Results 1 to 25 of 527

Thread: Race thread (will be moved on Monday night)

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,314

    Default Race thread (will be moved on Monday night)

    These are difficult times, for almost everyone. From COVID-19 to racial disparities to political turmoil, 2020 has not exactly been a highlight. I know this is not the defunct OCC, so I want to try and stay away consciously from anything political or needlessly controversial. Mods, feel free to delete or move if you wish. I'm a white male in his mid 30's and so I'm really not the right person to write about this topic, but I found the lack of a thread notable in its omission, even on a basketball forum, given the events of the past week. So, just a few thoughts that I would like to share, trying my best to generally stick to the forum topic of Gonzaga Men's Basketball.

    Sports are often viewed as a true meritocracy. At times, this might be true. At many other times, there clearly remain stereotypes and systemic issues that still infiltrate sports at all levels. Sports also inevitably exist within the framework of a society, including both the cultural norms of each region (see: college football in the south) and the zeitgeist of each era. So, as much as many like to see sports as a distraction from "real world issues," this is really not the case for most athletes nor is it really true for most fans. You may choose to watch sports and tune out the seemingly external but intertwined factors that impact every level of competition...but in my opinion it is worth acknowledging that not all are able to do so.

    When I was a Gonzaga student, I distinctly remember hearing a man in Safeway standing in line in front of me refer to a certain player as a “thug." I wasn’t friends with said player, but I knew him well enough to know that nothing could have been further from the truth and it was eye-opening to me to realize how easily racial issues seep into things as seemingly innocuous as player evaluations. We often heard players labeled as “athletic” or “hard-nosed” based almost solely on racial stereotypes. We see comparisons to other players made based almost solely on appearance. Sports are a great way to find unity but they are just as prone to bias, prejudice, and discrimination as any other institution.

    That said, I believe that the Gonzaga men’s basketball team is a beautiful microcosm of what multiculturalism can look like at its best. The staff has brought in players from many cultures and backgrounds and integrated these young men into a successful team each and every year while also (at least from my outsider perspective) allowing individual player styles, beliefs, and values. Embracing diversity doesn't mean covering up differences, and sharing a uniform doesn't mean sharing life experiences or beliefs. Much like in life, college basketball includes both individual and collective goals, and the reality is that both must be acknowledged and advanced. It seems like, as a fan, that the Zags are able to strike this balance quite well.

    In addition, we have been fortunate to have so many young men choose to come to Spokane, which is admittedly not a city of extensive diversity. I could discuss in much more detail some of the sociological research about these types of moves, suffice to say it is not always easy or comfortable to go to a place where your racial or cultural background is minimally represented. It is assuredly a testament to the University, the coaches and staff, and the “program” as a whole; but even more so it’s worth being appreciative of the players and their families for their willingness to place their trust in the team and the community. It is often noted how much this transition can be a major one for international players, but for a 17-year-old black teen to commit to a college where 71% of students and 85% of faculty are white takes genuine courage. I hope that Gonzaga has been and will continue to be a safe and welcoming home for all who have done so.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    17,551

    Default

    Though it’s admittedly from 35,000 feet, my view is staunchly that Gonzaga’s multicultural history is nonpareil in the CBB game. It’s Few’s greatest achievement bar none and if it’s not, it should be the envy of every college president and AD throughout the country. Magnificent.



    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan24 View Post
    These are difficult times, for almost everyone. From COVID-19 to racial disparities to political turmoil, 2020 has not exactly been a highlight. I know this is not the defunct OCC, so I want to try and stay away consciously from anything political or needlessly controversial. Mods, feel free to delete or move if you wish. I'm a white male in his mid 30's and so I'm really not the right person to write about this topic, but I found the lack of a thread notable in its omission, even on a basketball forum, given the events of the past week. So, just a few thoughts that I would like to share, trying my best to generally stick to the forum topic of Gonzaga Men's Basketball.

    Sports are often viewed as a true meritocracy. At times, this might be true. At many other times, there clearly remain stereotypes and systemic issues that still infiltrate sports at all levels. Sports also inevitably exist within the framework of a society, including both the cultural norms of each region (see: college football in the south) and the zeitgeist of each era. So, as much as many like to see sports as a distraction from "real world issues," this is really not the case for most athletes nor is it really true for most fans. You may choose to watch sports and tune out the seemingly external but intertwined factors that impact every level of competition...but in my opinion it is worth acknowledging that not all are able to do so.

