Fight Breaks Out After Oklahoma High School Students Engage in 'Racist Taunting' of Black Basketball Players on Opposing Team

Illustration for article titled Fight Breaks Out After Oklahoma High School Students Engage in 'Racist Taunting' of Black Basketball Players on Opposing Team
Photo: Mason Vranish (Shutterstock)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A lot of people need to get it out of their heads that racism will go away once older generations of white people die off.

Advertisement

The fact is, those generations of white people raised children and a lot of those children are turning out to be racist AF themselves. In fact, last time I brought this up, it was in reference to a story about a Black middle school student in Oklahoma who said his teacher went full KKKaren over his “Black King” T-shirt and started ranting about how America needs a White History Month—a sentiment the Black student said was shared by the majority of his white classmates who all immediately sided with the teacher and all of her white nonsense.

Well, now we have another story of youthful racism coming out of Oklahoma—this time it happened during a high school basketball game.

The Oklahoman reports that last Thursday, a fight broke out between students from Newcastle High School and students from the predominantly Black John Marshall High School after a Class 4A regional playoff basketball game between the two schools. The fight was reportedly prompted by racial slurs and abuse committed by a white Newcastle student against players from the opposing team.

From the Oklahoman:

Newcastle students prompted the fight with “vile racist and derogatory taunting,” said Paula Lewis, chairperson of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education. Lewis said the fight that ensued was “deeply unfortunate,” but it was caused by racist insults going unchecked during and after the game.

“I say this clearly — our kids, our staff, our parents, and our supporters should never have to face being the subject of racial attacks and slurs at any school event,” Lewis said in a written statement Tuesday. “Our kids should not feel like they have to fight to defend themselves.”

John Marshall’s student body and basketball team are predominantly Black.

Newcastle Superintendent Melonie Hau issued an apology Tuesday and said racial slurs are “intolerable.” Officials from both schools met Monday night to share information from their respective investigations and to discuss how to move toward reconciliation.

However, Hau said referees at the game reported hearing no slurs until after play ended and players were leaving the court.

Advertisement

I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out all the reasons Hau needs to STFU.

First, it doesn’t matter when the racial slurs were said, it only matters that they were said and unless someone is seeking to downplay the racism that reportedly happened at their school, there would be no reason to mention that the slurs only happened as players were leaving—even if that were true, which it’s likely not.

Advertisement

Here’s more:

Oklahoma City school district officials concluded — based on interviews with players, coaches and Newcastle fans — that Newcastle students called the John Marshall team racial slurs throughout the game while Newcastle employees were within earshot, according to the letter to the OSSAA.

“Even though Newcastle employees were allegedly sitting in and near the student section during the game, not a single action was taken to cause the abusive treatment of our student-athletes to subside,” McDaniel and Lewis’ letter, which The Oklahoman obtained, states. “No Newcastle student was removed. No Newcastle student was warned. No Newcastle student was reprimanded in any way during the game.”

Advertisement

Yet, according to the Oklahoman, Hau continued to state that the racial slurs didn’t happen during the game—which, again, does not matter—and said that a “significant amount” of misinformation circulating social media falsely claimed otherwise. It’s almost as if she took the referees’ claims that they hadn’t heard any slurs used until after the game at face value because that’s what she’d rather believe and she ignored what was said by coaches, players and fans.

Anyway, the student who started the racial taunting has been “disciplined” (whatever that means), according to the report, and the school district has launched an investigation to determine which Newcastle students joined the fight that erupted afterwards.

Advertisement

Unfortunately, the two Black students from John Marshall who can be seen on video throwing punches have also been “disciplined” and the letter sent by Lewis and Oklahoma City Superintendent Sean McDaniel included an apology saying they don’t condone “settling issues with our fists.”

Advertisement

Of course, the letter also rightfully mentioned that the fight could have been much worse if Black people hadn’t shown so much restraint in the face of blatant racism.

“Oklahoma coaches, parents, teachers, adults failed these kids,” Lewis said, the Oklahoman reports. “I will not ask them to be accountable to a system that isn’t accountable to itself. We must do better—and I intend to see that we do.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

honkifyoulovebeermeb
HonkIfYouLoveBeer

they don’t condone “settling issues with our fists.”

Miss me with that bullshit. It’s 2021, fists are the only rational response to explicit, intentional racism