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High Schoolers Accused Racially Charged USA Chant

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 09:06 am
Are we carrying this too far? Or is a predominately white school being insensitive by having a USA night as a theme for their game? --- also remember that these theme nights are planned way before they even know who they will be playing in tournament play.

It was only a year or two ago that an American-themed night at a high school basketball game was seen as innocent fun. But with racial tensions escalating, the rise of Donald Trump's campaign for president, and accusations over who real Americans are, Mansfield High School now finds itself under criticism.

High school students at Mansfield High School are disputing accusations that a USA chant was used with a racially charged undertone during a game against a school with a high number of immigrants.

Friday night, Mansfield fans used the chant during a tournament game between the Hornets boys' basketball team and the Brockton Boxers. The chant was part of an American-themed evening which saw fans from Mansfield wear red, white, and blue while chanting the country's name.

http://patch.com/massachusetts/mansfield-ma/mansfield-basketball-fans-accused-mocking-brockton-usa-chants
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,977 • Replies: 20
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 10:46 am
@Linkat,
The feelings of the Brockton players and fans should be respected, and their concerns should be heard. I don't know what "carrying this too far" means.

It sounds like the administrators for both schools are handling this appropriately.

I don't see anything I would have done differently.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 11:34 am
So, what were they chanting, exactly?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 11:47 am
@InfraBlue,
I think just "USA, USA".
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 11:49 am
@maxdancona,
Meaning that the students at Mansfield were not racially motivated.
Meaning are we being too PC - I am not saying that is the case, but if you read the whole article there is mention of it. This is very normal at least in our local high school sports - there are also "black out" and "white out" themes - not racial - but you wear that particular color - we also had a camouflage theme and a beach theme before. It is kind of a way to get the students watching the games involved. It really shouldn't be a surprise to have a theme night I guess is what I am trying to say.

Meaning should this high school be criticized?

I think both schools handled it well - it just seems odd that someone would take offensive to it - it would be different if they yelled something ethnic or mean -- I guess this means all the high schools will have to let all the visiting schools know ahead of time what and when their theme nights are.

Here are some of the comments in the article -
"This is absolutely crazy. I'm from another country my son born in the USA was at the game and I did not feel targeted,"

"Wait a minute, last time I checked, Brockton was located in Massachusetts which is, to the best of my knowledge, a part of the United States, no?,"

"This might be one of the most pathetic things I've read that pertained to someone being 'offended',"

The funny thing is I attended and graduated from Brockton High.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 11:52 am
@InfraBlue,
Yes it was USA, USA.

Going to BHS - we have a very large population of Cape Verdeans, as well as many other ethnic groups. As it stated in the article it is very ethnically diverse. Mansfield is predominately white suburb type of school.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 12:35 pm
@Linkat,
My kids are Hispanic. I completely understand why these kids would take offense.

The kids making this chant also understood the racial undertones. No one chants "USA USA" at a sporting event when both teams are considered American, the implication that one team was not American is pretty obvious.

If both of these teams had been predominantly White, these chants would not have happened. They would not have made sense (even with an America themed day). This is not saying it was planned beforehand... but the chants were a clear message that one team considered itself more American than the other.

Kids aren't stupid.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 12:56 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

--- also remember that these theme nights are planned way before they even know who they will be playing in tournament play.


The USA theme may have been planned early. I can see it as thoughtful to change the theme, dumb not to, given the explosive racist raging going on these days, but am not all so sure the suburban players meant it that way.
I've no personal experience for theme planning for high school games, at all, not to mention its complexities, if any.
What did the Brockton team and fans say? (sorry, you might have said and I missed it)


I edited, had meant to say 'Brockton team and fans say', not Mansfield.


Now I have to look up where Brockton is - is it in Southy? Some of my family may have lived there as it sounds familiar.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 12:59 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
I guess this means all the high schools will have to let all the visiting schools know ahead of time what and when their theme nights are.


good idea

might make them think things through better
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:06 pm
@maxdancona,
I have actually heard of banning USA chant as it has a double meaning of You Suck A$$.

I think I might agree with you if the theme day wasn't already planned. I know that schools in our area are very careful about being PC. They are overly careful of making sure others are not offended by almost anything - I guess that is why I wouldn't think there would be ill intend.

