In Fenway park on Monday during a game of America's past time, baseball not racism Adam Jones, a Black centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles was heckled by Boston Red Sox fans, not for his play on the field but for what some fans thought he was in their eyes…a Nigga and someone to throw peanuts at. After the story picked up traction in the news, Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy condemned the actions of the fans and encouraged fans at the following night's game to give Jones a standing ovation, which they did. Herein lies the problem I have with this whole situation. White people somehow are allowed to mask the disgusting acts of one or a few members of their community with a show of emotion, avoiding any attempts to pathologize the act (Elizabeth Hasslebeck crying over the N word), while minorities are left explaining the actions of everyone in their community from rappers to 17 year olds who have been killed for no other reason than them being Black. (What about Black on Black Crime).
What rubs me the wrong way about what happened at Fenway is this is the same Boston that cheered Big Papi, a Black man, for claiming “This is our fucking city” after the Boston marathon bombing. The same city that coined the term “Boston Strong” and had a nation behind them as they hunted down those who took away the normality of life in Boston.
Now I don't want to imply the standing ovation was not a genuine gesture but I believe the emotional needle of the country has been conditioned to react when ever white masses has a panic attack, prime example the never ending protest following the election of Trump. But it takes a massive amount of Black pain to even get them to understand we have emotions too. I'm still waiting for adequate television coverage of the killing of Jordan Edwards with an AR15 in Texas. Black people in the wake of one of our own being denied justice or basic humanity are always told to protest peacefully and are quick to be labeled rioters and thugs when damage to property is caused. White folks are coddled and wrapped in the American flag for everyone to group hug when their freedom and liberty is under attack. So the message I get from what happened in Boston is not everyone their in racist, it's a great city and we can undo racism by giving a standing ovation and let's bury this asap.However, that's not honest, what is honest is the divisiveness white people, not all White People show when Black people speak of a grievance they've had with the ‘land of opportunity’. When Adam Jones spoke up there were questions if anything he described happened. Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a job after kneeling during the pledge of allegiance. Remember when Michelle Obama reminisced about the first time she felt proud of America, she almost got the whole Obama wave Kaepernick’d. Michelle's statement was coming from a true place and from Harvard Law Graduate, who put nuance around her argument, but the only thing her critics heard was her being unimpressed for a long time with America. Those opposed to people who speak of America's ills normally retort with “go back to where you came from”, “slavery is over” or to chant in unison “USA” as we saw at numerous Trump rallies. The lack of intellect is there because the evidence of how America mistreats minorities is overwhelming (Jack Nicholson voice: You can't handle the truth).
Most people would probably think that racism and discrimination is something that only older White Americans possess and delve into from time to time but they would be wrong. Take a look at college campuses and you can see how deeply rooted racism is and how friendly the faces look on the surface. There are countless examples of how young white students feel about the cultures they appropriate, from Black face parties that mock and charcuterie every stereotype about Black life, to Cinco de Drinko celebrations which mock Mexicans whom they want to build a wall against. The scary thing is in a normal setting removing those masks and costumes you can't tell who is who and how they really feel about you. Are they Bernie Sanders supports or groupies of the alt right? But for Black men we have to work so hard to not be seen as a threat and one dress down day can cost them their life, such as NYPD Officer Omar Edwards. For Black women, their twerking, language and hairstyles are so ghetto until it's worn on some Caucasian model and deemed the newest fashion/cultural trend.
Lastly and I think most important in the trickery of White people is America's dirty little secret that would make confederate flag backers and Black Nationalist nod in agreement. The further north you go, the viler the racism one encounters. Take a look at the comments of Maine's governor Paul Lepage when describing the heroin epidemic. I will give you one quote from Mr.Lepage “the enemy right now is people of color or people of Hispanic origin”. Another example is 54 State correctional facilities in the upstate New York area that make up the economies of the small towns they are in. Who supplies these prisons? Look no further than New York City, home of the largest jail perhaps on the east coast, Rikers Island as well as the Stop and Frisk policies which unfairly targeted young Black and Latino men with little to no probable cause.
The state of Northern vs Southern racism is comparative to a PH scale, which measures how acidic or basic a substance is with 0 being most acidic 14 being most basic and 7 being neutral. Being that Washington D.C is in the middle it would be 7, given the visual history of racism in the south it's safe to say the further south one goes the higher the acidity of America's racism. However, what gets neglected is the further north you go the more basic forms of racism you'll encounter. The kind of racism that looks nice, says kind things, even holds rallies against racism, but the policies and words of its politicians and constituents can have similar effects to the racism endured in the Deep South.
Now I know some of you reading this may feel like I need to shut up or I have no idea of what I'm talking about, which is your opinion to play with, but me writing this is based on how I see the world; one racially tinged moment after the next. Before Adam Jones dealt with the N word and peanuts, P.K. Subban dealt with hate on Twitter for his game winning goal, and before them Bill Russell dealt with real shit on his bed and damage to his house. I mean if you want further evidence, who throw the cup at Ron Artest to start the Malice in the Palace, who put their middle fingers up to Russell Westbrook in Philly. So while it's a great start that Adam Jones received a standing ovation the other night, what's going to be the next response to another racist fan who pushes the envelope and brings race full circle again. A magic trick to make Black and Brown people disappear??!! Some would say that process is already underway.