Dealing with racial tensions is never easy. No matter how far the United States has moved towards racial reconciliation, there are still individuals who hold on to racist ideology.
Coach Kevin Downes, 42 from Mahopac High School has resigned from his position as basketball coach after an outburst of twitter comments were directed at opposing high school (Mount Vernon) students from Mahopac High School students.
The comments were directed to the players of Mount Vernon High School. What you need to know is that Mount Vernon High School has a student enrollment of 95% minorities, while Mahopac High School has an enrollment of 11% minorities. Also you need to know the basketball coach of Mount Vernon High School is white and Downes, who is black is the coach of Mahopac.
Downes has spent seven seasons as the head coach of Mahopac and his team reached the sectional semifinals in each of the past four years. Mount Vernon High School has defeated his team three of the last four years.
The tweet that caused Downes to access the seriousness of what was happening was that ‘one of the tweets characterized Mount Vernon residents as monkeys.’ In addition to that, ‘others referred to absent Mount Vernon fathers.’ The most damaging thing about this is there were at least 200 favorites and/or retweets on Twitter. No one did anything. No public outrage.
“Superintendent Judith Johnson of Mount Vernon City School District wrote in a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Education Commissioner John King calling for Mahopac’s varsity team to be suspended from play for a year. I think what was most disappointing was not just the comments — they’re hurtful and disappointing — but the lack of outrage from people until the media spotlight shined on the school.”
So far, eight students from Mahopac have been suspended because of their racist tweets. Downes said he doesn’t want to retire from coaching and hopes to find another opportunity.
Source: USA Today
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author of (5) books, life coach, and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for change. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Visit his website: www.sinclairgrey.org