    When I was a Gonzaga student, I distinctly remember hearing a man in Safeway standing in line in front of me refer to a certain player as a “thug." I wasn’t friends with said player, but I knew him well enough to know that nothing could have been further from the truth and it was eye-opening to me to realize how easily racial issues seep into things as seemingly innocuous as player evaluations. We often heard players labeled as “athletic” or “hard-nosed” based almost solely on racial stereotypes. We see comparisons to other players made based almost solely on appearance. Sports are a great way to find unity but they are just as prone to bias, prejudice, and discrimination as any other institution.

    That said, I believe that the Gonzaga men’s basketball team is a beautiful microcosm of what multiculturalism can look like at its best. The staff has brought in players from many cultures and backgrounds and integrated these young men into a successful team each and every year while also (at least from my outsider perspective) allowing individual player styles, beliefs, and values. Embracing diversity doesn't mean covering up differences, and sharing a uniform doesn't mean sharing life experiences or beliefs. Much like in life, college basketball includes both individual and collective goals, and the reality is that both must be acknowledged and advanced. It seems like, as a fan, that the Zags are able to strike this balance quite well.

    In addition, we have been fortunate to have so many young men choose to come to Spokane, which is admittedly not a city of extensive diversity. I could discuss in much more detail some of the sociological research about these types of moves, suffice to say it is not always easy or comfortable to go to a place where your racial or cultural background is minimally represented. It is assuredly a testament to the University, the coaches and staff, and the “program” as a whole; but even more so it’s worth being appreciative of the players and their families for their willingness to place their trust in the team and the community. It is often noted how much this transition can be a major one for international players, but for a 17-year-old black teen to commit to a college where 71% of students and 85% of faculty are white takes genuine courage. I hope that Gonzaga has been and will continue to be a safe and welcoming home for all who have done so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane South Side
    Posts
    17,080

    Default

    Wow, Zagfan24. That's a nice piece of writing. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    294

    Default

    Zagfan24 I truly appreciate this and thank you for your thoughts. I will refrain from posting some of the things that I saw as a student as it was more than a few years ago now, as much as I would like to say much has changed, I am sure much has not. Thank you again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    765

    Default

    That was a thoughtful post. Thank you.

    I am not black, but as the first of my family born in the US who came from Iran, I am darker than many. After two years living in Spokane, the only racism I experienced was someone told me to "park like a white man." In his defense, I was driving a 3/4 Cummins with a hitch poking its head into the drive. I thought I made out pretty well being so close to the Idaho panhandle. That said, I don't have the benefit of seeing life in Spokane, or anywhere in the US through the lens of a black person, or another immediately-obvious minority. It can be hard to remember to color our opinion with only our own experiences, and zagfan24 got a brief window into another life, much less living that life everyday. Without telling people what to believe, I think the OP did a good job encouraging us to form our beliefs using a real crack at empathy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Go Zags!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    9,077

    Default

    I'm really having trouble biting my tongue over the lip service that is essentially excusing the rioting and looting that is occurring. Those cops whose dereliction of duty cost George his life should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm fine with the protesting, as long as it remains peaceful. You lose me when lawyers in NY start throwing firebombs into police cars, or when a 190 unit affordable housing project is burned to the ground in Minneapolis.

    For 72 years now, the United States Military has been desegregated, and is the best example of what our country should aspire to when it comes to race relations. From the minute I went on active duty, I was a minority. At that time Air Defense Artillery was about 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 Hispanic. My best Group Commander was a black man, Johnie Forte Jr., who would achieve the rank of Brigadier General. That man stood up for me when my white Battery Commander and white Battalion Commander were trying to screw me over.

    I served with black NCOs and enlisted men, and we were a team. One of my favorite positions was as a Vulcan Platoon Leader. My platoon sergeant was black, and 3 of my 4 squad leaders were AJ's, "acting jacks", E4s in E6 slots. We came together, and were the only platoon (of 4) to pass a battery level tactical evaluation.

    As a Battery Commander at Fort Bliss, my First Sergeant and Training NCO were black, and our 300 man battery was racially diverse. I'll never forget the day my 1st Sergeant said "there's times I'm scared of you." LOL, this guy was Sergeant Rock! He told me when I was angry, my eyes looked like a rattlesnake's just before it strikes.

