Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Sorry to add to the foofaw being made about the rash of human nature breaking out at an otherwise wholesome NBA game the other day, but as this incident is in some quarters being portrayed as a reflection on my old hometown, I just have a couple of things to say.

I know that for many, the words "Detroit" and "riot" in the same sentence immediately conjures images of all those darkies going wild, like something out of Bill Cosby's worst nightmare. But here's a little reality: the Pistons play their games in Auburn Hills, MI, a very white suburb about 45 minutes from the city proper. Ticket prices there preclude most but the wealthiest (ergo whitest) from attending games, and the famously aggressive cops in the four or five Oakland County suburbs one must traverse to get from Detroit to the arena serve as a further encouragement for any nonwhite Detroiters with less than shiny cars or less than spotless paperwork to watch the game on TV. The fan identified as the one who tossed the cup that launched a thousand fat lips is one John Green of West Bloomfield MI, a demographically significant white enclave. Funny how no one is talking about those goddamn junglistic white folks in the suburbs who just can't control themselves over a goddam game and have to ruin it for the rest of us.

Finally, why does this collateral damage get the most serious sanction and public scrutiny, while this does not?


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