This hits close to home. I mean, seriously, like eight miles down the road.
Despite Texas being a bastion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, James Naismith’s game also enjoys riveting popularity. Last Friday night, during a basketball game between the Flower Mound High School Jaguars and the Plano East High School Panthers — apparently quite the nail-biter — some students from Flower Mound decided it would be appropriate to cheer their hometown athletes in the following manner:
I cannot say whether this is a legitimate expression of racism or if this is just some stupid prank (these are adolescents), but either way, the act is a disgusting display of dumbassery. Lewisville ISD interim Superintendent Kevin Rogers is actively involved in an internal investigation of the incident, and “fully [intends] to act on [the investigation’s] findings.”
So, what does this all mean? What are the implications of this incident and what does the school district do from here? I’m honestly not sure.
As someone who spent most of their adolescence in nearby Lewisville, I can speak from personal observations about the town of Flower Mound. Flower Mound is a wealthy (median familial income: $126,336), predominantly white (83.9%) area situated inside a larger complex of affluent cities and towns, like Grapevine (median familial income: $93,587; 81.1% white), Southlake (median familial income: $176,259; 94.54% white), Highland Village (median familial income: $125,883; 90.7% white), and Double Oak (median familial income: $114,063; 94.08% white). This isn’t to say that the combination of wealth and European-descent leads to racist sentiment — even though that combination can get one a “Get Out of Jail Free” card — but from my own experiences, some people in Flower Mound either consciously or subconsciously express racist sentiments. During my youth, I came into contact with several of these people, some of which propagated ignorant ideas about black communities and black people, while others openly called them “niggers.” I have been in vehicles with friends that have been pulled over because the vehicle, as one of Flower Mound’s finest put it, “resembled a car a black person would have.” The town has also critiqued its demographics, as its obvious mission to keep low-income housing areas out of the town has assisted in the creation of its largely-white population.
Furthermore, I believe isolationism begets prejudice, and vice versa, so living in an area devoid of racial balance can bring about prejudices toward the under-represented races, as a lack of racial balance cannot put a face to those men and women. Essentially, one lives in a predominantly white area, they are likely to look more favorably upon their white neighbors and their white community, especially in a place like Flower Mound, where community is one of the most important aspects of its denizen’s lives. And as a exclamation point on the demographic slope, affluence, in my experience anyway, breeds arrogance and individualism. By combining affluence, racial imbalance, and the idiotic thought processes most adolescents have, I’m honestly not surprised something like what took place at the Flower Mound/Plano East basketball game happened.
So, what should be done?
Well, if I were in interim Superintendent Kevin Rogers’ shoes, I’d first find out who held the signs up and suspend them. Whatever the reasoning was, the entire country now knows that students at a Flower Mound High School varsity basketball game held up signs that conveyed “White Power” for over thirty seconds. Furthermore, the only reason they came down was because a teacher spotted the message and diffused it. Depending on the findings in the internal investigation, I would further expel the students from the school district.
But that’s just me.