Thanks to Mick M (& JT Melsom) for posting links, above, to interview(s) with GM P. Carlsson (and IM Watu Kobese).
In his interview, with Newsweek
Carlsson makes a reply to Avrukh, as will be seen in the extracts that follow further below.
Pontus Carlsson of the Swedish National Team is speaking out about the *pervasive* racism he has experienced as a black European... "
[*pervasive - diffused throughout (a bit of exaggeration there since Carlsson has said that "racism" is not widespread or prevalent in the chess world)]
Carlsson is (we know) a "black European" by adoption, and a dual national who has travelled in Europe on his Colombian passport.
That probably accounts for the kind of greeting he received when crossing borders. (I have been on the receiving end of it when travelling from Britain to Ireland in the early 1990s when I was mistaken for a being a possible terrorist sympathiser. I have also experienced a small, and only mild, amount of what could be called "racism" here and there around the world.)
Columbia, like Ireland, has its problems - very serious ones by Carlsson's own admission - and I wonder if things would have been a bit different if he had travelled on a Swedish passport wearing a "100% Swedish" football shirt.
Anyway, that's enough of me. Back to brass tacks and, at long last, on to mention of Avrukh -
Carlsson has also butted heads, at least rhetorically, with other prominent chess players, such as Grandmaster Boris Avrukh, who challenged Carlsson on Facebook to come up with "one example of systematic racism," without citing "CNN trash." Avrukh also claimed that "Black people have equal rights and even more than equal rights."
I think I know what Avrukh is trying to say there but it is the wrong time and place for him to say it.
I'm quite used to this kind of guy," Carlsson said to Newsweek. "How can you say that black people are more than equal? You can listen to what he's saying—that black people are more than equal—but it's total bulls**t..."
I note that "this kind of guy" is in this case a Soviet-Russian person of Jewish extraction born in Kazakhstan who emigrated to Israel and is now living in the US. (Not the average "this kind of guy" I suspect. And neither is Carlsson an average "kind of guy" for that matter.)
Newsweek reached out to Avrukh via email for further comment, but did not hear back by time of this article's publication.
Somehow I doubt Avrukh will say much if anything more, (but even foreign secs. backtrack when kneeded).
It goes on -
While toxic comments manifested in other fields and other forms of pushback have from within the chess community, Carlsson most cautioned against people's reticence and discomfort, which can lead to hollow gestures instead of concrete reforms.
Carlsson adds -
"This is very uncomfortable for white people usually to talk about and therefore most people shy away from it. But if there's going to be any kind of exchange, you have to have the discussion. Not monologues—discussion. Where people meet, engage and talk..."
That last part is easier said than done - certain kinds of "white people" have a tendency to play the "racist" card whenever they see other people try to "engage and talk" in terms that are different to their own.
Who has a proper grip on the truth in complex matters?
Certainly not those who claim they have a monopoly on it.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)