    I am extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership and courage displayed by the Governor of Minnesota. The man served in the Minnesota Guard for 24 years, and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. In the first few days of "protesting", he didn't raise a finger when a Minneapolis police station was destroyed by rioters.

    I'm all for teaching American history, warts and all. We have plenty of black marks, from slavery to broken treaties with Native Americans, to putting citizens of Japanese descent into concentration camps during WWII. Along the way, Americans of all colors, creeds, and faiths have come together to perform great deeds throughout the world. For all of our faults, no country has done more to right its wrongs than the United States.

    Rant off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane
    Posts
    304

    Default

    I appreciate that the mods left this thread open. I assume that has not been an easy decision, and I also assume part of the reason it’s left open is a recognition of the importance of this topic, at this specific time.

    Also while there are clearly posters with fundamentally different perspectives, I’m encouraged by the fact that for the most part folks are respectful. We are all, every one of us, only seeing a piece of the puzzle, those we disagree with are only seeing a different piece.

    The piece of the puzzle that I’m seeing right now is that if some of us had lived some of the experiences we’ve read about Sam Dower experiencing, there would be a major shift in which piece of reality carried more weight as we thought about these issues.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Interesting series of points


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    seattle, spokane
    Posts
    3,313

    Default

    this is one of the most polite conversations I could ever imagine, when people can hide behind anonymity, or vent, I am really impressed. The opinions of reds and blues are in here and everything in between, and we are giving and taking and sometimes soul searching and giving others credit for points they hadn't thought of.
    this country would do well to copy our message board, i believe that reds and blues talking to each other is a step in the right direction, and I don't see it happen that much. race is a part of college basketball and I agree zag basketball is a shining example of how much progress can happen with all ethnicities.
    congratulations to us all, in my humble opinion
    go zags
    please let there be a basketball season next year
    what sacrifice can I offer to appease the basketball gods?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,191

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Hill
    Posts
    718

    Default

    The name "Black lives matter" is a cloaked insult. It's meant to divide Americans. I'm not talking about the people in BLM, just the name.

    The name implies that there is a group of people in the US that don't care about black lives. It also allows anyone arguing against any position the group takes (no matter how destructive) to be accused being against "black lives mattering". The same can be said for the name "Antifa".

    From the outset, just the name makes defining and finding solutions for problems very difficult because it introduces an adversarial position before any discussion starts. It's just like the old lawyer joke, "Sir, have you quit beating your wife?". No matter how you answer the question, it frames you as being a wife beater.

    The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    917

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tinfoilzag View Post
    The name "Black lives matter" is a cloaked insult. It's meant to divide Americans. I'm not talking about the people in BLM, just the name.

    The name implies that there is a group of people in the US that don't care about black lives. It also allows anyone arguing against any position the group takes (no matter how destructive) to be accused being against "black lives mattering". The same can be said for the name "Antifa".

    From the outset, just the name makes defining and finding solutions for problems very difficult because it introduces an adversarial position before any discussion starts. It's just like the old lawyer joke, "Sir, have you quit beating your wife?". No matter how you answer the question, it frames you as being a wife beater.

    The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
    There is a group of people in the USA that doesn't care about black lives. The Constitution says black lives matter equally with white and all other lives. Yet the establishment and our institutions treat them as mattering less.

    In response to this reality, particularly police brutality, people protested and "black lives matter" became a repeated phrase like "no justice no peace." The movement is now called black lives matter. Within that movement there's a diverse set of views.

    The phrase "black lives matter" wasn't intended to piss off well-intentioned white people who chose not to learn about the experience of black people in the USA. The phrase "all lives matter," which is true and non-controversial in it's ordinary meaning, takes away from the unique focus of this civil rights movement: it draws attention away from the root of the issue which institutional racism against African Americans.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,314

