(on the left – not Bill Belichick)
Though Dave Zirin’s latest contribtion to The Nation, “‘Trump’ Has Become a Racial Taunt at High School Sporting Events” was published before other outlets reported that the Hooded Casanova had broken bread with the GOP front-runner, Zirin argues the likes of Tom Brady, Mike Ditka and Colin Cowherd have lent legitimacy to the candidate, while warning, “a Trump-inspired act of violence..seems like merely a matter of time.” Though you could argue we’ve already seen a few.
In the Midwest, in two instances that we know about, high school basketball teams with Latino players have been denigrated by white fans and students from opposing teams with the chant “Trump.” Perry, Iowa, is a town of just 8,000 people. Built around a Tyson Foods plant, it has a population that is 35 percent Latino. Forty-eight percent of the students at the local high school, according to principal Dan Marburger, are people of color. “We are really more of an urban school in a rural setting,” is how Marburger put it. He said it with pride, because the school has been able to make an integrated setting work in a very monochromatic part of the country. The Perry basketball team has Latino, white, black, and Native American players and stands as a proud symbol of how they are able to function as a community.
At a recent game between Perry and a rival team from Dallas Center-Grimes high school, opposing fans chanted “Trump” and racial slurs, and threatened to build a wall and kick the Perry players out of the country. After the incident, Perry student Kevin Lopez told reporters, “We are all aware of racism; it’s alive and well in small portions, but it’s alive and well, and it’s just hurtful to see that’s what they resort to.”
That was a public school matchup. In Merrillville, Indiana, two Catholic schools—both part of the Gary, Indiana, Diocese—Bishop Noll and Andrean, faced off. The Bishop Noll team is majority Latino and had to face a large Donald Trump head being held up in the Andrean student section. Andrean students, according to numerous reports, also chanted “Build a wall!” and “Speak English!”