Outright A$$holes Using The N*Word OnTwitter
By Jack Kelly
As an Irish catholic male from Boston, there is always a feeling of trying to defend, in the eyes of some, that you or all of you brethren from this great city are not racists. Because of busing in the 1970′s and the horrific nonsense that Celtic great Bill Russell had to endure, Boston has a reputation for being a city less inclined to embrace anything minority. For the most part, this part of our history has faded far from current view and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, after the game winning goal by Joel Ward, who is Canadian, black-with heritage from Barbados, a few idiotic morons who claim the Bruins as their team of embracement, started using the N*word in reference to Ward scoring the GW goal and it brought our ugly history back to the national forefront.
I also want to stick up for my fellow Bostonians and declare we are not all racists and in fact, many of us, if you look at the way we consistently vote, embrace policies that confront all aspects of the racial issue, be it economically or otherwise.
So in some ways, it is good to continue to confront this issue. Race, as any semi-coherent individual should be aware of (this obviously doesn’t extend to the foolish people who publicly posted racists remarks, which btw, you can see who they are right here with the help of Deadspin ) is an issue that still illicit a high degree of emotion. Because of our original sin of slavery in the U.S., the topic of race conjures high degrees of antagonism. It is an issue that morphemes into many other areas, such as immigration, welfare fraud, Presidential politics and yes, sports.
Many sociologists will continue to study and study and study, why race continues to poke at our collective hearts with the sting of a knife, with the hope of offering an opinion that will lead to the outright elimination of it.
This is valiant effort, but it could be a combination of simplistic elements we are already aware of that could already solve this problem. For example, isn’t racism simply an extension of fear? Fear of the unknown, fear of people or things that are not like yourself? If we try to eliminate fear and work on being open-minded and retreat from our comfortable box, maybe the differences we see in skin tone, will be easily recognized, once fear is removed. In addition, as a species, we tend to be very tribalistic. We form nations and countries, states within countries, cities within states, towns within states, communities within towns. We seem predisposed to be antagonistic to being open-minded. Almost like a natural instinct to seek refuge with trusted, like-minded peers.
So on some level, the fear of the unknown and outright ignorance is what drives race. The only way to finally eradicate this insanity from our planet and continue to evolve is to confront it when we see it. This is not about being politically correct. I, like many other individuals, enjoy joking around about a variety of different topics. Sometimes, the jokes are ethnically contrived. In fact, some of the more harmonious jokes are ones based on Irish culture. However, there is a context and a place for such humor and the N*word , because of what it represents, is something never to be used, especially being directed at a black hockey player on a public forum.
It is not ok and those morons who did it, should be held accountable by their schools or place of employment.
Perhaps the best way we can evolve and continue to fight racism is to simply recite our experiences we have had that reflect positive stories of race healing. For me, attending the 2008 Democratic convention as a national delegate for now President Barack Obama was a historic experience, but moreover a personal embracement. Regardless of politics, being able to be apart of something so transformative for our country is something I will always cherish. (Btw, I would have embraced it even if it were a Republican)
So like the Travon Martin case and now the Joel Ward GW goal/Twitter reaction fiasco has reminded us, is that ignorance is something that still exists and it must be confronted immediately.
So to all you racists and ignorant assholes out there, from a kid who loves and played hockey, I hope Joel Ward goes onto win the Playoff MVP.
Hey, maybe some African-Americans kids from the hood will see how good a sport hockey is and start playing.