    Default

    Some additional thoughts. To start I realized when I started this thread it could become a tinder box. I tried to keep the focus on Gonzaga basketball to some extent, but obviously knew it could quickly go in other directions. I appreciate the mods keeping the thread open. This discussion is inherently uncomfortable...and that is good. Civil discourse is always good, but that isn't akin to "all opinions should be given equal value." Racist statements, whether implicit or explicit, aren't part of constructive discourse. Nor should we be trapped by fallacy to moderation, where it is assumed that the real answers lie somewhere in the middle. While keeping the thread open means being respectful of one another, IMO it does not follow that a polite conversation is, in the real world, always the helpful direction. I don't respect those who spout racist ideology, and I won't be polite and respectful if they do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by SorenTodd45 View Post
    Wow, it's been ages since I've been here. Anyways, I cheer for all Zags players no matter what color they are. White, Black, French, Serbian, it doesn't matter. The only colors I see are silver and blue.
    I get your where you are coming from as it pertains to Gonzaga basketball. But the myth of colorblindness serving as the ideal is important to dispel. Recognizing that there ARE differences in the experience of black men and women in our society is important. This includes Gonzaga basketball players. Pretending that race and culture don't exist serves only to invalidate the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigblahla View Post
    IMO, this discussion does not belong here.... there are other forums on this site for this discussion... basketball board...Just my opinion...

    Go!! Zags!!!
    I respectfully disagree. I think that, as I said in my OP, race permeates every aspect of our society and every institution within it. I do wish we could have focused mainly on the topic of our players and program, but things quickly got off track.

    Quote Originally Posted by tinfoilzag View Post
    The name "Black lives matter" is a cloaked insult. It's meant to divide Americans. I'm not talking about the people in BLM, just the name.
    Again, I respectfully disagree. Black lives matter is a response not just to the numerous deaths of black individuals that involved some scale of racial prejudice and discrimination, but to large scale societal, legal, and judicial maltreatment and indifference to those deaths. In contrast, I find the "All Lives Matter" retort obnoxious at best. I've never been at a Childhood Cancer Fundraiser and heard criticism for not raising money for other diseases. I've never been at an Autism Awareness event and been vilified for not raising awareness of other developmental disabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPtheBeasta View Post
    Nebulous is a good word. I’m not singling out anyone here but it is hard for me to figure out what is being asked of me on these issues of police brutality and systemic racism issue. I feel that I worked very hard to be where I am and feel more privileged to be born in America to loving parents who stayed together and provided for my basic needs. I do not take that for granted. I also don’t take for granted the example they showed, as they both went to college and were good moral examples (in my opinion). They taught me not to be a respector of persons, and for a number of reasons. I am thankful that I was born with average to above average intelligence— although I respect anyone’s opinion to think otherwise. I was born into a situation to have a chance to succeed that many other persons don’t. I do feel privileged for so many reasons, but race is at the bottom of that list.
    I appreciate you sharing those thoughts JP. Like you, I have had innumerable privileges in my life. White Privilege is a tough construct because it is so often misstated as "being privileged" which is not the same thing. I understand why people thus hear the term, and having worked hard and overcome adversity quickly dismiss the entire notion. Privilege can mean both unseen advantages that your race, or gender, bring your way. But, perhaps more importantly, privilege can mean that there are barriers that don't exist that you might never think about. I strongly recommend this article: https://www.racialequitytools.org/re...s/mcintosh.pdf

    I'll end with this quote from Tom Herman, Texas FB coach, which I really appreciated. In bringing the topic back to GU Basketball, it's a notion worthy of consideration.

    "We're going to pack 100,000 people into (the stadium) and millions watch on TV that are predominantly white -- not all of them certainly, but most of 'em white," Herman told the American-Statesman. "We're gonna cheer when they score touchdowns, and we're gonna hug our buddy when they get sacks or an interception. "But we gonna let them date our daughter? Are we going to hire them in a position of power in our company? That's the question I have for America. You can't have it both ways."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,206

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zagfan24 View Post
    It is often noted how much this transition can be a major one for international players, but for a 17-year-old black teen to commit to a college where 71% of students and 85% of faculty are white takes genuine courage. I hope that Gonzaga has been and will continue to be a safe and welcoming home for all who have done so.
    According to your numbers Gonzaga University does have a racial disparity issue especially among its faculty.

    Thanks for sharing was unaware.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Hill
    Posts
    718

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    According to your numbers Gonzaga University does have a racial disparity issue especially among its faculty.

    Thanks for sharing was unaware.
    The percentage of those attending and staff falls in line with national and local demographics. The goal is equality of opportunity not equality of outcome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •