We’re Not Racists! We Just Scream the N Word For Good Luck

Next time someone says we live in a post-racial world, you can share this gem which shows us that good old fashion racism is still as American as Apple Pie.

Tyra Batts, the only African American on her varsity girls basketball team in Buffalo, New York, felt a little uncomfortable when her team-mates engaged in what is apparently a non-racist 5-year old tradition of chanting “1, 2, 3, N****r.” When Batts asked her team-mates to refrain from the chant, they responded, as any non-racists would, by explaining, “you know we’re not racist, Tyra. It’s just a word, not a label.” Then, as if to further their “we’re not racist” case, during an argument about the issue, a team mate called Batts  a “black piece of s**t.” Finally, the next week, Batts got into a fight, which turned physical and was suspended for five days. When Batts explained the issue behind the argument, the school proved how not racist it was by suspending the teammates who had engaged in the chant for two whole entire days! Also, the coach totally hadn’t heard the chant. The only thing she knew about, says Batts, were jokes about slavery, shackles and “picking cotton.”


Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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