TWEETS: just BOSTON being BOSTON? THIS BLACK MAN SAYS NO!
posted at 4/26/2012 7:08 PM EDT
first of, its great to see 49-north starting a subject on this issue. i was going to do it this morning but frankly was shocked at the usual parochial cluelessness of many of my fellow boston fans in perhaps not grasping that this story would blow up. forget about just failing as a hockey team, its now about failing as humans and a community in the area of race. i frankly had no clue who joel ward was before that goal. had no clue he was even black frankly during the game. thanks to the tweets, he's now the rosa parks of hockey. thanks moronic minority of bawston fans!
i happen to be black so i perhaps have a deeper sensitivity but still it was amazing no one thought it was worthy to mention a front page event like this until 4P when 49 started his thoughtful thread with just a link. to say it happens everywhere and boston is being picked on is incredibly naive. there is a history here. ask the guys at fenway. minus anson carter very briefly, how many black hockey players have there even been in boston? i dont think its much of a coincidence that mr. ward plays for a DC team. his responses were also very nuanced and on the mark:
"There is no lying about it. ... I'm definitely the one black guy in a room with 20 white guys," Ward said, according to USA Today. "There are definitely some cultural differences, such as taste in music, but I've never heard anything derogatory." "I'm definitely getting a lot of support," Ward said. "There have been a lot of Boston fans who have supported me, which is very cool to see."
But Ward, 31, told USA Today Thursday that he's never experienced racist remarks in his four seasons in the NHL -- and that he wasn't planning to let a few hateful Twitter posts ruin what he called the biggest goal of his career.
like him, i have spent a lot of years in the company of whites esp for my work. it often gets old and unless you want to be that guy, its best to just keep your mouth shut. overall, i share his sentiments. its really both an institutional and custom issue. at the grassroots and non-formal level, due to generational momentum, there is clearly much more racial anxiety than at the more formalized institutional level. most people learn to shut up with me around and to strategically keep things at the INDIVIDUAL level. hey we like you, race doesnt matter. funny though how things drastically change when i bring a black pal or 2 around or i outcompete someone for a cherished prize. i become a "one of those people" in a heartbeat. again, racism is an institutional, generational and COLLECTIVE issue. treating individual blacks in a certain way is frankly IRRELEVANT!
when our hero goalie, mr. thomas, snubbed mr. Obama and initially wrote his diatribes i came on this board and fired one of the first shots as to the deeper and long term COLLECTIVE consequences of how tragic and unfortunate it was. so many here per usual refused to come out of their bunker sand mentality and as is expected turned on me. the fact is many out there feel as mr. thomas' tea party faction does. not saying that timmy is a racist (would be unfair) in same way i wont call most muslims terrorists. HOWEVER, when alll major american terrorism issues as of late involve mostly muslims (incl that little 911 thing), common sense would make one wonder at times. let's just say when i hear about something blowing up around the world, my first thought isnt about the blonde blue-eyed neighbor next door from sweden.
most tea partyers have RACIAL anti-nonwhite issues. timmy tends to appeal very much to them in the same way a rick santorum does. they add gasoline to the fire. what could have been more blatant than shunning the first black president and openly questioning his legitimacy. just shaking the hands of such a black man and being in his presence was of such disdain to him that he shunned him. true or not, thats the perspective from the black world and the more open non-bostonian perspective out there. in most other cities, timmy would have been immediately crucified or even suspended, esp in other big cities, but no not boston. leave our timmy alone was the refrain, let him express his "individual" moronic views. you reap what you sow. it wouldnt shock me for a sec to learn timmy is a birther and one of those who just cant stand the idea that there are many who look like him who would vote for an obama strictly based on social, generational and cultural issues (i dont much like him economically but thats a different issue).
the narrative fits. do i seriously believe boston is racist (esp in comparison to other areas)? absolutely HELLL NO! lived in the area for almost 25 years. for almost every racist or racial incident i experienced, i had 10 that went the other way. must balance out the perspective. i loved the northeast far more than i ever did north carolina or the south. even here in the dc/baltimore area, there is more RACIALISM and lines in the sand at the custom level. problem with boston is that there is still enough institutional cluelessness that PERCEPTION dominates reality. timmy becomes all of you who happen to be nice decent folks who also happen to be white, whether you like it or not. thats y you should have led the fight for his suspension or reprimand when he doubled down on his impudent approach. your rightful unequivocal indignation at the twitterers should have been your reaction towards our TIMMY! too little too late!
just like the good muslims who remain silent or the blacks who do so with the clownish antics of an al sharpton or the black panthers, you get tarred with the same feather whether you like it or not. its guilt by pigment or cultural association. its not fair but its life. i will agree with many though that if mr. ward had scored for boston against washington or NY, there would have been a similar response. however, the media would have covered it differently. why? because fans in most other places live out of the bubble enough to not be so blatant as to openly express many of the thoughts that so freely rained out in those TWEETs! lets just say they are BETTER politicians and at self-regulation on race due to their institutional pressures and present conditioning.
thats just my 2 cents worth, hope i did not overcharge. GO BRUINS (minus mr. thomas)!