Cover Story: Racism in America - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Cover Story: Racism in America

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College basketball's big marquee event, better known as March Madness, is bringing its share of maddening moments beyond the norm of wins and losses.

Think back to more than 60 years ago to the taunts, slights, and slurs endured by Jackie Robinson one of baseballs greats, and then perhaps it's easy to comprehend what happened when members of the Southern Miss Pep Band chanted at one student athlete, "where's your green card."

The insults were directed at Angel Rodriguez who plays for Kansas State.

He is an American born player who is from Puerto Rico.

Dr. Patrick Graham heads up the Urban League of Central Carolinas.

"As much as we'd like to say that we've ended an era of racism and are in a post racial society is very clear that we are not."

Case in point, the unfiltered anger directed at President Barack Obama that shows up on line, and in a campaign new bumper sticker which has a blatant play of the N-word.

Dianne English of the Community Building Initiative is a local expert on the topic of race relations in Charlotte.

She believes issues like the venom against the Kansas State basketball player and the criticism of the president are driven by a silent majority.

" I think it's gonna get worse," she said. "They may decry what they hear, but silently sometimes I think they're cheering that someone had said something somewhat outrageous."

When you combine the numbers from several you tube sites, the incident involving Angel Rodriguez has gotten more than 400 thousand hits over this past weekend, and the offending college has offered a public apology.

Dr. Patrick Graham of the Urban League of Central Carolinas calls the current scenario a drain of positive energy.

"Here we are in America, and we can't lead a global economy and a global world, if we're still gonna be dealing with these old ways of thinking about race and ethnicity." he said.

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