Staten Island . . . making us proud since, um, never

Super-de-duper. If my lovely home town (but remember, I was BORN in Manhattan!) has to make the news, it’s great that it can be for something like this.

I don’t know which is worse . . . the copycat ugliness that will come out of the woodwork as a result of this incident, or the self-righteous “Isn’t that awful?” type of attitude that I like to refer to as the “not me” definition of racism–“Wow, I can’t believe that someone would do that. Who knew that hate still existed in this day and age?” and its unspoken companion, “Well, it’s a darn good thing that I’M not a racist!”

The water is muddied somewhat by the fact that this was a North Shore Staten Island high school–and although the article doesn’t talk much about the racial make-up of the SI team, except to say that “the team includes players of every race and ethnicity”, I am struggling with the (perhaps false) assumption that even the white kids in this Staten Island school are likely to be solidly in the “Wegro” camp, which brings up all types of  questions about the use of “that word” in this setting. Not that I think it is ever appropriate for a white kid to use the word, but in this case, I honestly wonder if it was more a case of slang usage than an intentional racial slur. (If you have an opinion on this, or if you think I’m wrong to even pose the question, I would love to hear from you!)

But then again–this IS Staten Island we’re talking about, so it’s also quite possible that this really was an act of blatant racism. Either way, this was just a super way to begin my morning . . .

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