n an age in which the Super Bowl comes draped in red, white, and blue bunting, there are seemingly very few sporting events at which it's not OK to express your patriotism. And yet, high school students at Alamo Heights in San Antonio, Texas, were recently reprimanded for chanting "USA! USA!" after their basketball team won against rival Edison. Why? Edison is predominantly Hispanic. Alamo Heights officials quickly apologized for what many viewed as a racist dig, but some in the community say the school overreacted. Was the chant racist?
Yes. The sentiment couldn't have been clearer: The Alamo students implied that Edison's kids "are not American," Leslie Price, a spokesperson for San Antonio's school district, tells Fox News. The cheer was racially motivated, not patriotic, and was "chanted selectively at a school that is predominantly Hispanic." There's a place for "competitiveness and rivalry, but you need to choose your words and think about the meaning behind them."
"High school chant of 'USA! USA! USA! deemed racist"
No. It was simply an expression of patriotism: The charge of racism is absurd, says Ironic Surrealism. No one should have to apologize for "showing pride in the USA." And the hypocrisy here is staggering. If a Hispanic team had chanted "'Viva Mexico,' school officials would have remained silent, and the media would have ignored it."
"High school basketball fans disciplined for racist "USA USA USA" victory chant but opposition's 'Alamo Whites' overlooked"
We're all overreacting: The chanting was unfortunate, says George Rodriguez at The San Antonio Express-News, but it wasn't entirely unprovoked. Many reports haven't bothered to note that some Edison students were chanting "Alamo Whites," oversimplifying the situation as "mean racist whites against poor victimized Hispanics." And in our rush to be politically correct, we've replaced "civil rights" with "civil revenge." The offending Alamo students, who only chanted for "about five seconds," are being punished, and "that should have been enough."
"Heights chant offends Edison"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- Why Good Friday is so important to Christians
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 18, 2014
- How moderns celebrate Good Friday and Easter
Subscribe to the Week