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Black Lives Matter. This isn’t hard, Jazz fans.

If you’re not listening, not changing, and still screaming ‘All Lives Matter’, you’re not a Jazz fan. You’re the damn problem.

Let me just be clear before we get into this. I hate how many times, how many different ways, and through how many incidents I have to put words on a page about racism in Utah as it pertains to Jazz fans. There was the racist mocking Russell Westbrook, there are the racists that mocked Colin Kaepernick and were glad no Jazz player kneeled after that, people questions Thabo Sefolosha’s experience of being shot by police, and worse there are the racists that have had camouflage of their white privilege to hide amongst the white sea of Jazz fans and blend in after mocking players. Then as if these assholes—yes, this is how we’re doing this post because we’re not mincing words here—couldn’t read the damn room, they decide they have to defend their white honor on an Instagram post by the Utah Jazz in support of Black Lives Matter.

Just look at this racist hurtful garbage.

bro, nobody is saying that racism isn’t a thing. There are a lot of great organizations that are doing a lot of good for the communities that you’re talking about. But Black Lives Matter is a corrupt organization that is doing more harm for the black community than good. Do a little research homie

yes, facts this BLM deal is destroying our great city state team etc. what a shame. People like you are real Jazz fans and real Utah’n’s

actually we do, and you can have fun supporting your terrorist hate group BLM

can’t have an opinion? Isn’t that oppressing his opinion? Come on Donovan. Grow a spine. I could care less who you are and what you’ve done. You’re not who I thought you were. #americamatters #beone

don’t use my words against me. He surely can, but all Donovan pushes is his agenda and the narrative of the Joe Biden fund, errrr Black Lives Matter and then when someone opposes him he shakes his head to shame people. @spidadmitchell

you at the Jazz can support what you will. After all this is America. The Jazz are supporting this more than almost any team. You best be developing some loyalty to this club, burying your beef with Rudy, and leveraging this to bring in some stars to bring a title to this town! Seriously though, this is about America. Our country is being divided and that isn’t right. Speak for unity for all lives and let’s be one!

that has to be the most racist comment I’ve ever seen FYI America is the greatest country in the world and there’s nothing wrong with our system in fact the system protects us, and just because one unarmed man gets killed by a terrible cop doesn’t mean anything 99% of the cops are great #policelivesmatter #humanlivesmatter also if BLM is a thing why didn’t they go crazy when African American cops were killed and unborn babies were slaughtered? BLM is absolutely a hypocritical Terrorist organization and you can hear the facts @prageru @realcandaceowens @charliekirk1776 etc.

Well actually ALL lives matter under the eyes of God

yes way more white people are killed than blacks

I’m disappointed with the Jazz. I feel like you could’ve handled this a lot better

um no that is not what religion says. Every single life matters always. It doesn’t matter what race you are. I never said non minorities matter. Everybody matters!

how does saying all lives matter make it about myself I’m not saying just my life matters and nobody else’s. More white people are killed by cops than black people are. If you really want to do something for black people, go to other countries where they actually are very oppressed and are still sold as slaves. George Floyd was not a great guy. I don’t think he should’ve died the way he did, but he was a criminal. I don’t think people should be idolizing him so much. He held a pregnant woman up at gun point threatening to kill her. He has been in jail/prison many other times as well.

shouldn’t the Jazz be apolitical? BLM is part of the act blue fund that supports the same democrats who’ve backed legislation over the years that have caused a lot of what you’re saying is wrong? BLM is propaganda. American and ALL of its people are what matters. This shouldn’t be about ethnicity or skin color. So stop making the ever growing chasms larger than they already are supporting the propaganda. You’re a smart guy, do your homework. #Weallmatter #americamatters #beone

do your homework on the organization and where it’s donations go. You’re a smart guy I’m sure. Follow the money and you’ll see it’s democratic propaganda. I respectfully disagree we have a racism problem in America. Are there racist people? Absolutely. Against all ethnicities. I’ve spent a lot of time in predominantly black communities and had plenty of racial slurs said to me. That doesn’t make America racist. This isn’t an issue that’s ever going to go away. We have an issue in this country with entitlement not racism. America affords anyone whatever opportunity they want, if they’re willing to make the sacrifices. I don’t buy the white privilege rhetoric either. Saying Black Lives Matter is bs to me because In my life I don’t see color or ethnicity. I see people.

I have no issue confronting racism when it actually exists. Are there racist people? Yes. Our country isn’t racist though. Particularly when compared to other countries. America is still the land of opportunity for those who don’t look for excuses or feel entitled, but who actually work and earn whatever it is they seek.

Post that again next weekend when another dozen blacks are killed by other blacks in Chicago

systematic racism is as fake as man made climate change

More blacks have problems with cops than whites ? It’s behavior. In white and I don’t get a break. I’m yes sir, no sir, thank you sir. Arguing with cops is the problem , and if you did something wrong that’s your fault , don’t cry racism

While the comment section was overrun by a small group of racist assholes, what’s even more disheartening is the likes they earned. These ignorant jerks were just the vocal tip of the spear of the larger problem in Utah. Not even Donovan Mitchell getting involved and asking why did anything.

spidadmitchell what are you disappointed about?

Then the commenter had the entitlement to demand and explanation from Donovan Mitchell. Not theirs. But the star of the Utah Jazz. He owes the world an explanation to you?

I have seen time and time again commenters here—some of which have left or been shown the door to our community—try to prop up racist ideas in the guise of religious freedom, religious dogma, the desire to stay apolitical, or by the antagonistic belief that they don’t have to learn about it and they know enough.

I can go back to those posts and pull comment after comment after comment dating all the way back to 2010 where people start to get queasy when their white privilege is getting called out by the black players they pretend to support. It’s fucking infuriating.

Last night after seeing those comments in their full hooded glory, I fired off a tweet storm. I couldn’t sleep. You see, it’s one thing to feel like there’s a few bad apples out there—see what we’re doing here?—but it’s disheartening, hurtful, and a giant heel turn to see how many are really out there.

I had been allowing black experiences to be heard and communicated by them during this time. The last thing I wanted to do is hijack even a part of this amazing Black Lives Matter movement and the energy of it. I was confident that most people knew where I—and our SLC Dunk—stood on this issue. But we’re a fan site at heart. Seeing Jazz fans delegitimizing black experiences, black voices, and post racist comments at players, teams, and other basketball fans who are black or in the minority community?

Nope. Not here.

Our fanbase has a reputation. A terrible reputation. We act like its only a small percentage but we all deep down know that that percentage is A LOT BIGGER than most fanbases. We want to believe it isn’t, but deep down, we know it is. I am damn tired of those callous and ignorant idiots using tired racist talking points, religious shields, and far right political leanings to justify racism. There’s no acting like Shane Keisel was our fanbase’s racist scapegoat and now we got rid of the racism.

You see, it was really damn convenient for a lot of folks to put up a black square and be like “Did it. No more racism.” But those same folks are nosediving into comments on social media, text threads with their friends, and conversations with their family.

They’re not “racist”, they just want certain things to avoid politics.

They’re not willing to see why the term “All Lives Matter” is not just offensive, but one may as well be screaming “White Power” back.

These same people want everyone to be treated equally but don’t realize that the wealth of our fathers, grandfathers, and so on was built on conveniently never paying the labor costs of hundreds of years of work, never mind the interest that’s due.

They’re not willing to see that the winners in history get to write the narrative and rewrite the stories.

They’re the same folks pissed that Jordan pushed off and how can no one believe me? We all saw the same thing right? But they can’t apply that same logic to a fucking human being’s suffering who had a different angle from the lens of history.

I never grew up with the minority experience. I grew up with its lens but not the experience. I technically am one due to my grandmother being from Mexico. I’m one quarter Mexican. But in the eyes of white culture and my skin, I’m 100% white. That means my skin allows those who are white to feel they have the license to crack a racist joke as if my skin color automatically granted them permission to share it. It means my pigment has given church leaders to say off color things about migrant workers in Idaho because we’re all white here, we agree. My appearance allows me to blend right in.

I grew up in a household with a white dad and a half Mexican mother. Middle class. Treated like a white kid. Honestly, I basically am. My mother never learned Spanish and can pass as white. Her childhood was not the white privileged one mine was. Her father died when she was 8. Her mother who knew limited English and was without a high school degree had to decide whether to keep their farm. Part of her calculus of selling it was if she could get business and respect as someone who was mexican and single mother. RACISM played a role in her decision to sell it. They moved to Rexburg, Idaho. My mother remembers church members not giving them the greatest of treatment because they lived in a trailer park and were brown sprinkled with a dash of sexism. My mother took on the responsibilities of being mom as my grandmother also had to bootstrap up while getting her GED, get a degree from Rick’s College, and—oh yeah—be a mom to three girls. My mom grew up faster than she should have and lost a lot of her childhood to having to fill in the role that would have been there for another parent.

I can go on for days with experiences from my grandmother, her sisters, my mother, and my second cousins with how they were treated because they didn’t look white. I got the chance to not live that shit and learn through proxy—I really wish some fans could do the same instead of being a racist Doubting Thomas. But I learned from a young age that racism exists in very obvious ways. Like a Magic Eye optical illusion, once you see, you can’t not see it. Once you know it exists, you can’t deny it. For a lot of religious Jazz fans in Utah, that phrase should ring a bell.

That’s why it is so damn hurtful to see racist clowns dive into mentions, comment sections, and DMs demanding an explanation. No one owes an explanation to you. You owe an explanation to those you made feel invisible by your “color blindness.” Yow owe an apology to those that you continue to hurt by not picking up a damn book or listening to another perspective. You owe black men and women and other minorities your time, your empathy, and most importantly your dollars and votes to helping fix the problem. You owe an apology to God for using him as a shield for your hate and ignorance.

We talk a lot about how there’s no one way to “fan” when it comes to what you expect of your team. But there is ONE WAY to be an empathic and caring human being. Dismissing Jazz players experiences and getting pissed at the NBA whose players are predominantly black because they are demanding action JUST TO BE SEEN is not being a caring human being. It’s leveling yourself out to trash.

What you’re saying is, “You’re only good for my entertainment. You need to make me happy and no one else. You are there for my enjoyment. I pay good money to see you. Don’t make me spend my money elsewhere.”

You are placing the same demands on these players as a slave owner.

“You’re here for my benefit. I paid good money for you. I can alway find another one.”

We need to start having some very difficult but important conversations. I’m not being general here.

As Jazz fans we cannot tolerate All Lives Matter or gaslighting those in the minority community.

As Jazz fans we must educate ourselves and see what we’ve done to perpetuate racism online, in our homes, in our friend circles, in our churches, and who we enabled through our votes.

Here at this site, we will expect it. At games, we MUST call it out and report it. Hate is not welcome here. Not just blatant racism but ignorant racism as well. If you hear a fan yelling to a grown man calling him “Boy.” Someone making a racist joke but not heckling. Calling out obvious racism isn’t good enough. The dog whistling and enablement of anything like it stops.

This one is just for one Jazz fan: Spencer Cox. I know you’re an empathetic guy. I’ve seen you reach out to others in the community. But you can’t say you want to listen while still saying you’d vote for the President who’s called African nations “shit hole countries,” called players who kneeled “sons of bitches,” thinks there are good people among white supremacists, and is going to hold a political rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth of all days in the same month of one of the worst terrorist acts on black people after slavery. You can’t call yourself a Jazz fan and still pander to the worst common racist denominator. If you can’t win an election without winning the votes of people who align themselves with Trump who had peaceful protestors teargassed just so he can get a photo op in front of a church then you’re in the wrong party and you’re trying to connect to the wrong people.

Gail Miller, you have done a lot to forward this cause. But you endorsed Spencer Cox who is still holding to his promise of voting for President Trump. You and I both know he’s a good man, but he is playing both sides. Please don’t play both sides. There’s no good side to racist behavior. I know Republicans are great for the bottom line but what about the human beings under your governorship? Remove your endorsement until he denounces and moves himself away from a President that undermines what you’re doing in your community to fight racism.

Now, for our SLC Dunkers, I have tried to be patient in trying to educate and help others see beyond their viewpoint. It’s why I say to attack me and not the writers. It’s why I try my very best to keep discussions open so people can see and learn the experiences of others. I don’t think anyone who is a regular here doesn’t know how I feel when it comes to this issue. I’ve made myself abundantly clear many times in the past where I stand.

But I no longer have patience for those who just don’t give a damn and don’t want to learn. Our community here at SLC Dunk is to be inclusive, loving, and supportive of one another. Telling an entire segment of the population that they’re in effect lying, there’s no racism, their experiences don’t match up with reality, that’s some hateful gaslighting and I’m not going to tolerate it anymore at this site.

As evidenced by the Instagram post by the Utah Jazz, there’s way more people than we thought who evidently don’t get it. They think being “colorblind” gives them 20-20 vision. They scream All Lives Matter while ignoring Jesus Christ’s parables of the 99 and the 1. They scream not to get political while simultaneously bringing up conspiracy theories from fringe political conspiracy theorists. They say systemic racism doesn’t exist while they are able to type out these racist thoughts on platforms without consequence due to those same systems. They demand explanations from black athletes as if there hasn’t been enough said from these men and women over the last hundred years. These folks don’t want peace. They don’t want unity. They don’t want equality. They don’t want to listen. They don’t want to see. They don’t want to hear. They just don’t want to be wrong.

And if you don’t want to admit you’re wrong and change, there’s the door.

Black Lives Matter.