Viewpoint—Calling People Racist Is a Way to Skirt Blame

A house that had angered neighbors because it lacked the proper setback was finally razed.

This editor wrote a September 2019 story (“Beglari House at 909 Greentree Is Razed”) about mistakes in City Planning that resulted in almost 20 years of legal problems. The homes at 909 and 921 Greentree Road were razed in August 2019.

The L.A. Department of Building and Safety had made an error in issuing a residential building permit and, in 2007, five Pacific Palisades residents who had pursued the case in court and prevailed, were awarded $425,000. (The total cost to taxpayers was close to $600,000 with legal costs.)

This editor detailed the facts in the story, including that the residents were lawyers and judges, which is why the case was held in Orange County.

Race was never mentioned because it did not seem pertinent to the story, which was strictly about construction setbacks and City building permits.

This editor received a comment on the website that this editor, the story and the people who had sued the Beglaris were racist.

I never responded because I thought it was sad that the person would make the story about race, when this was clearly about measurements.

This editor also referees club soccer and unfortunately, kids have learned that winning is everything. If you lose, automatically call someone racist.


A month ago, as the two teams came off the field after a game, a 15-year-old male shoved another player down. That is an automatic red card for violent conduct.

The coach and his assistant came up to me as I was writing the information down and wanted to know if the kid would have to miss a game because, “it wasn’t his fault, the other kid called him the N-word on the field. It was racism.”

I told him I never heard it, but that the kid should have come to me during the game, instead of waiting until after the game to make the accusation.

I didn’t give it a lot of thought, but then two weeks later I’m on a field with seventeen-year-old girls – the green team and the yellow team. It was a competitive game, both were undefeated. The yellow team had superior speed and passing skills, and were up 2-0, when I blew the whistle for half.

A member of the green team took a swing and hit a girl from the yellow team. That girl then tried to retaliate but was pulled off by teammates.

Parents from the green team called paramedics, they called the police, and then they called the referees racist.

I told both coaches that I planned to give red cards to both girls—one for the punch and one for the retaliating shove. That’s when the green team manager said the reason the girl threw the punch was because the other player used the “N” word.” . . .in other words, the punch was justified, and she shouldn’t get a red card.

With the police and paramedics on the field (no one was transported), I terminated the match at half and neither girl got the deserved card.

Both teams were taping the game, and I asked for copies of the tape to be sent to my referee association to back up the report I now had to write.

Neither team sent the tape. I am guessing it would show both girls deserved a red card and neither team wanted to be without a key player going into the final matches of the club season.

Here’s the takeaway.

If you do something wrong, blame your action on someone else and say they used the “N” word.

Unfortunately, our society has devolved. Instead of taking individual responsibility, it has become acceptable to blame someone else.

If you lose a court case – game – or a job –  call it racism.

I’ve struggled, personally. But opportunities abound in the U.S.:  I can pursue any career, I can live anywhere, and I don’t have to worry about being killed because I don’t wear hijab.

But if you’re losing a game or don’t like a story, we all know it’s not bad sportsmanship or a difference of opinion: it’s obviously racism.

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4 Responses to Viewpoint—Calling People Racist Is a Way to Skirt Blame

  1. Mary Petersen says:

    It is so sad that sports, which should be a fun and healthy activity, have changed to much. Young people, especially, can learn and gain so much from the exercise and competition, but they also need to learn about sportsmanship.

  2. Chris Casady says:

    No where has this “blame the other guy” and deflect all responsibility and resort to “name calling” behavior been modelled for us more perfectly, boldly and brazenly than in the last President of the US. That psychology has filtered into our culture and been made acceptable by the highest office holder in the land. It set our culture, at least our civility and humanity back 50 years. Witness what you are seeing all around you. Bullies are acceptable, people are defending them! What are you going to do about it? Grow up, crybabies.

  3. Jim McCashin II says:

    Thank you for putting forward how often people ignore the substantive issue by instead using the unproven allegation of racism. The law is quite specific that violence is never permitted in response to a verbal insult. A response must not be more than commensurate with what it is responding to, not in excess. Social interactions should be similarly judged.

  4. John Alle says:

    Thank you for the excellent article. It seems commonplace now in all aspects of life with children and adults, in business, medicine, government and sports. Not an easy subject to write about but you did so in your normal professional manner.

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