PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
Jose de Jesus Ortiz came to the Post-Dispatch last year from Houston.
For anyone wondering why St. Louis has so few Latino residents
columnist Jose de Jesus Ortiz told a story on Twitter
yesterday about an interaction with a hostile sports dad that may provide a clue. And let's just say the city does not come out of it looking too good — for more than one reason.
Ortiz tweeted that he was sitting in his parked car when another car dinged him. Things quickly got ugly. "Another St. Louis milestone," Ortiz tweeted. The other driver "told me to worry about 'the Wall'" — meaning, of course, the wall Trump has promised to build to keep "bad hombres" out.
Because nothing solves a bad parking job like invoking the most idiotic campaign promise of our nation's supposed leader.
Ortiz, of course, is no bad hombre — the Long Beach native is a talented sports columnist with more than two decades of coverage to his credit. (Even those who, ahem, don't read the sports page are likely familiar with his byline — Ortiz provided one of the most cogent arguments against the city's proposed MLS deal
.) But he's also Latino, and that's apparently enough for some jerk to suggest he doesn't belong here.
In follow-up tweets, Ortiz stated that St. Louis is far more hostile than Houston, where he worked as a sportswriter for fifteen years. "Who raises these racists here?" he tweeted.
He also noted that this particular bigot timed his slur badly — turns out they were both heading to the same sports field. D'oh.
Yet the most disturbing part was still to come.
In response to Ortiz's description of the interaction, some St. Louisans quickly hopped into the conversation to defend ... St. Louis.
And so things came full circle. By attempting to argue that St. Louis is not the problem, a bunch of bros on Twitter provided some serious evidence that St. Louis is in fact the problem. When your need to defend your city overcomes your basic human compassion, you're showing your priorities — and, yeah, you're making the rest of us look awful. Nice work, guys.
Jose, if you're reading, on behalf of St. Louis, we are sorry. We should be better than this. We need to be better than this. We're glad that some people on Twitter were saying just that yesterday, but the rest of you ... it's high time you shut up.
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