Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
This morning, Headline News devoted almost ten minutes to this earth-shattering event: in a basketball game a week ago between Laguna Hills High School and Portola High School, a single student in the stands shouted racial insults at Makai Brown, a black player for Portola, as he was shooting free throws. The HLN hostess announced the video of the section where the asshole student could be heard with a warning that I would expect for a decapitation video, or a geek eating live kittens.
“It is very disturbing,” she said. Yes, this spectator shouted “Who let him out of his cage? He’s a monkey!” and “Where is his slave owner? Chain him up! Who let him off the chains?” The student should have been forcibly shut up, or ejected. Would “High School Faculty Neglects To Eject Misbehaving Student from Gymnasium” normally rate national headlines?
Then Makai and his family, looking like they were in mourning, were featured, from last night’s appearance with CNN’s Don Lemon (of course!) with the abused student saying that he was at first shocked when he saw the video. That’s right, he didn’t even hear the shouted slurs. So everyone made sure he did. Upon reflection, he said, he shouldn’t have been surprised, because “this happens all the time, everywhere in the country.”
No, Makai, it doesn’t. If it happened all the time, everywhere, HLN wouldn’t be hyping the incident now, would they? In fact, this almost never happens, and when it does, it is almost always a single moron doing it.
I have attended many, many sporting events, including those in Boston, which has always had racial tensions, and Baltimore, which is still in many ways an old Southern city. I have heard a spectator make a racist remark exactly once, and it was, like in this case, a single asshole, shouting racial epithets at Red Sox outfielder Reggie Smith. (Reggie has been retired for 40 years.) Yes, there are assholes in the United States. There always will be. Some of them go out of their way to denigrate minorities.
And some of them intentionally try to convince the public, and especially black kids, that such assholes are more than an unavoidable aberration that does not make this a racist nation.