I think it would be difficult to know unless you were actually at the game. And yes at sporting events you often hear USA USA and Boston Strong - especially after things like the Marathon Bombing. Now if they were not holding an American theme event it might seem out of character. You would really have to see what content it came from.

I kind of took it wasn't as both superintendents from Brockton and Mansfield denied that the chants were racially charged.

I know living in such a community especially with those parents whose first language is not English they misunderstand some things as well the cultural that they could have taken it differently.

And seeing there were comments both ways of people attending that are not naturally born in the US - it is tough to really say.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:13 pm
@ossobuco,
It is in Massachusetts - south of Boston
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:18 pm
@Linkat,
I hit the maps, and see it's more southern. It would have been a long time ago anyway, before the family moved to Watertown.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:23 pm
@ossobuco,
This is what I got from the local Brockton paper -

Almost the same from the Mansfield one.

http://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20160308/NEWS/160306378

There were only 2 comments from Brockton people - one for each side in a sense.


orlando galvao
In my opinion and again I repeat in my opinion this is a LIE! Saying you plan this along time ago is not only disrespecting us more but you also disrespecting New Bedford , the team you played in the first round of the playoffs! This was not planned a long time ago! This so call theme of yours was planned the day before the game! And you was well advised of the team you were playing! You thank people and Brockton won't pick up on this you think we're all stupid? You played New Bedford on Wednesday then Brocktom less then 48 hours after. And it was at school the next, Thursday that IMO this was planned. It would've been better Mansfields front office just said " there was no bad intent" then trying to make excuses for their kids and sound foolish.« less

Ryan Berlund

@orlando galvao I don't know about the rest of Brockton, but I think you're acting stupid. I never went to high school in the Mansfield area, nor do I know anything about sports, so I don't know when the theme was chosen. How is planning it a while ago even more offensive? The coach released a statement saying the kids on the team weren't offended. I've been insulted for my race, among other things about me that I can't control, and I don't think this is a case of discrimination. One of my friends who lives in Mansfield told for spirit week they had a Mardis Gras day. Is that racist, too? There are so many articles that have responded to this perfectly. Even a journalist from Brockton who has attended TONS of games for both teams explained in detail all of the reasons it WASN'T racially charged.« less
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:29 pm
The funny thing is - having girls involved in high school and middle school sports - all this kids know each other. Even if they are on competing schools - often times these same kids play together on an AAU or club team especially at this point in tournament play - it is all south sectional.

My daughter plays on high school basketball and high school softball - she no longer plays AAU basketball but used to - so she plays against girls who used to be on her AAU team - another girl she does a fitness program with. In softball she competes against her club teammates.

So any of the really good players tend to also play on an AAU of club team - so the top schools that are within the same section as it is noted - play against each in tournament play so many not only know the other players, but often are teammates of them and have been for several years.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 01:31 pm
@ossobuco,
I agree - more short-sighted. My guess in the excitement of making it so far, they were short-sighted. I think also maybe for tournament play - they should forgo theme nights - although we had one it was beach night on our first night of tournament play.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 02:42 pm
@Linkat,
good point
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 03:02 pm
@Linkat,
is there a reason the theme night can't be shared and have both schools have the same one on a tournament day/night?

seems like the competitive thing can go too far - be too divisive

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 03:03 pm
@ehBeth,
I wonder that too.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2016 04:08 pm
@ehBeth,
Usually theme night is in support of your school (kind of like to get all the kids wearing the same thing) - some of them can get weird and some underlying meanings - not mean ones just weird ones that might not be understood. Like our beach night - it was because of the coach's name -- it linked in an odd way with beach (name is fisher). We have had camouflage so everyone wears camouflage colors; we have had pajama and so forth.

I think in this case it would have been better to let them know but I think the school was probably not really thinking at the time.

There isn't really a reason not to include the other team other than it is geared at being a spirit sort of thing for the school and some might seem weird for the other team to wear beach theme to support the opposing coach.

The one thing that is usually made known ahead of time is senior night - simply because there are posters, decorations all over the place - and also the team will recognize the opposing team's seniors as well.

I think generally this will make the schools think a little before they choose their theme.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2016 02:37 pm
Isn't every night in America a US themed night? I thought the whole idea of a theme was to do something different, not same old same old.
0 Replies
 
 

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