“Racial incident mars high school game,” San Antonio’s KSAT reported March 5. “School district, students apologize.”
When the final whistle blew Saturday, Alamo Heights celebrated a convincing victory over San Antonio Edison.
Alamo Heights Head Coach Andrew Brewer said he was proud of his [basketball] team….“As with almost every report on any mainstream news site, you’ll find the real story in the comments underneath the official one.”
But it was just after the trophy presentation when the coach was not proud of the chant coming from Alamo Heights fans.
“USA, USA, USA,” they chanted.
San Antonio Independent School District officials took the chant as a racial insult to a school with all minority players from a school with mostly white ones.
Don’t you remember a similar outrage when Mexicans in Los Angeles booed the US soccer team? Me neither.
Regarding this recent racist tragedy in San Antonio, I know what you’re thinking—White kids playing basketball?!—but stay focused. The above account is only what happened according to the local TV station. As with almost every report on any mainstream news site, you’ll find the real story in the comments underneath the official one.
Today it’s easy for average Americans to fact-check reporters and try to correct the narrative. Maybe too easy. Debunking the “hate crime” du jour via online outlets is technically simple, but it can also be an addictive, psychologically and physically draining time-suck. (See “Breitbart, Andrew.”)
These days there are finally two sides to every news story: the story itself, then all the facts that the commenters show the editor tried to hide. My overall mood has improved immensely since I acquired the habit of reading the news upside down. That is, I first scroll down to see what commenters are saying about this or that “explosive revelation” or “growing controversy.” Inevitably, ordinary folks respond by the hundreds to smug op-eds or biased, overblown “news” stories with colorful variations on the word “bullshit,” thereby reaffirming my faith in humanity.
(Best of all? When you see those magic words: “Comments have been closed for this article,” that’s the tattered white flag run up the fort’s flagpole.)
I guess “reading from below” is Bob Parks’s sanity strategy, too, because the BlackAndRight.com blogger scanned the comments at the news station’s Facebook page and discovered colorful details about this “racial incident” that KSAT’s reporter weirdly neglected to mention.
Specifically, fans at the game said players on the “largely Hispanic” losing team “were rude shouting out during the playing of our countries [sic] national anthem,” they made fun of “Eddie a disabled kid and shouted rude things at him” and “had a sign that said ‘alamo heights suck my.…’”
Witness James Russell added helpfully, “We have chanted [‘USA! USA!’] at multiple games against all sorts of different races. We did not mean to be racist, if we were we could have said other things.”
The 3000+ comments under the original KSAT.com “news” story tell a similar tale:
[A]pparently the chant was in retaliation for the OTHER team chanting “ALAMO WHITES ALAMO WHITES”, mocking the Alamo team for being made up of (apparently) Anglo-looking white students, as opposed to the largely Hispanic makeup of the aggrieved team. Kind of funny it was whites at “Alamo” who defeated Hispanics in “battle” ;)
In case your Racial Slang Enigma Machine is in the shop: While not quite rising to the already flaccid level of “cracker,” the expression “Alamo Whites” is (at least according to the Urban Dictionary) an actual thing—the moral equivalent of the Hispanic players shouting, “WASPs! WASPs!”
Except that some of the players on the Alamo Heights team who were disciplined for chanting “USA!” are…Hispanic.
We only know about any of this because some severely normal people spoke up, but not before the original, one-sided report of this “racial incident” had already made its way around the nation.
Still, I remember when the only option you had when confronted with shameless media spin was to yell at the radio, shoot your TV, or send a letter to the editor that would likely be ignored.
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