Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Am Really Not Happy About This

If the people who expressed all that outrage in the social and mainstream media over the banana-tossing in London, Ont., really believe it was an isolated act by a lone racist moron and not indicative of a greater problem in hockey then they are greatly mistaken.

Granted, unlike the ugliness of someone throwing a banana at a black player such as Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers, there is almost no direct racism in the National Hockey League these days. But racism in the NHL is far more subtle, just as it is in a wider society like Canada.

Canada is not the happy little candy colored land of fun and adventure that I paint it out to be. But in a vast land with a high percentage minority population, where a several generations of children were raised with a respect and appreciation for multiculturalism like no country has ever attempted with their populations before, I can safely say that this is not how we do things in the Tundra.

We lived with old school racism from our founding but that was based on old European rivalries. These groups were divided by language and religion but agreed and were brought into quiet acceptance of each other when they discovered there was money to be made exploiting the native tribes and the resources around them. We learned to get along to go along.

Now that the story is getting some play in Canada, the NEXT hillbilly that throws a banana on the ice is going to need security protection to get out of that arena alive. It's one of those things that people of my generation and younger, just don't play.

I didn't put up with racism as a teacher and I see no reason to change my opinions on that topic now that I am merely a human being. Racists are cowards and bullies who rely on scapegoats to deflect from their own deep inadequacies. They have to be confronted at every occasion that they cross the line. They need to know that some people will say NO.

I will also not support the NHL if they come out with anything less than the strongest condemnation of this event. Lay down the law and protect the game from the mob. You owe us that much.


Kyna said...


That was so fucked up.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, look at all the racism directed at native players and native teams in the kids' leagues. And hockey training is a hotbed of sexism and homophobia too.

M. D. Jackson said...

Our local BCHL team is constantly getting the "banana toss" treatment because the team is called the SilverBacks. Now, exactly why a western Canadian team is named after a male gorilla is a bit of a mystery (Silverback Gorillas are rarely sighted in British Columbia anymore), nevertheless, the banana tossing is not motivated by race so much as the rivalry between our team and the neighbouring city's BCHL team, the Vipers (again, not a whole lot of Vipers in BC anymore, but still)

Anyone who thinks that there is no racism in Canada has never lived in a small town near a native reserve, or a larger city with a large Chinese or East Indian population. Canadians aren't saints and we have as much racism as anywhere else, but we have a bit of a blind spot for it until ugly incidents like this one occur in public. Even then, the media and the pundits will cry "shame" and wag their fingers but won't really do much about the problem in general.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I would argue your point. I have been to amazing places in this world where I was the minority and I was never treated as anything other than a human being. I know it exists but I think we have less of it here than anywhere else. Sure we aren't saints but watch what happens when the next yahoo throws a banana.

DrGoat said...

That's ignorant behavior no matter where you are. I rate monkeys or apes higher than those who would think or act that way.

Belle said...

A despicable act.