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Social Discrimination Essay

892 words - 4 pages

During the Spring of 2012, The University of Southern Mississippi's basketball team made their first appearance at the NCAA tournament since 1991. The team played against Kansas State University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the second half of the game, Kansas State was defeating the University of Southern Mississippi, due to their freshman point guard Angel Rodriguez who contributed many points. The Wildcats were leading the game by 70-64. As Angel Rodriguez was performing a free throw, some University of Southern Mississippi prep band students chanted “Where's your green card?” This incident made national news and labeled the band students of the University of Southern Mississippi as ignorant, immature, and racist. The intense of emotions towards Southern Miss' chance to continue having a position in the tournament struck the band members to resort discrimination against Rodriguez by using derogatory language.
There are different stances that can take place when evaluating an incident such as this one. The University of Southern Mississippi is located in the Southern region of the United States which has an infamous reputation for racial discrimination and division for several years. When this is looked at by people from other regions of the United States, they will assume that the band members were racist. Angel Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico, an island in the northeastern Carribean. The majority of Puerto Rico's population consists of Hispanics and Latinos. Puerto Rico is not a U.S. State rather it is a commonwealth of the United States of America. This gives Puerto Ricans the benefits of having a United States citizenship; therefore not requiring them to have a green card to be in the United States of America. A green card gives an immigrant the authority to permanently live and work in the United States. The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States can be a bit confusing because of the unique social, economic, and political compromise between the two. The prep band students were not highly educated on the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States, because Rodriguez does not need a green card to play for a United States college basketball team.
The law and society could have played a huge factor in the cause of the offensive chant. Immigration laws have been a part of controversy in America over the past few years. Illegal immigration has built up a stir in American society because most of them are Hispanics from Mexico. The band students could have been enculturated by the current immigration laws targeted towards Hispanics. Enculturation is understood in social contexts by members within a particular society. Citizens of America have been conditioned by the effects and respect of laws in America. Since Rodriguez looks like a Hispanic and is from Puerto Rico, a...

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