Anti-racism sign unfurled at baseball game

Fenway Park in Boston and discussions about race in America seem to go hand in hand, which might well explain why three people — all of them white — unfurled a banner over the park’s fabled “Green Monster” last night.

It befuddled people who said they couldn’t figure out whether the sign was anti-racism or pro-racism. And nobody seems to have bothered to ask the three, who were tossed out of Fenway.

Nestor Ramos, at the Boston Globe, isn’t confused:

First, you may have noticed that the modern racist rarely refers to himself as such these days — and certainly not in giant letters on the perfectly good bedsheet he bought for the spare pillowcases to use as hoods. Even the hopelessly unsophisticated racist in your life likely fancies himself proudly politically incorrect or a teller of hard truths.

No, a proper racist’s sign is not subtle, and the kind of racist who might wield such a sign is not known for wry observations. A racist’s sign will say something like “HANG IN THERE OBAMA” next to a picture of a gallows. Often, it will contain at least one brutal misspelling (“OBAMA HALF-BREEd MUSLiN” is a personal favorite, as if someone had set out to make cheesecloth and instead crafted a two-term president). And for the truly lazy racist in your life, an unsteady swastika spray painted on a bathroom wall will do just fine.

And the more burnished bigots? They now trade only in euphemism. They are “defenders of traditional values” or “protectors of western culture” or some such clownery. They’re also not big sign guys. It’s worth noting that, in general, the racists we should worry most about are the ones who aren’t carrying signs.

A Twitter commenter isn’t so sure.