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October 18, 2007 03:42 PM UTC

Let's Not Confuse Racism With Stupidity

  • 5 Comments
  • by: kate

My family and I attend Colorado College hockey games and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. A huge hockey fan, I can watch the entire event without boredom, sunshine, or sweat getting in my eyes. Husband and kids enjoy the games as well.

Recently, four Tigers players attended a golf outing where participants were required to dress as characters from popular television shows. The white players in question dressed as black characters from Family Matters.

Where the hell was *that* show popular?

Canada?

Anyway, the kids wore blackface and wigs.

For this act of insensitivity to the history of minstrel shows, the players were suspended and made to repent in a variety of ways.

Fine.

They paid their penance and are set to return for the Minnesota game this Saturday night. The local chapter of the NAACP wants them to change their plans.

“Harris said she expects the players to attend the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Dinner on Saturday at 7 p.m., the same time as CC’s game against Minnesota.”

Enough.

This culture of excessive punishment does nothing to deter others from similar acts of racial insensitivity. Instead, overreacting creates irritation and fosters more negative feelings between ethnic groups. Something an organization like NAACP claims to be against.

Making examples of these young men in such a public way also diverts attention from real acts of racism, hate, and intolerance. When people commit acts that threaten others due to gender, race, or religion, we should respond quickly and with force.

However, if we respond to youthful indiscretions and thoughtless stupidity with equal measures, real hate crimes are therefore dismissed with cynicism and a shrug of the shoulders.

And that hurts everyone a whole lot more than college kids dressing up like Urkel.

***cross-posted at Out In Left Field***

Comments

5 thoughts on “Let’s Not Confuse Racism With Stupidity

    1. must take responsibility for their own actions at this point.

      I’m all for holding parents accountable, but like I tell my high school students, the time is quickly approaching where *you* are to blame or to credit. Despite mom and dad.

  1. …a goodoleboy had a confederate flag with a noose under it in his yard.  Been there for three years.  Someone just “discovered” this affront, everyone weighed in.  The local black minister (“Must go”), the ACLU (“Freedom of Speech”) and the perp’s sister (“Just a redneck.”)

    Backed into a corner, of course, he didn’t budge. 

    A black neighbor wandered over to the bar (full of rednecks) where the perp worked.  He wasn’t greeted cordially, I assure you.  But they talked.

    That night the flag and noose came down.

    We could use a lot more of that one on one and common sense.

    Oh yeah, that black man started working for the city in 1972.  His first job was to take down all the “Colored” bathroom signs on city property. 

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