Don't Hate on Patriotism: Texas Should Not Censor its Basketball Fans

Go to any big time Texas high school basketball game and the crowd's chants build about as much tension as a Yankees and Red Sox series. Such taunting was the case at a high school basketball game in San Antonio last Saturday, where Alamo Heights fans chanted “USA!”

According to NBC, Alamo Heights fans, predominately White students, began the cheer after beating Edison High School, whose students are mostly Hispanic. Considering the chant racist, Edison High filed a complaint, forcing Alamo Heights to apologize for the students’ behavior.  

“Making racial or ethnical taunts doesn’t make you an Alamo Heights Mule,” wrote Bob Cook, a contributor to Forbes sports and leisure section. “It makes you an Alamo Heights Ass.”

The way the reports handle the situation sound completely hyped. Aside from revealing the story nearly a week after it happened, it has always been a fact that Texas and other Southern states move a step behind the rest of the country when it comes to racism. While other states walk carefully along the path of political correctness, Texans tend to stray carefree and outspoken. Perhaps being the only state in the union to function as its own country for a decade brings out what they call pride, and others consider ignorance. Whatever it’s called, I attended Texas schools which emphasized that we are the only state with an independent background.

But, now the times are changing. Caution now takes the place of pride due to the country’s overly sensitive nature when it comes to political correctness. The existence of double standards go ignored.

How does chanting “USA!” at the Olympics come off as patriotic, where a majority of the athletes are white, while using the same cheer for five seconds at a high school basketball game come off as racist? Minorities are present in both situations, but for the media, young people must be called out for being racist. That’s how they learn; it’s what they need to learn because they’re the future of this country.  

But maybe there is truth in Rick Santorum’s comments about higher education indoctrinating students, teaching them not be proud of the basic rights they have in this country, but highly cautious of how they use them. Maybe the media and Obama really do read into certain situations too much in order to morph young minds. Maybe the emphasis on political correctness disgusts the kids of Alamo Heights, who learn from society how we should be cautious of what makes us all different instead of proud of the things we have in common. Or maybe, as the media likes to present, the kids really were just racist. Perhaps they should actually ask the kids how they really felt for those five seconds of chanting “USA!” instead of having an adult speak for them.

American education needs to take a step back and teach the future generation that this country is something they can actually be proud of. Feeling a sense of pride shared by all regardless of race has more power to unite then divide. Just ask any Yankee or Red Sox fan of any race which team they think is better for proof.

Photo Credit: Steve A Johnson

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Andrea Ordonez

Andrea is a journalism major and political science minor at Hofstra University. A Texas native, she works as the managing editor of The Hofstra Chronicle, and as music producer of Gone Country on WRHU FM New York. Any time left away from the station or newsroom is spent watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory or Sunday Night Football.

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