This Is Post-Racial America: The St. Louis Rams Fans’ Edition

While people can get very tribal about football (both the U.S.-ian and global kinds), this response to a Ferguson-related protest at a St. Louis Rams game is not encouraging (boldface mine):

Stadium protester Shannon Wilson said, “We chanted in protest to tell the world that Rams fans know that black lives matter. Some Rams fans who sat in front of us ignored us at first. When our cries for our lives grew louder, some men began to dance as if to imitate monkeys, and shouted, verbatim, ‘Shut the f*** up you monkeys.’ I guess some Rams fans don’t know that Black lives matter.”

I can see being annoyed, but hitting the racist trope? Amazingly, they did this in public in the cellphone era. That means these assholes aren’t even embarrassed by what they did: they feel so confident about being publicly racist with no consequences, they didn’t even try to hide it. Pretty good definition of privilege.

One of the organizers (boldface mine):

Sorry to inconvenience the 3rd quarter, but the wild cheering of African-American athletes who can run fast, and the death and disrespect of Mike Brown simply cannot be separated from each other. Black lives must matter on AND off the field. We witnessed many hateful, hostile, and nearly violent responses from fans inside and outside the stadium. But we witnessed many Rams fans – including many white fans — who joined our protest in solidarity after initial hesitance. It’s almost like they needed permission to show their justifiable outrage. Last week the St. Louis Symphony protesters asked ‘What side are you on, my friends. That’s the question. There are six witnesses, no police incident report, still no arrest, and Mike Browns in every town. This is real basic. There can be no fence-sitting here. Dismantling the Blue Wall of Silence also includes ending white walls of silence.

I’m sure the ‘dancing monkey’ bigots would probably be all shook up if one of ‘their’ players were injured. But an ordinary young man, not much younger than the players, gets his life snuffed out? Not so much.

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