Last week, a varisty basketball game at Flower Mound high school incited controversy and fervor, as students cheering for the Jaguars let the Plano East varsity basketball team know, apparently, what they thought of their rivals:
In the week since the incident, more information has come to light, but because of the viral nature of our culture, it is near impossible to sort the reality from the fabricated.
According to statements made by people at the game, the signs “white” and “power” were aloft for over thirty seconds before they were forced to be taken down by faculty supervising the game. Other witnesses have claimed that students on the Flower Mound side of the court were dressed in what appeared to be blackface, while others shouted racial slurs at Plano East’s players and students, and further, reports indicated that someone both urinated and defecated in Plano East’s team bus.
Granted, the signs used for the “white power” mantra were signs the school uses during games, which has prompted some to think this was an unfortunate misunderstanding. After all, Flower Mound High School’s colors are navy and white. However, as mentioned above, these signs were up for over thirty seconds. Witnesses on both sides of the court claim there were racially-insensitive actions being committed, and over the last week, reports have emerged implicating Plano East players also engaging in hostilities.
Even without dependence on the authenticity of the claims, I think it’s safe to say that this is an unfortunate situation. Bigotry still exists, regardless of what we may claim, or what we may wish. It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. As I mentioned yesterday, I have personal experiences with Flower Mound that influence my suspicions that there may be racist components to this story, along with information that supports my assessment of the effects of modern racial segregation and its influence on modern racism (Charles 2003).
In my experience, Flower Mound, TX is not a bastion of tolerance and progressiveness. Flower Mound isn’t necessarily a backwoods Klantown either, but Flower Mound’s lack of diversity, and the city’s lack of initiative to diversify its population, provide an optimal matrix for racist sentiment to continue rearing its ugly head. Prejudice’s survive in racially-slanted areas. Furthermore, it’s not solely a white problem. These prejudices appear in black neighborhoods, Hispanic neighborhoods, Asian neighborhoods — all racially-one-dimensional areas develop some degree of the problem of racial intolerance. The difference is, though, that a lot of these other areas — such as Oak Cliff, Stop Six, and South Irving — don’t make the news for their students holding racist signs at basketball games, and these areas aren’t composed of populations that have been purveyors of racial oppression for the better part of history.
Flower Mound High School and Plano East High School will play each other again tonight, this time in The Colony, Texas. Signage is banned from the event, and as a move for solidarity, students at Plano East High School have pushed for their students attending the game to dress in all black. In response, students at Flower Mound High School have requested their students attending the game to dress in all white.
Charles, Camille Zubrinsky. “The Dynamics of Racial Residential Segregation.” Annual Review of Sociology 29 (2003): 167-207. Print.
Floyd, Jacquielynn. “Stunt or Not, ‘WHITE’ and ‘POWER’ Signs a Stain on Flower Mound.” Dallasnews.com. The Dallas Morning News, 20 Feb. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.