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Don’t Be a Racist Dick

by 23 and Mia

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It was sickening to hear the hate speech “China Virus” used Week 3 on the West court. To think, one of our own doesn’t give a f*ck that propagating such phrases has proven, profound consequences and that it endangers people one might consider friends. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) make up about 14% of the population of New York City. While we make up way less than 14% of BTSH, we do exist, and the uptick in AAPI violence is a very real concern. Phrases like “China Virus”, “Kung Flu” and “Wuhan Virus” contribute to an “othering” that puts us —especially those who are female— in very real danger. 

In the U.S. justice system, racist based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, street hockey players who’ve experienced vicious offenses are members of an elite squad. These are their stories:

  • I’ve been spit on twice. One of those times, I wasn’t fast enough to dodge, and had to go home with phlegm on my eyebrows, dripping into my eyes and sticking to my mask.
  • While volunteering for a grocery service that delivers to senior citizens, a frail, grandfatherly type accepted his delivery with, “This in no way makes up for what YOU PEOPLE have done.”
  • A van was trying to beat a yellow light and when I stopped him from doing that, he leaned out the window and called me a “f*ckin chink!”
  • In broad daylight, a man twice my size verbally accosted me, yelling in my face for me to go back to my country (I‘m a native New Yorker). Two construction workers had to intervene. I now carry mace.
  • I definitely have heightened awareness on the subways. When I’m on the platform, I make sure not to be by the edge so I don’t get pushed in or some sh*t.
  • Someone inside a car grabbed my hair and slammed my head against their car window before driving off. 311 said because there’s a chance the person did not see my face it does not count as a hate crime.
  • I’ve found myself putting up my hoodie to hide my hair, adjusting my mask to look racially ambiguous and changing the way I move around the world out of caution. There have been too many times I’ve had to stand a little bit taller and in a wider stance to make myself look less vulnerable. All of this sucks and it’s not okay.

All of this sucks. And, it’s not okay. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it should be how dependent humans are on one another for our wellbeing. Hate speech and other discriminatory behavior don’t do much to make a person feel included or respected and they have no place in this league. We just got back together… let’s think about how our words and actions impact each other and keep that sh*t in check.

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