USA! USA! USA!
By Raoul Lowery Contreras
This iconic chant was first heard in August, 1984, on the first night of the International Olympics in Los Angeles.
I was 130 miles south sitting in Qualcomm Stadium watching the National League Champions-To-Be San Diego Padres pummel the Houston Astros. The chant started when fans looked up at the giant scoreboard and saw that the USA had won its very first-ever Olympic Gold Medal in Greco-Roman wrestling.
USA! USA! USA…became an American trade-marked chant used many times in many places since including the night Osama Bin Laden was dispatched by SEAL Team Six to his “rivers of honey and 72 virgins.” The chant reflects our pride in our country and in our fellow Americans.
Later, a Los Angeles Times sports writer stirred up a huge anti-Mexican imbroglio when he wrote about the crowd at a Los Angeles US-Mexico soccer game. He described anti-American chants by many of the 90,000 attending fans who happened to be mostly Mexican. His article was proof that sports writers (any sports writers not just American) should never be allowed to publish anything other than sports scores.
His headline should have been “NO ONE KILLED AT LA SOCCER MATCH – UNLIKE ‘CIVILIZED’ EUROPE!” Instead this ignorant man wrote about anti-American chants and epithets aimed at American fans and the American team, as was beer and alleged “urine” thrown at and on Americans. It is soccer, moron!
This ignorant sports writer never reported the tears in the eyes of Mexican San Diego Padre fans from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico that attend every Padre game in San Diego. This, on the night that baseball resumed in the San Diego stadium — a week after the 9/11 attack on the U.S. that killed 3000 people including Mexicans. Everyone stood for a minute of silence then broke out into “America the Beautiful” including the Mexicans.
Writing about such an event would have stretched the reporter’s capabilities because his soccer article betrayed him for what he is, an ignorant, bigoted Mexican hater. He is not alone.
A few days ago, news came out of Texas that a majority white high school team won a championship basketball game against a neighboring majority Mexican American high school team. It was a close championship game.
The real news was the winning school’s coach and principal and the school’s district Superintendent all apologized to the losing team and school because white fans of the white team started chanting USA! USA! USA! …as the game ended. Texas racism raising its ugly head, again! It just won’t go away.
Taunting brown-skinned Spanish-surnamed people by whites with USA! USA! USA! …is unacceptable when the taunt targets are fellow Americans, albeit Americans with brown skins.
Texas racism was suffocating when I experienced it for the first time 60 years ago and this episode in 2012 shows us that it simply won’t go away. It is not, however, unique to Texas.
And, now, in Kansas we find the same kind of hate-Mexican attitude but not from Kansans. We find it in Mississippians who carry their racial hatred everywhere they go.
Student basketball fans from Southern Mississippi University chanted “WHERE’S YOUR GREEN CARD” at Kansas State freshman basketball star Angel Rodriguez during a March play-off game. The problem for these ignorant “college” students is that Angel Rodriquez is Puerto Rican-born, a United States citizen from birth, not an immigrant who needs a “Green Card” to be legally in the U.S.
Southern Mississippi University President Martha Sanders apologized for her student collective felony stupidity. But that doesn’t mask the rancid bigoted views the chant reflected. Stupidity 1…Intelligence 0!
The Mississippi legislature has passed (House, 70-47) another tiresome anti-Mexican law under the guise of fighting illegal immigration (HR 488) knowing that similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina and Arizona have been legally bludgeoned by federal courts.
USA! USA! USA…will never mean the same again thanks to ignorant bigots in Mississippi, the LA Times and Texas, never.
Contreras’ 12 books, including A HISPANIC VIEW: WHITE ANGLO SAXON PROTESTANT (WASP) RACISM & HATRED OF MEXICANS, are available at amazon.com