This incident (which was captured on video) is both shameful and shocking. Worse, many Latinos are familiar with such harassment — whether more overt or in the form of microaggressions — and some Americans are still comfortable disrespecting Latinos. While this behavior must change, that will only happen after more people truly reflect on (and for some, adjust their thinking about) what it means to be an American.
The whole idea behind the tortilla throwing is easy to break down. Some people at the Coronado game took tortillas, a staple in Latino households, and used them as symbols of “otherness.” By throwing them at Latino players, they were not only insulting those athletes, but they were also casually desecrating a Latino tradition.
The larger issue here is that too many Americans are conditioned to seeing racism in this country only as a Black and White narrative.
True, the US has a history that encompasses racism and bigotry. But racism and bigotry are decidedly un-American in 2021, and the debate over our past should not obscure the reality of the present. Rather than being denied or deflected, allegations of hatred should be examined and then condemned, so collectively we can learn from the past and reject such sentiments.
Throwing tortillas at Latinos was neither good sportsmanship nor champion behavior. CIF was right to punish the team in San Diego because these racist acts take a toll on all Americans.