black people growing up feeling 'lesser'

"We need to teach and re-educate as a lot of black people in this world are growing up believing that they are lesser than other people and that cannot be right"

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Michael Holding was close to tears talking about some of his experiences with racism and says society must change

Sky Sports Cricket's Michael Holding has passionately dissected the "brainwashing" that he says is to blame for the racial issues that remain rife to this day.

Holding and fellow Sky Cricket pundit Ebony Rainford-Brent shared their views on racism in Sky's Black Cricketers Matter programme, following the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minnesota in May.

After the show aired, former West Indies seamer Holding urged for greater education on the achievements of black people so that young people of colour do not grow up believing they are "lesser" and that "unconscious" racial prejudices have a better chance of being stamped out.

Listen to the podcast above to hear Mikey and Ebony talk on Black Cricketers Matter, as well as the conversation that followed as Holding, Rainford-Brent and Nasser Hussain expanded the chat on racism and what can be done to overcome it.

Holding said: "When I say education, I mean going back in history. What people need to understand is that this thing stems from a long time ago, hundreds of years ago. The dehumanisation of the black race is where it started. People will tell you, 'that's a long time ago, get over it'. No. You don't get over things like that. Society has not gotten over something like that.

"I didn't quite understand as a young man what brainwashing meant - I now understand. People - black people and white people - have been brainwashed in different ways.

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Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent explain the barriers black people face in both sport and society as a whole, in our Black Cricketers Matter programme

"Think about religion. The image of Jesus Christ is pale skin, blond hair, blue eyes. Where Jesus came from, who in that part of the world looks that way? That is brainwashing, to show you 'this is what the image of perfection is'. If you look at plays from those days, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is a black man. Brainwashing people to think, 'he is a black man, he is the bad man'.

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"Go through history. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, everybody knows that, but he invented the light bulb with a paper filament that burned out in no time at all. Can you tell me who invented the filament that makes these lights shine? Nobody knows, because he was a black man and it was not taught in schools. Lewis Howard Latimer invented the carbon filament to allow lights to continue to shine, yet who knows that?

"Everything should be taught. In my school days, I was never taught anything good about black people and you cannot have a society that is brought up like that where you only teach what is convenient to the teacher. History is written by the conqueror, not those that are conquered. History is written by the people who do the harm, not by the people who are harmed. We need to go back and teach both sides of history.

"Until we do that and educate the entire human race, this thing will not stop. We need to teach and re-educate, as a lot of black people in this world are growing up believing that they are lesser than other people and that cannot be right.

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Rainford-Brent says she sometimes questioned why she remained in cricket after being subjected to racist comments during her career in the sport

"People tell me there is nothing called white privilege. Give me a break. I don't see white people going into a store in Oxford Street and being followed. A black man walks in and someone is following him everywhere he goes. That is basic white privilege.

"I don't want people to think I think all white people are racist and walk around thinking racist things. It's not, 'I'm black, I don't like white people', or 'I am white, I don't like black people'.

"There was a study done at Yale University in 2016, where they got 130 pre-school teachers to go into a room and watch a video and look out for bad behaviour. There were black boys, white boys, black girls, white girls.

"There was no bad behaviour in the video but they had a tracker of the teachers' eyes and at the end, they got the results and their eyes had constantly looked at the black kids, black boys the majority.

"One person didn't want the results released, but 129 of the teachers were embarrassed. They did not even know, they were unconscious. The society in which we grow, it is almost osmosis; it seeps into you, and subconsciously affects your mind.

"There was a 2014 study, also at Yale, with police officers. They were shown pictures of black kids and white kids - kids meaning early teens. Each police officer was asked at the end how old he thought the black kids and white kids were. On average, the police officers gave the black kids' age four and a half years older than the white kids, guessing the age of the white kids easily.

"If you are a police officer confronting a 14-year-old and you think in your mind he is 18, 19 years old, your attitude is going to be different. He is no longer an innocent 14-year-old, he is a senior, approaching adulthood and your approach is going to be different. That is something that has to be tackled.

"We know there has been abuse of black people by police officers, not just in England or the US, all over the place. Unless society is cleansed and sorted, we will continue to have this problem."

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