Thursday, December 22, 2016

Missouri Apologizes for White Students" Trumping" Black Players of Visitor Team

Yes, there were indeed some very unpleasant instances of racist hate crimes happening all across the country in the days after the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. Most of them were real like the penciling of some threats and even swastikas on walls and doors in minority neighborhoods; some turned out to be false like the report of a Muslim woman who claimed being harassed by some men who tore off her niqab (head covering). It’s the sign of how empowered certain societal sectors have been ever since their candidate prevailed in the polls.

The latest instance of some genuine mass racist behavior with a connection to Trump’s win occurred Monday December 12 at the Warrensburg High School in Missouri, according to The Huffington Post. During a home basketball game against the visiting Center High School, a team with several black student players, a large section of the Warrensburg cheering section composed of white students abruptly stood up and turned their backs on the opposing team. One of them held up a sign over his head that turned out to be a Trump campaign poster. Another student, Toniaa Lakylia Nunn, saw the act and captured footage on her smartphone, then posted it on Facebook.

On her commentary accompanying the uploaded video, Nunn remarked, “I have never been to a game that the other team turned their backs on their opponents,” she wrote. “Never seen it a day in my life, until i stepped foot into Warrensburg High School last night! Glad I graduated from a school with so much respect and SPORTSMANSHIP!!”

The footage went viral and sparked some very heated discussion online, while Missouri’s Warrensburg R-VI school district posted a statement reacting to the shown behavior, describing the high school’s student body, some of them, as acting inappropriately and insensitively against the Center High delegation. They further clarified that the district “does not condone these actions and apologizes to anyone who was offended by the actions of these students”, followed by assurances that such an incident will not be allowed to recur.

Scott Patrick, superintendent for Warrensburg HS, later told the Kansas City Star that their institution has a sports tradition wherein the cheering section for their teams would indeed turn their backs to the opposing team as a taunt, but the fact that one of the students in question had flashed the Trump sign turned the action into one with unsettling political undertones. He went on to say that the ones responsible will have consequences for their stunt.

If there was any justice in the world that time, Center High School trounced Warrensburg that day, 66-62.

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