James Giago Davies: Lakota youth face bias on basketball court

James Giago Davies. Photo from Native Sun News

They call it the charity stripe for a reason
Swallow that whistle before you abuse it
By James Giago Davies

One thing you learn in a society based on rules and regulations, is that those who enforce the rules and regulations, like referees at state basketball tournaments, can and do abuse the rules and regulations.

It would be nice if they were all earnest professionals, who did their dead level best to be fair and honest, but that is not how reality works. Much of the problem is too many people falsely accuse officials of bad calls and biased refereeing, and that is enough for those who select those officials to write off all complaints against referees as more of same.

Years ago, an athletic director at Mandan High School told me when he was a young football coach he coached against the team he’d played for in high school. One of the officials on the field was a high school teammate of his. He asked him why he hadn’t disqualified himself, wasn’t there going to be bias? The old teammate assured him there wouldn’t be, but come the first mad scramble for a fumble, the pile was cleared and the old teammate stepped up, blew the whistle, and bellowed — “Our ball!”

That’s how bias works. A retired judge recently admitted he had been biased in his sentencing. Lakota defendants, with similar criminal history, were given stiffer sentences than their Wasicu counterparts. The judge insisted the bias was unintentional, and his reasoning was that the Wasicu defendant often resembles a relative or friend or colleague, and the Lakota defendant does not. He reasoned this was what fueled the unintentional bias.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: They call it the charity stripe for a reason

(James Giago Davies can be reached at skindiesel@msn.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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