Thursday, February 12, 2009

More underlying racism in the Northwest: a brawl between an urban basketball team and Redmond fans

Here. What appears to have happened is that at a high school basketball game that featured a mostly black team playing in Redmond, a Redmond fan went onto the court and punched a black player, leading to a brawl between players and fans on both sides. The article makes really good points about tensions that aren't acknowledged here in the Northwest, but I'd go further than that. What I'd say is that there's a concerted effort to cover up the racism that exists here in order to promote the image of Seattle as a progressive utopia. Racism up here in fact can be vicious. There's a history of it, through Sundown Towns, the forcible expulsion of Chinese residents from Seattle and Tacoma, and the Japanese internment. But you almost never hear about it in the press, which instead tends to use euphemisms about 'safety' and public perceptions of how a neighborhood is doing. If you live in Greenwood, a Seattle neighborhood, the fact that a few places were tagged with graffiti is enough to land a story in the PI, if you live virtually any place below the shipping canal, a huge area that includes downtown, Capitol Hill, and Queen Anne as well as poorer areas like the Central District and Rainier Beach, the idea that one or two tags is the end of the world is a laughable proposition.

Different places in Bellevue, Redmonds very rich neighbor, use euphemisms like "It's just different here", but you'd have to look close to find any major media outlet in the Seattle area calling them out for the racism they contain.

No comments: