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  • Race thread (will be moved on Monday night)

    These are difficult times, for almost everyone. From COVID-19 to racial disparities to political turmoil, 2020 has not exactly been a highlight. I know this is not the defunct OCC, so I want to try and stay away consciously from anything political or needlessly controversial. Mods, feel free to delete or move if you wish. I'm a white male in his mid 30's and so I'm really not the right person to write about this topic, but I found the lack of a thread notable in its omission, even on a basketball forum, given the events of the past week. So, just a few thoughts that I would like to share, trying my best to generally stick to the forum topic of Gonzaga Men's Basketball.

    Sports are often viewed as a true meritocracy. At times, this might be true. At many other times, there clearly remain stereotypes and systemic issues that still infiltrate sports at all levels. Sports also inevitably exist within the framework of a society, including both the cultural norms of each region (see: college football in the south) and the zeitgeist of each era. So, as much as many like to see sports as a distraction from "real world issues," this is really not the case for most athletes nor is it really true for most fans. You may choose to watch sports and tune out the seemingly external but intertwined factors that impact every level of competition...but in my opinion it is worth acknowledging that not all are able to do so.

    When I was a Gonzaga student, I distinctly remember hearing a man in Safeway standing in line in front of me refer to a certain player as a “thug." I wasn’t friends with said player, but I knew him well enough to know that nothing could have been further from the truth and it was eye-opening to me to realize how easily racial issues seep into things as seemingly innocuous as player evaluations. We often heard players labeled as “athletic” or “hard-nosed” based almost solely on racial stereotypes. We see comparisons to other players made based almost solely on appearance. Sports are a great way to find unity but they are just as prone to bias, prejudice, and discrimination as any other institution.

    That said, I believe that the Gonzaga men’s basketball team is a beautiful microcosm of what multiculturalism can look like at its best. The staff has brought in players from many cultures and backgrounds and integrated these young men into a successful team each and every year while also (at least from my outsider perspective) allowing individual player styles, beliefs, and values. Embracing diversity doesn't mean covering up differences, and sharing a uniform doesn't mean sharing life experiences or beliefs. Much like in life, college basketball includes both individual and collective goals, and the reality is that both must be acknowledged and advanced. It seems like, as a fan, that the Zags are able to strike this balance quite well.

    In addition, we have been fortunate to have so many young men choose to come to Spokane, which is admittedly not a city of extensive diversity. I could discuss in much more detail some of the sociological research about these types of moves, suffice to say it is not always easy or comfortable to go to a place where your racial or cultural background is minimally represented. It is assuredly a testament to the University, the coaches and staff, and the “program” as a whole; but even more so it’s worth being appreciative of the players and their families for their willingness to place their trust in the team and the community. It is often noted how much this transition can be a major one for international players, but for a 17-year-old black teen to commit to a college where 71% of students and 85% of faculty are white takes genuine courage. I hope that Gonzaga has been and will continue to be a safe and welcoming home for all who have done so.

  • #2
    Though it’s admittedly from 35,000 feet, my view is staunchly that Gonzaga’s multicultural history is nonpareil in the CBB game. It’s Few’s greatest achievement bar none and if it’s not, it should be the envy of every college president and AD throughout the country. Magnificent.



    Originally posted by zagfan24 View Post
    These are difficult times, for almost everyone. From COVID-19 to racial disparities to political turmoil, 2020 has not exactly been a highlight. I know this is not the defunct OCC, so I want to try and stay away consciously from anything political or needlessly controversial. Mods, feel free to delete or move if you wish. I'm a white male in his mid 30's and so I'm really not the right person to write about this topic, but I found the lack of a thread notable in its omission, even on a basketball forum, given the events of the past week. So, just a few thoughts that I would like to share, trying my best to generally stick to the forum topic of Gonzaga Men's Basketball.

    Sports are often viewed as a true meritocracy. At times, this might be true. At many other times, there clearly remain stereotypes and systemic issues that still infiltrate sports at all levels. Sports also inevitably exist within the framework of a society, including both the cultural norms of each region (see: college football in the south) and the zeitgeist of each era. So, as much as many like to see sports as a distraction from "real world issues," this is really not the case for most athletes nor is it really true for most fans. You may choose to watch sports and tune out the seemingly external but intertwined factors that impact every level of competition...but in my opinion it is worth acknowledging that not all are able to do so.

    When I was a Gonzaga student, I distinctly remember hearing a man in Safeway standing in line in front of me refer to a certain player as a “thug." I wasn’t friends with said player, but I knew him well enough to know that nothing could have been further from the truth and it was eye-opening to me to realize how easily racial issues seep into things as seemingly innocuous as player evaluations. We often heard players labeled as “athletic” or “hard-nosed” based almost solely on racial stereotypes. We see comparisons to other players made based almost solely on appearance. Sports are a great way to find unity but they are just as prone to bias, prejudice, and discrimination as any other institution.

    That said, I believe that the Gonzaga men’s basketball team is a beautiful microcosm of what multiculturalism can look like at its best. The staff has brought in players from many cultures and backgrounds and integrated these young men into a successful team each and every year while also (at least from my outsider perspective) allowing individual player styles, beliefs, and values. Embracing diversity doesn't mean covering up differences, and sharing a uniform doesn't mean sharing life experiences or beliefs. Much like in life, college basketball includes both individual and collective goals, and the reality is that both must be acknowledged and advanced. It seems like, as a fan, that the Zags are able to strike this balance quite well.

    In addition, we have been fortunate to have so many young men choose to come to Spokane, which is admittedly not a city of extensive diversity. I could discuss in much more detail some of the sociological research about these types of moves, suffice to say it is not always easy or comfortable to go to a place where your racial or cultural background is minimally represented. It is assuredly a testament to the University, the coaches and staff, and the “program” as a whole; but even more so it’s worth being appreciative of the players and their families for their willingness to place their trust in the team and the community. It is often noted how much this transition can be a major one for international players, but for a 17-year-old black teen to commit to a college where 71% of students and 85% of faculty are white takes genuine courage. I hope that Gonzaga has been and will continue to be a safe and welcoming home for all who have done so.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, Zagfan24. That's a nice piece of writing. Thanks.
      _______________________________
      Gonzaga - The Greatest Student Section in the Nation!

      Comment


      • #4
        Zagfan24 I truly appreciate this and thank you for your thoughts. I will refrain from posting some of the things that I saw as a student as it was more than a few years ago now, as much as I would like to say much has changed, I am sure much has not. Thank you again.

        Comment


        • #5
          That was a thoughtful post. Thank you.

          I am not black, but as the first of my family born in the US who came from Iran, I am darker than many. After two years living in Spokane, the only racism I experienced was someone told me to "park like a white man." In his defense, I was driving a 3/4 Cummins with a hitch poking its head into the drive. I thought I made out pretty well being so close to the Idaho panhandle. That said, I don't have the benefit of seeing life in Spokane, or anywhere in the US through the lens of a black person, or another immediately-obvious minority. It can be hard to remember to color our opinion with only our own experiences, and zagfan24 got a brief window into another life, much less living that life everyday. Without telling people what to believe, I think the OP did a good job encouraging us to form our beliefs using a real crack at empathy.
          Originally posted by Reborn
          Go Zags!!!
          Self-Proclaimed GIF Proprietor

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm really having trouble biting my tongue over the lip service that is essentially excusing the rioting and looting that is occurring. Those cops whose dereliction of duty cost George his life should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm fine with the protesting, as long as it remains peaceful. You lose me when lawyers in NY start throwing firebombs into police cars, or when a 190 unit affordable housing project is burned to the ground in Minneapolis.

            For 72 years now, the United States Military has been desegregated, and is the best example of what our country should aspire to when it comes to race relations. From the minute I went on active duty, I was a minority. At that time Air Defense Artillery was about 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 Hispanic. My best Group Commander was a black man, Johnie Forte Jr., who would achieve the rank of Brigadier General. That man stood up for me when my white Battery Commander and white Battalion Commander were trying to screw me over.

            I served with black NCOs and enlisted men, and we were a team. One of my favorite positions was as a Vulcan Platoon Leader. My platoon sergeant was black, and 3 of my 4 squad leaders were AJ's, "acting jacks", E4s in E6 slots. We came together, and were the only platoon (of 4) to pass a battery level tactical evaluation.

            As a Battery Commander at Fort Bliss, my First Sergeant and Training NCO were black, and our 300 man battery was racially diverse. I'll never forget the day my 1st Sergeant said "there's times I'm scared of you." LOL, this guy was Sergeant Rock! He told me when I was angry, my eyes looked like a rattlesnake's just before it strikes.

            I am extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership and courage displayed by the Governor of Minnesota. The man served in the Minnesota Guard for 24 years, and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. In the first few days of "protesting", he didn't raise a finger when a Minneapolis police station was destroyed by rioters.

            I'm all for teaching American history, warts and all. We have plenty of black marks, from slavery to broken treaties with Native Americans, to putting citizens of Japanese descent into concentration camps during WWII. Along the way, Americans of all colors, creeds, and faiths have come together to perform great deeds throughout the world. For all of our faults, no country has done more to right its wrongs than the United States.

            Rant off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TexasZagFan View Post
              I'm really having trouble biting my tongue over the lip service that is essentially excusing the rioting and looting that is occurring. Those cops whose dereliction of duty cost George his life should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm fine with the protesting, as long as it remains peaceful. You lose me when lawyers in NY start throwing firebombs into police cars, or when a 190 unit affordable housing project is burned to the ground in Minneapolis.

              For 72 years now, the United States Military has been desegregated, and is the best example of what our country should aspire to when it comes to race relations. From the minute I went on active duty, I was a minority. At that time Air Defense Artillery was about 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 Hispanic. My best Group Commander was a black man, Johnie Forte Jr., who would achieve the rank of Brigadier General. That man stood up for me when my white Battery Commander and white Battalion Commander were trying to screw me over.

              I served with black NCOs and enlisted men, and we were a team. One of my favorite positions was as a Vulcan Platoon Leader. My platoon sergeant was black, and 3 of my 4 squad leaders were AJ's, "acting jacks", E4s in E6 slots. We came together, and were the only platoon (of 4) to pass a battery level tactical evaluation.

              As a Battery Commander at Fort Bliss, my First Sergeant and Training NCO were black, and our 300 man battery was racially diverse. I'll never forget the day my 1st Sergeant said "there's times I'm scared of you." LOL, this guy was Sergeant Rock! He told me when I was angry, my eyes looked like a rattlesnake's just before it strikes.

              I am extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership and courage displayed by the Governor of Minnesota. The man served in the Minnesota Guard for 24 years, and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. In the first few days of "protesting", he didn't raise a finger when a Minneapolis police station was destroyed by rioters.

              I'm all for teaching American history, warts and all. We have plenty of black marks, from slavery to broken treaties with Native Americans, to putting citizens of Japanese descent into concentration camps during WWII. Along the way, Americans of all colors, creeds, and faiths have come together to perform great deeds throughout the world. For all of our faults, no country has done more to right its wrongs than the United States.

              Rant off.
              Thank you for sharing your experience. I know that none of us want to see our communities destroyed or deteriorated. The sad reality is that there are some people who only want to agitate others through looting and property damage. This is unfortunate and should be condemned, but we should not let it taint our view of this entire movement. The vast majority of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who protested yesterday in all 50 states did so peacefully. People are genuinely upset and want change through peaceful methods because they are hurt themselves or they empathize with the pain of others. As you beautifully pointed out in your example with the armed forces, people of all races can coexist peacefully and without bigotry. We know that it is possible, so the world wants to see it in action. There are a small groups that agitate because they want to see the world divided, but this movement is philosophically about bringing people together because we are stronger that way.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Zag1203 View Post
                Thank you for sharing your experience. I know that none of us want to see our communities destroyed or deteriorated. The sad reality is that there are some people who only want to agitate others through looting and property damage. This is unfortunate and should be condemned, but we should not let it taint our view of this entire movement. The vast majority of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who protested yesterday in all 50 states did so peacefully. People are genuinely upset and want change through peaceful methods because they are hurt themselves or they empathize with the pain of others. As you beautifully pointed out in your example with the armed forces, people of all races can coexist peacefully and without bigotry. We know that it is possible, so the world wants to see it in action. There are a small groups that agitate because they want to see the world divided, but this movement is philosophically about bringing people together because we are stronger that way.
                Thanks...the old man who shouts "get off my lawn" is strong with me too often. I never realized that retirement could be so difficult, searching for purpose, after 30+ years of raising kids, and working in different jobs, some good, some bad. Looking back on it, I can't honestly say that my civilian years were more rewarding than my military service, though I did have a few jobs that came close. My current role, and most important, is being Big D's Opa, with a granddaughter arriving in a few weeks. The highlight of my day today was Big D sending me a couple of really cute Imessages. Nice to know he's thinking of me.

                Ok, now get off my lawn!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just catching up. Haven't seen this elsewhere & think it may fit here. Meehan interviewing Sam Dower. Please read.


                  https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...oins-hometown/


                  Thanks 24.
                  But we don't play nobody.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sittingon50 View Post
                    Just catching up. Haven't seen this elsewhere & think it may fit here. Meehan interviewing Sam Dower. Please read.


                    https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...oins-hometown/


                    Thanks 24.
                    Sam was a great Zag, stories like these are heart breaking.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm really having trouble biting my tongue over the lip service that is essentially excusing the murder of unarmed black males while in police custody. It takes days to get arrests of these uniformed bullies and typically only after hell has been raised on the street.

                      If you are freaking out over rioting, then perhaps you should start freaking out over the blatant injustice that starts it. For those young black males that feel like they are living a "Groundhog day" in Hell, perhaps they believe the only remaining action left in their political arsenal is to implement an agenda called "No justice, no peace"

                      I'm not an anarchist. I don't condone looting and destruction. I do believe, however, if one is more inclined to complain about looting than the institutionalized murder that sparked it, then it is rather revealing that for such individuals, no long term solution can even be conceived. And it is rather simple solution indeed. Just recruit the type of people into law enforcement that don't get their kicks from using excessive force against unarmed, handcuffed black men. The first time it happens for any given individual, it should raise red flags requiring immediate intervention and not be cumulatively hidden away in non transparent reports.

                      What should be setting off alarm bells is that this police culture can only be fixed with internal peer pressure and that peer pressure isn't happening at a level to rectify the issue. Result? There are wide swaths of young folks that sincerely believe that "All Cops are Bad". The last thing that the "law and order" crowd needs is for the next generation to believes this. That is unless you embrace a totalitarian state and believe police repression is a viable policy.

                      Edited for additional comment:

                      For those that believe this "ACAB" issue is a fleeting issue that will quickly dissipate when the protests eventually fade, consider this: Historically, jurors have been very lenient on police officers in court. Especially if the City infrastructure and Police Department intervene on that officer's behalf. The ACAB folks will probably be considered hostile jurors by the attorneys for the officer's defense. In other words, the risk for unfriendly jurors goes way up with the ACAB issue.
                      Last edited by MickMick; 06-04-2020, 03:03 PM.
                      I miss Mike Hart

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        “Stole the this concept from someone else, but I’ll tweak it and put my 2 cents on top of it....

                        You see Billy badass Marine right here? With his big ass dip in his lip, 50lbs of bull#### on, a rifle, and a face that screams “I’m tired, I’m dirty, and I’m over this ####”?

                        Why is it this plowhorse of a Marine can detain someone in a combat zone without beating him, or killing him?
                        Why is it that this pissed off, overworked, sleep deprived, likely stressed and hungry grunt can detain someone due course of a war, and not mistreat, abuse, maim, wound, or kill them?
                        I’ll tell you why.
                        Accountability.

                        How many stories have you heard of a soldier or Marine sent to prison for shooting the wrong person in a combat zone?
                        Why is it that every time a soldier or Marine discharges their weapon in a COMBAT ZONE a 15-6 investigation is launched, sworn statements are written and reviewed, and that soldier or Marines entire future is on the line?
                        Every Combat Soldier, and Marine, knows that if they don’t do the right thing (and sometimes even if they do) they’re facing hefty repercussions.

                        On the flip side of that, how many times has a police officer drew their weapon on someone for no reason? Because they’re scared? With zero consequence?
                        How many times has a police officer shot and killed someone when it was wholly unnecessary and could have been avoided?
                        And how many times have those things been swept under the rug, brushed aside, covered up, and nothing happened?

                        WHY do we have soldiers and marines, overseas, in combat zones, shackled with overly strict ROE and expected to use discretion and act as police? Soldiers and Marines who have spent their time and efforts training learning how to KILL.....
                        And then we hammer their ass when they do?
                        Yet, we have police officers and deputies here in the US, who have spent their time and efforts learning how to avoid killing, how to diffuse situations, and how to detain people...
                        That seem to think they’re soldiers instead of police...
                        And every time they KILL someone, excuses are made and punishments are avoided???

                        Can anyone answer that question for me?
                        And don’t come at me with “it’s a stressful job being a cop, you don’t understand”
                        You know what’s more stressful than being a cop?
                        Being a 19yr old kid, in a country you were sent to, with people actively trying to kill you, and having to second guess and stress and worry about shooting back and going to prison.

                        Something about all of this is terribly terribly wrong.
                        We expect our military members to act like police... Yet we make excuses for and cover for our police acting like they’re soldiers in an occupying army in a foreign country, here at home.”

                        This is a situation that has been building since the Blacks were 'emancipated'. Perhaps one of the worst atrocities perpetrated was this. The Tulsa massacre. Burning down blocks of Black business and housing, killing many, because after a Black elevator operator was arrested for allegedly assaulting a white woman, the police engaged a lynch mob, killing several of those ready to lynch the man.
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_...3GGicMz_uKw8dg

                        A much more recent event is a perversion to a law from the 1870's, designed to allow people of all color to sue LEO that went overboard. It has been changed in the last 20-30 years, so even getting them into a court room has proved almost impossible.
                        https://theappeal.org/qualified-immu...OylCk.facebook
                        Not even a smile? What's your problem!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TexasZagFan View Post
                          I'm really having trouble biting my tongue over the lip service that is essentially excusing the rioting and looting that is occurring. Those cops whose dereliction of duty cost George his life should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm fine with the protesting, as long as it remains peaceful. You lose me when lawyers in NY start throwing firebombs into police cars, or when a 190 unit affordable housing project is burned to the ground in Minneapolis.

                          For 72 years now, the United States Military has been desegregated, and is the best example of what our country should aspire to when it comes to race relations. From the minute I went on active duty, I was a minority. At that time Air Defense Artillery was about 1/3 white, 1/3 black, and 1/3 Hispanic. My best Group Commander was a black man, Johnie Forte Jr., who would achieve the rank of Brigadier General. That man stood up for me when my white Battery Commander and white Battalion Commander were trying to screw me over.

                          I served with black NCOs and enlisted men, and we were a team. One of my favorite positions was as a Vulcan Platoon Leader. My platoon sergeant was black, and 3 of my 4 squad leaders were AJ's, "acting jacks", E4s in E6 slots. We came together, and were the only platoon (of 4) to pass a battery level tactical evaluation.

