The Costs of Being Young, Gifted, and Black: When Being Exceptional Makes You a Target
Several of this week’s selections got me thinking about the price Black people are sometimes forced to pay when they excel. There are always folks who seek to minimize or explain away our successes and maximize our failures or missteps. Black players on England’s national soccer team are facing harassment and threats after reaching the finals of the European championship. Athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson are penalized for taking measures to protect their mental health. Black families whose ancestors scraped and saved to buy land after emancipation are finding themselves cut off from disaster aid because their forebears didn’t have access to legal documents used to prove ownership. But we’ve also got a couple of tales of Black achievers finally getting recognition — including the army battalion of Black women who made sure soldiers got their mail during World War II and a Black speller who paved the way for Zaila Avant-garde’s historic win.
White supremacists threaten stars of England’s diverse national soccer team
England’s multicultural soccer squad brought the national team closer to a European championship than it’s been in 55 years. And the thanks they get is to be racially abused by so-called fans angry that they didn’t beat Italy in the final match. Three Black players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka — have been singled out for death threats issued by neo-Nazis and far-right extremists on platforms like Telegram. White supremacists are framing England’s loss to Italy as “supposed proof that diversity is a failed exercise,” reports Vice. This all follows an incident in which a small portion of England fans booed as the team took a knee to protest racial injustice before its Euro 2020 match against Croatia. But the majority of the fans at that game supported the gesture, and during the England-Italy final, both teams kneeled and were met with applause from fans.