Friday, April 27, 2012

Empowering the 1% of the 1%

The Globe is really going full bore on the Joel Ward story.  Top headlines yesterday, spin-off stories, and then it's in the leadoff slot today.

Let me get this straight.  There are roughly 500,000 serious Bruins fans who were watching Game 7 (that's just based off some back-of-the-envelope math starting from the number who were watching the game and then working it down somewhat).  Chirpstory shows me that there were roughly 50 people ignorant enough to make classless, senseless, racist comments following Ward's game-winning goal.

That's not 1% of Bruins fans.  That's 1% of 1% of Bruins fans.  That's .0001.  To give that perspective, it means you would have to fill BOTH Tsongas and LeLacheur to near-capacity with men, women, and children hockey fanatics (just picture that for the visual, and yes, even Ted Leonsis would be on board with the venue choice), and somewhere in that crowd would be ONE Bruins fan who felt that it was okay to Tweet racist vulgarities following Game 7.

Racism is terrible, and it's indefensible.  When encountered, it needs to be addressed, and nipped in the bud.  That has already happened in the flood tide of social media running counter to the ignorance that a small number of people demonstrated after the game.

I think the Globe and some of the people quoted are really grasping at straws, though, when they make sweeping statements like, "This shows we haven't advanced..." or "This shows racism is alive and well..."  and the like.  No serious researcher in another field would take a one-in-ten-thousand as evidence of a trend....just imagine a medical study saying, "We found that one-in-ten-thousand people who drinks Poland Spring water daily will develop tooth decay," and then concluding that Poland Spring is part of a "disturbing" trend in tooth decay promotion?  Yet Charles Ogletree is opining in the Globe about the broad significance of a handful of ignorant Tweeters.

By framing the story that way, you're empowering those idiots.  They BECOME the story.  A city's reputation is stained (most of those Tweets, btw, did NOT originate in Boston) because of some stupid, impulsive fans (many of whom were teenagers), and trying to draw broad conclusions.

This is a victory ONLY for the people on the far right and the far left who promote racism for their personal advancement...and that's a group that's WAY smaller than 1% of 1% of the population.

As for everyone else?  We all lose something.  

1 comment:

Progressive Veterans said...

I thought Ward froze Thomas, because as the Tea Party goalie wheeled to square to the shooter, he thought he was facing POTUS. ;v)

Does that make me racist? I was shooting for comic.

- Jack