February 2, 2023

Refs were just forced to end a high school basketball game due to students’ racist chants

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Keeping track of all the horrendous racist incidents occurring during the Trump era can be a depressing and exhausting affair, but it’s crucial we do it so that the victims don’t go unheard and ignored. The president has brought the deepest, most racist elements of American society bubbling to the surface and we must push back against every new case of injustice by shaming the perpetrators.


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WLWT-TV reports that last Friday, students from Elder High School, an all-male Catholic school,  attended a basketball game in Cincinnati and chanted racist attacks against an Asian-American player and black player for St. Xavier’s, the opposite team. The Elder students also hurled homophobic slurs.  

“I was sickened, just sickened. They were relentless. It went as far as, ‘Asian, open your eyes. Go play chess, PF Chang’s,” said Susan Stockman, the mother of one of the players targeted by the racists.

The other victim, a black student, was targeted with insults about him being on “welfare” and “crack.” The boy’s mother, Mina Jackson, described her feelings in the moment.

“It’s surreal. I mean, you hear it and you assume someone’s going to act swiftly, seize the moment and let that be the lesson — and that didn’t occur. So then you’re dealing with just an absence, a failure of leadership,” said Jefferson.

The homophobic insults starting flying at the bystanders who called out the aggressors for being racist.  The verbal assault lasted for three quarters before the game was finally called off when the coaches of the opposing team confronted the referees about the Elder fan’s disgusting behavior.

Elder High School Principal Kurt Ruffing apologized yesterday.

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“Look around you. You have students, your classmates, who are of different race, of different ethnicity, sitting right next to you. Is that how you would treat them?” Ruffing asked his students.

It was not the first time that students from Elder have engaged in overt racism, Stockman said but added that this year was the worst it’s ever been. The entire sordid affair is just another reminder that racism is very much alive and coursing through modern society. Trump didn’t invent the bigotry, but he did exploit it and expose its potency.

Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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