High School kids chanting 'USA! USA' deemed a racist act

This is one of those stories that on its face, seems incredible. But looking at the whole picture, there are grounds for criticism directed against the chanters.

A local school district is apologizing after an apparent incident of racism at a boys high school basketball game this past weekend.

When the final whistle blew Saturday, Alamo Heights celebrated a convincing victory over San Antonio Edison.


"Tremendously proud," Brewer said. "Tremendously. It's the best group of kids."

But it was just after the trophy presentation when the coach was not proud of the chant coming from Alamo Heights fans.

"USA, USA, USA," they chanted.

San Antonio Independent School District officials took the chant as a racial insult to a school with all minority players from a school with mostly white ones.

On the KSAT 12 Defenders Facebook page, Santos Villarreal's post reads "this has to stop."

SAISD Spokeswoman Leslie Price heard about the incident after it had happened.

"This is very disrespectful to our students," Price said.

She said the district is glad the coach put a stop to the chant immediately and hopes Alamo Heights addresses it quickly.

"It is surprising and it's disappointing to hear that anyone would be out there making those kind of remarks," Price said.

Edison students who attended Saturday's game were shocked when they heard the chant. Some thought the fans of the victors should have been better behaved.

Ruby Arredondo and Forest Lebaron are seniors at Edison and Julian Castellano is a junior.

"I was very surprised," Castellano said. "Very appalled."

"They didn't really have any class," Arredondo said.

"It just rubbed us the wrong way," Lebaron said.

Was it "racist?" Or poor sportsmanship?

I think more the latter than the former. I don't think the students chanting "USA!" were necessarily showing pride in our country. They were rubbing it in to the opposing side - a clear case of bad manners and poor sportsmanship.

But to interpret the chant as "racist" is a stretch - political correctness run wild. Does this mean that anyone who criticizes Mexico is a racist? Anyone who mocks Mexico is making a racial statement?

That's absurd on its face. What is at work here, is the victim card being played and school officials playing along with it. I don't think the chant was called for. But the reaction to it is over the top.

If you're going to chant "USA!" do it to support the country, not to mock someone else.

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