President Donald Trump’s racist America is poisoning our youth.
Case in point: Black teens were hit with racist chants by white students during a high school basketball game in Iowa.
According to Raw Story, the Storm Lake Tornadoes played against the Spencer Tigers on Jan. 19, but they became targets of racism when students from the predominantly white school taunted them with slurs and shouts of “USA, USA.”
They also chanted “lock your car doors” while jingling keys, which, on the surface, seems like a not-so-subtle way to imply that people of color are thieves. However, officials from each school confirmed that the insult was actually in reference to a student from Storm Lake being accused of stealing a car last year.
The question remains, however, why students would taunt the rival school's athletes by referencing that particular incident?
The mostly white Spencer school district is made up of approximately 1,900 students. On the other hand, the Storm Lake district has more than 2,400 students of which 84 percent are non-white.
The schools have had an ongoing rivalry, and this is not the first case of questionable chants being used to taunt the Storm Lake team. Last year, Spencer fans shouted “go back to where you came from” following a football game.
During the recent basketball game, some Spencer students went as far as to wear patriotic clothing for a “USA Night” theme; however, the school did not plan or endorse the theme.
“I’ve know the Spencer High School principal for years, and I know she felt horrible about what happened,” said Storm Lake Principal Beau Ruleaux. “We’ll keep moving forward. We want to keep the spirit of this rivalry — there’s nothing wrong with a sports rivalry as long as we make sure there is respect too, and that we’re not displaying hatred.”
Ruleaux admitted that there was a mixed response to the chants, with some students and adults actually expressing indifference to the ordeal.
“Some of our students said it wasn’t bad, and some were offended,” he said. “Some of the adults I talked to said it wasn’t really a problem, and some thought it was horrible.”
The Spencer students purportedly faced disciplinary action for their conduct, however, the superintendent did not specify what it entailed.
“We don’t condone poor sportsmanship,” said Superintendent Terry Hemann. “Now, this becomes a teaching opportunity and a learning opportunity, for our community, and, most important, for our students.”
While these teens are still learning and likely don't fully realize the weight their words and actions carry, it's important to actively address this behavior rather than dismiss it as immaturity because they are quickly approaching voting age.
In fact, some high school seniors are already 18 years old, and if they are allowing their social and political lenses to be tainted with bigotry and hate, then it won't be long before the next Trump comes along in the younger generation.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Pixabay, paulbr75