Garfield High School (Seattle) and Issaquah High School (17 miles east of Seattle) are set to face off Saturday night in the second round of the WIAA 4A Boys Basketball tournament. On Friday, some Issaquah students — the overwhelming majority of whom are white — unleashed a relentless, hateful attack across various social media platforms aimed at the Garfield team and student body — of which a large percentage is black. From the police report (warning: the language is not pleasant):
There are a total of 10 pages of messages. They range from photo’s of the 3 African American basketball players from Garfield HS and 1 African American referee. The text under the photo states “one a nigga two a nigga three a nigga 4. My names [redacted] and I’m gonna score.” To a photo of a female African American student from GHS next to a photo of Chewbacca, the Star Wars character.
The rest were text messages copied and they state, “checkmate was when Abraham Lincoln made the mistake of freeing you” and “no actually just my insults are [to] complicated for your primitive mind to understand.” “Primitive because you’re a monkey” and “shut up bush boogie.”
I was not familiar with the term “bush boogie” so I googled it. The definition came from what is called the urban dictionary. It says that a bush boogie is a nigger in the bushes.
Issaquah High administrators sent a letter to students’ parents alerting them to the racist attacks, and that disciplinary action will be taken:
Today a story was reported involving the basketball rivalry between Issaquah High School and Garfield High School as one that was taken too far. The center of the discussion is around comments made on twitter.
We found the tweets referred by the media to to be offensive and are extremely disappointed and regret that a very small group of students from our school were involved. Our goal is to create a safe, secure environment and the conduct of these students cannot be condoned. While Federal right to privacy laws don’t allow me to reveal the specifics of the disciplinary actions taken with students, our policies and procedures regarding student misconduct outlined in our student handbook were followed.
Okay, here’s the deal: there is no “rivalry” between Issaquah and Garfield. Garfield is an inner city high school (or, what qualifies for inner city in Seattle) with a storied basketball team (it’s Brandon Roy’s alma mater). Issaquah, on the other hand, is about as lily white as public high schools get. It’s located deep on the “Eastside” — the rich side of Lake Washington — across from Seattle, and only recently joined the same league that Garfield has played in for many years. Thus, whatever “rivalry” they’re referring to (or hope to build) isn’t getting off to a good start thanks to some asshole kids — self-titled (and entitled) “ISSYBros” — who take pleasure in lobbing racist barbs from the comfort of their gated McMansions in the foothills of the Cascade mountains.