NHL, Not Boston, Is To Blame For Racial Internet Fodder
1 year ago
Blaming Boston for its old racist attitudes is counterproductive, says a former resident
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not reflect that of the Loop 21.
The downright jubilant vitriol with which Atlanta Hawks fans jeered Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo off the court in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, wasn’t about Rondo’s apparent bump of referee Marc Davis. No, these folks’ beef was about something deeper: The city sometimes emblazoned on Rondo’s chest.
Everybody hates Beantown. And though within the context of a heated playoff series the hatred makes sense, most black folks came to dislike Boston because they have a friend who went to college there and hated it, or you hate the city because it doesn’t “have” black people (it does).
It’s en vogue to hate Boston again thanks to the silly, racist and disgusting comments hurled at the Washington Capitals’s Joel Ward after his game-winning goal in sudden death of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Boston Bruins last week. A whole lot of Internet thugs lazily sent tweets calling Ward the n-word. This is, of course, something they’d never do to his face. "It doesn't faze me at all," Ward told USA Today. "We won, and we are moving on. People are going to say what they want to say."
Too bad those comments don’t reflect badly on Boston.
They’re about two things: the Internet and the NHL.
Sure, the tweets are a symptom of racism in our society as a whole, but most people spew their most hateful, racist comments while hiding behind the milky glow of a smartphone or computer. Just read the comment section of any story about Trayvon Martin.
But a more sinister poison has seeped into the equation: People are now professing their hatred of Boston because of the tweets. In this analysis, the city of Boston is something of an easy target, with its less than favorable history of race relations. And though that history is in its not so distant past, Boston is a far more cosmopolitan city than most imagine it. The legacy of busing and other tricky race matters have no more to do with the city’s current state than, say, Times Square’s prostitution problem.
Hate Boston all you want, but you’re being distracted from the real issue.