So in case you missed it, a few weeks ago—after a Mahopac-Mt. Vernon basketball game—a bunch of people affiliated with my old school made racist remarks toward African-American players and supporters affiliated with the opponent.
It was gross, disgusting, awful stuff, but not all that surprising—knowing how backward Mahopac can sometimes be. Not surprisingly (because he’s an absolute media whore, and possibly the worst human being to ever walk the earth), Greg Ball—State Senator representing Putnam County—issued a statement. He wrote, among other things, “Let it be clear, Mount Vernon is equally responsible for the toxic environment that was unfortunately created. Yet unlike Mahopac, Mount Vernon has yet to take action to hold their fan base and students accountable.”
I hate giving Ball press, because he eats this stuff up, and considers each word to be a measure of his importance. But here, it’s important, because he perfectly symbolizes the jarring narrowmindness that too often pocks my old hometown. In Ball’s (very small, very limited) mind, making racial attacks is sorta kinda bad … but not that bad. Or, certainly no worse than the Mt. Vernon fans barking at Mahopac fans. Because, hey, that was bad, too. But for tools like Ball, it’s always the same story: We need to help whites preserve their turf, and battle back against the awful reverse racism that’s overtaken this country. Whites have rights, too, dammit, and Greg Ball will always fight to preserve them.
Of course, this is also the same guy who—in a campaign ad—taped myriad Hispanic-looking men and presumed (without checking) that they’re all illegal.
Because, hey, that’s what he does.