Look no further than the aftermath of the LSU-Iowa women’s basketball championship game to witness what systemic racism looks like. A week earlier, Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who happens to be white, disparaged her opponents in a game by making the infamous gesture of “I don’t see you” moving her hand in front of her face. In response, there was no outrage, no vicious tweets to condemn Clark’s behavior, and no media attention whatsoever.
Forward to Sunday’s game, when Angel Reese, a black star of the LSU team, made the same gesture to Caitlin Clark. Immediately, Twitter went on fire in condemnation. The same gesture by two different players during a championship run of women’s basketball. Yet, fans and sportscasters, like Keith Olberman, condoned what Clark has done, but condemned the same gesture by Angel Reese.
Don’t tell us we don’t live in a racist country unable to shed its plantation mentality. Please don’t.
It takes a dramatic cultural change in the U.S. to achieve real equality among all its citizens.
EVEN GOOD INTENTIONS CAN BE RACIST
First Lady Jill Biden, who attended the game, tried to smooth over the fire lit on Twitter by inviting both teams to come to the White House.
Traditionally, the White House only invites the winner. Why include the Iowa team, then? This is what systemic racism looks like. Even under the best of intentions, white people cannot fathom the notion that black Americans deserve singular praise without mixing it with white folks.
First Lady Jill Biden is a decent and honorable woman, which goes to show that even the people black Americans trust the most, the hint of racism is embedded in the psyche of the white people of this country. It is hard to let go of a mindset that helped the United States become the powerful country that it is by using free or cheap labor to construct its greatness. Slavery has been the cornerstone of the founding of America, and that culture and tradition shows itself on every occasion. Often unconsciously.
Even First Lady Jill Biden fell in that trap. Most likely unintentionally.
That prompted Angel Reese to call Biden’s invitation “A joke“. And rightly so as a wake-up call to the First Lady.
Moral of the story? It takes a dramatic cultural change in the U.S. to achieve real equality among all its citizens. How is that possible with Republican racists controlling Congress and Ron DeSantis passing anti-black laws?
Angel Reese is basketball’s Colin Kaepernick. Courageous, daring, but without the retaliatory behavior of the NFL Kaepernick suffered from with his own career.