Skip to main content

A big stink was made over the weekend about the baseball team from Walter Payton HS in Chicago not wanting to go to the South Side for a baseball game. It ended up on the front page Mid-Day Open Thread with a direct accusation of racism. Below the fold is a letter written to the editor of the Sun-Times asking them to clarify the situation as the forfeiture of the game was not caused by white people wetting themselves at the prospect of going down to the South Side for a baseball game.

My name is Mattison Johnston and I am currently a junior at Walter Payton College Prep. Recently I have felt embarrassed and targeted as a Payton student - feelings that differ from the typical sense of pride I hold for my school. However, the embarrassment I feel is in no part caused by any action taken by my school or classmates. Rather, it stems from the malicious verbal attack aimed at Payton by the Sun Times in order to fabricate an entertaining news story. At first I was shocked and appalled by the actions of the baseball team until several players explained that the reason for the forfeit was due to the games poor scheduling; They were to leave the game at 11 PM, after already having played a double-header that very day, with no transportation to or from the game, which was almost 2 hours away from Payton via CTA.
Payton is a wonderfully diverse and well-educated school, which has always whole-heartedly supported equality, while condemning all manifestations of bigotry. Of course, every high school community lacks perfection in political correctness, but this instance was not a lapse in ethics. Being a student of Payton who lives on the far south side, I have never experienced any kind of judgment from my peers, teachers, coaches, etc. Never in a million years would I have imagined that Payton would be the target of scrutiny.
Payton students come from all over the city. Once a year, the entire student body participates in Sweetness Day: A day of community service, in which we travel to neighborhoods of all sorts, including ones similar in location to the one surrounding Brooks College Prep. Our sports teams frequent the South Side, West Side, and far North Side all year round, and we have never had a problem with any school or neighborhood. We have played teams of every demographic, in every neighborhood in the city, with no regard to socio-economic status. It is preposterous to suggest that any sense of racism or classism exists in the Payton community.
Now, all this has been set aside. My school is suddenly being slandered by the media, based off of misguided and factually inaccurate quotes, with no consideration to the true intentions behind the forfeit. The sheer amount of hatred and shame directed towards Payton warrants an apology and correction from the Sun Times, who have taken advantage of an unfortunate situation in order to sell papers.
I urge all subscribers to the media outlets who have shared this story to reflect on what I have said, examine the facts, and form an education opinion on the matter, rather than blindly believing the misinformation shared by the Sun Times.
With great appreciation for your time,
Mattison Johnston
Let's hope the Sun-Times corrects the record and we're not all so quick to blow our own race whistles.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site