                          As a Battery Commander at Fort Bliss, my First Sergeant and Training NCO were black, and our 300 man battery was racially diverse. I'll never forget the day my 1st Sergeant said "there's times I'm scared of you." LOL, this guy was Sergeant Rock! He told me when I was angry, my eyes looked like a rattlesnake's just before it strikes.

                          I am extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership and courage displayed by the Governor of Minnesota. The man served in the Minnesota Guard for 24 years, and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. In the first few days of "protesting", he didn't raise a finger when a Minneapolis police station was destroyed by rioters.

                          I'm all for teaching American history, warts and all. We have plenty of black marks, from slavery to broken treaties with Native Americans, to putting citizens of Japanese descent into concentration camps during WWII. Along the way, Americans of all colors, creeds, and faiths have come together to perform great deeds throughout the world. For all of our faults, no country has done more to right its wrongs than the United States.

                          Rant off.
                          Thanks TexasZagFan.

                          Here in Spokane as in most of the protests around the country, the vast majority of protestors are peaceful protestors and it is just a very small percentage of agitators who insist on trying to incite the riots, vandalize and loot.

                          Please keep in mind that when evaluating the police force. The percentage of officers who are murders, bad apples, power hungry thugs is a small percentage of the overall police force. Do not paint the entire police force nationwide over the actions of a relatively small percentage. The police officers have a very difficult job to do with an increasing defiant population. Try not to paint the entire profession with that wide paint brush because of the actions of a few.

                          We are no where we need to be, but just this week, the murder and his 3 henchman have been arrested and charged (in less than a week - sorry if that is not fast enough for some) and the murder's initial charge was upgraded. When the Louisville police did not turn on their body camera's the police chief was fired within a couple of days. We are dragging the police departments, police unions, prosecutor's office and our cities into the 21st century, slowly and certainly not fast enough, but there is movement.

                          Let's not get distracted by the noise around us. Focus on the task and do not get deterred from our mutual goals.

                          ZagDad

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ZagDad84 View Post
                            Thanks TexasZagFan.

                            Here in Spokane as in most of the protests around the country, the vast majority of protestors are peaceful protestors and it is just a very small percentage of agitators who insist on trying to incite the riots, vandalize and loot.

                            Please keep in mind that when evaluating the police force. The percentage of officers who are murders, bad apples, power hungry thugs is a small percentage of the overall police force. Do not paint the entire police force nationwide over the actions of a relatively small percentage. The police officers have a very difficult job to do with an increasing defiant population. Try not to paint the entire profession with that wide paint brush because of the actions of a few.

                            We are no where we need to be, but just this week, the murder and his 3 henchman have been arrested and charged (in less than a week - sorry if that is not fast enough for some) and the murder's initial charge was upgraded. When the Louisville police did not turn on their body camera's the police chief was fired within a couple of days. We are dragging the police departments, police unions, prosecutor's office and our cities into the 21st century, slowly and certainly not fast enough, but there is movement.

                            Let's not get distracted by the noise around us. Focus on the task and do not get deterred from our mutual goals.

                            ZagDad
                            It isn't ALL the police, but every time one sees another committing the crime of going too far, and doesn't stop it, it continues. Every time one hears a racist joke, hears another cop use the 'N' word, hears another cop use language that denigrates minorities, and doesn't speak out to stop it, it will be a problem.
                            The police Unions, the Mayors and the 'thin blue line' are all in part to blame. When the police themselves decide to clean out the riff raff, it will be a start. As long as the everyday cop stays silent in the face of racism and brutality, it will be an ongoing problem.
                            Not even a smile? What's your problem!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Related I believe: Few endorses Election Day be a day off.


                              https://www.espn.com/mens-college-ba...aches-join-him
                              But we don't play nobody.

                              Comment

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