Click here to go to the Home Page Can’t Ice Out Racism - The Other Side of the Tracks - By Perry Redd - BC Columnist

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So, you want to ignore me? My feelings aren�t hurt. You want to ignore my claims? Well, that�s something altogether different. I told you and effectively demonstrated, through anecdotal and empirical evidence, that racism in America is not only alive and will but perpetually growing in our culture�s periphery and by means of institutionalized socialization.

As we continue to bear witness to post-Tea Party euphoria, instances like Trayvon Martin�s shooting in February and the subsequent preferential treatment of his killer, we see the unfolding of a racial divide that subsequently re-exposed the obvious scab on this country�s pride and prejudice. The fact is, the �take our country back� mantra embedded in the Tea Party political fracas of 2010 is a virus that, according to plan, is spreading further and further in the country�s psych and younger and younger Americans are becoming infected.

Though I�m no avid sports fan (though I was in my youth), I still love professional sports. So, on the very night when my hometown Washington, DC team announced Heismann trophy-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III (aka RG3) as a National Football League draft pick, my city�s Washington Capitols hockey team was in the midst of celebrating a climactic game seven: Joel Ward scored the winning goal. Incidentally, I, like millions of other across the nation, noticed that Ward is a Black man.

In a sport traditionally void of Black faces, the National Hockey League has attempted to racially integrate the league. The hockey cartel, not unlike Major League Baseball some 60-plus years ago, realizes that capitalism is best realized when you grow constituencies. Hence, in a country in which the percentage of whites - the racial majority population - is decreasing, whites must (again) open their doors to Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities. Unfortunately for all America, significant pockets of the American populace vehemently oppose such integration and are vociferous about - if not turning back the clock - making sure time stands still.

Twitter feeds blew up with comments after the Caps stunning victory. The sports news media networks ran some of the comments: �We lost to a hockey playing n****er� and �The n***er scores again, we riot.� Many, many more feeds expressing a similar sentiment were posted. Of course, there were and will be more to come. Whenever minorities �over-step� their boundaries-- into �whites-only� areas of society, the likelihood of vehement opposition is great. The question should be: Why are there still �white only� sports enclaves and who believes there should be?

During my youth, playing professional sports like tennis, golf, swimming and hockey were dreams for me and my peers. I used to collect football cards as a hobby. My friends and I idolized many of the superstars of our day: Lynn Swann, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Reggie Jackson, among others, who played the type of professional sports that �allowed� us in. For us, that was it. Though we dreamed further, American society limited and relegated our dreams to �the box� (of cards).

So here we stand today. From the honest response of some Americans to the usual outcomes of team sports, my claims of overt and covert racism are confirmed. From overt legislation that allows white males to fatally shoot unarmed Black males and go unmolested by the law (until authorities yield to vociferous protests of injustice) to the covert racism that remains undercover when your team is winning, you cannot ignore racism. It is the game-changer. Racism is the primary and most relevant reason for wealth, educational, political and overall quality-of-life disparities. You may be able to explain away sexism, homophobia, and age-ism, but racism�s roots run deep. You can�t ice out racism. Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of the on-line commentary, �The Other Side of the Tracks.� He is the host of the internet-based talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.

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May 24, 2012 - Issue 473
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Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
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