There exists a strange sort of arrogance in Canadian culture. It’s one that helps us feel a meager measure of superiority over our larger, louder, more populous and far less concerned neighbors to the South. It’s one that values the idea of a cultural mosaic above that of a melting pot, and it imagines that such a hierarchy of values rings true in the hearts of every Canadian. It’s one that says:
Hey there, Mr. and Mrs. Immigrant, there’s a nice little place for you right here in the collective stained glass window of our nation.
It’s patently false. We’re a country of ignorant and stupid morons who discriminate against people with differences just like every other nation on earth. What’s so maddening to me about Canada’s xenophobia is that a) I live in this country and not others, where I’m sure I’d be equally disturbed by it; b) That we imagine ourselves to be so high above something that we’re not; and c) The continued platform given to Don Cherry by Canada’s national broadcasting network.
On the Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Gurdeep Ahluwalia and Nabil Karim hosted TSN’s Sports Centre (notice the “re” instead of the “er”), as they did once before in March of 2012. Both Ahluwalia and Karim have brown-colored skin. This, to many Canadian sports fans who are used to seeing the white-colored skin of Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole was cause to take to social media and express off-colored jokes.
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On September 29th, during a varsity football game in West Texas between Lamesa High School and Greenwood High School, one player verbally abused another player with a slew of racial slurs. In response to the disgraceful name-calling, 16-year-old Lamesa High student O’Sean Williams struck the offending Greenwood player. Both student-athletes were subsequently ejected from the game.
Sadly, racist slurs and taunting are common occurrences at every level of competition, on any continent in the world. On January 3rd, AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng responded to racist chants from the crowd at a friendly match against Lega Pro 2 side Pro Patria (who play in the fourth highest professional division in Italy) by kicking a ball into the stands and vacating the field with his teammates.
Following the walk-out, AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said that he would do the same thing again if one of his players was racially abused, regardless if it was during a friendly or an official Serie A match. The club’s director, Umberto Gandini, concurred, applauding his team’s actions via Twitter.
Very proud of the Milan players who decided to walk off the pitch today for racist abuse from a few idiots! No racism, no stupidity!
Unfortunately, Williams had no such support from the coaching staff or administration at Lamesa High. In fact, three days after his ejection from the game, a teacher at his school who also works as the team’s athletic trainer published a blog post on My Big Campus, a site that offers schools something similar to a corporate intranet, disparaging the student for reacting to a spiteful pejorative in such a violent manner.
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