Cincinnati Enquirer: We're All Better Than This Racist Crap Going on at Our Area High Schools, by Paul Daugherty:
Standing at the free throw line Friday night at Elder High School, St. Xavier senior basketball player Bobby Jefferson was no more than 30 feet from the Elder students who chanted this at him:
“He can’t read.’’
Later, Jefferson would also hear:
“(He) smokes crack.’’
“(He’s) on welfare.’’ ...
For the record, Bobby Jefferson is an African-American, headed to Dartmouth College next fall. ...
What the heck is going on with us? What are we doing?
Have we suddenly lost our minds and misplaced our collective conscience?
I’ve lived here 30 years. Today is the first day I’m embarrassed about that.
First, we had kids in a recreational league wearing jerseys bearing the words “Knee Grow’’ and “Coon’’. Now, we have students at Elder, disgracing themselves, their families and their school. When might it stop, when do the angels of our better natures reappear?
Elder High School is better than this. Its students are better. Their parents who raised them are better, the city in which they live is better. We’re all better than the racist crap we’ve had to put up with from our high school kids the last few weeks. ...
Mina Jefferson, Bobby’s mother [and Associate Dean, Chief of Staff, and Director of the Center for Professional Development at the University of Cincinnati College of Law] was in the stands Friday night. She listened to the slurs for more than a half, until St. X coach Jimmy Lallathin beseeched the referees to do something. That’s when an Elder coach told the students to cool it.
“Who’s in charge here?’’ Mina recalled thinking. “Why isn’t someone taking control? We were baffled. It was so clear. It persisted and no one did anything. This was a culture where this clearly seems to be OK.’’ ...
When the St. X fans answered the Elder students by chanting “Racists,’’ the Elder kids responded with, “Faggots.’’
Cincinnati Enquirer, These Three Moms Know More About Racism in Schools Than Most:
Mina Jefferson, an attorney and law school administrator, explained that she had watched that same night unfold like she was watching a movie.
Her son was at the free-throw line shooting a technical foul, she said.
A pair of glasses were tossed onto the court. He didn’t know if they were thrown at him. He didn’t know what was happening.
The students were chanting about her son and referencing welfare, crack and his inability to read. (Bobby Jefferson is set to enter Dartmouth in the fall.)
His mom looked down and saw her son’s mouth wide open. He looked up into the stands.
She thought about doing something. About walking down to the court to demand the officials or coaches stop it.
Cincinnati Enquirer: Racism Is a Tradition Here in Cincinnati, Apparently, by Paul Daugherty:
My mood is as ashen as the sky today. Between last night and now, I’ve spent several hours reading and answering emails from folks reacting to Tuesday’s column on the hate speech tossed like confetti at a basketball game at Elder last Friday night.
It’s been thoughtful correspondence, mostly. They are angry and appalled. What they aren't, sadly, is surprised. The great majority of the e-mailers told me that this sort of ignorance is a regular occurrence at high school sporting events around here.
That’s beyond awful. That makes my heart hurt. ...
Elder released a statement late Tuesday afternoon, saying the chants/slurs began in the 3rd quarter. That’s false. They began in the 1st quarter. Elder said it “quickly’’ acted to shut them down. That’s false. An Elder coach admonished the student section in the 3rd quarter. If Elder is going to be serious about addressing this, it should start by shooting straight in the press release. ...
I said we’re better than what happened at Elder. I believe that. I have to. What about you?