A controversial Facebook post by a top-ranking Guilford County Sherriff’s Department administrator has ignited a conversation about what does or does not constitute racism – and, in particular, whether the popular game of Eight-ball is racist and should not be played.
Sheriff’s Department Executive Administrative Assistant Catherine Netter posted on her Facebook page that the game of Eight-ball – which is won when the white ball knocks the black ball off the table – is a highly racist game, and she added, “I better NOT see a black person playing pool the traditional way.”
In the post, Netter stated that she was at a girlfriend’s home when she pointed out that an adjustment to the pool game was needed in order for it not to be racist.
“The eight-ball is the lead ball and the cue ball is the target,” Netter stated in the post. “The colors can be switched up but to play the traditional way is the most racist thing ever where the black (8) ball is targeted by the white ball (cue) and if any of his (black ball) other homies of color die before he does, then the game starts over because he hasn’t suffered enough.”
Netter also wrote that racism was further evident in the fact that all of the balls other than the white ball have numbers – which, she said, are “indicative of our criminal justice system.”
Sometimes people post things on Facebook as a joke or simply to “troll” others – an attempt to get strong reactions through an intentionally controversial posting – however, on Monday, July 8, Netter said her post was in no way shape or form a joke and that the game of Eight-ball is a patently racist game that shouldn’t be played by right-thinking people. She added that she would not tolerate racism in any form – be it in the hiring practices of the Sheriff’s Department or in the design of a billiard’s game.
Netter spoke very passionately about the matter.
“What’s going on with this game?” Netter said. “The person who designed it is the most racist human being ever. The cue ball is white; the eight-ball is black and the target is for the white ball to knock the eight-ball off the table.”
She said that, as a black woman who attempts to battle racism in all its forms on a daily basis, the game, as played, is intolerable.
“At what point do we not call out racism for what it is?” she asked. “I think it is a sad phenomenon that, in 2019, we’re still having to fight racism.”
Netter added that she was very fortunate that she had a father with good critical thinking skills who, when she was a child, explained the true nature of the game to her and helped her understand its racist essence. She said that she isn’t claiming that everyone who plays the game is a racist since people only know what they’re taught. She said she hoped to help more people realize the racist nature of the game.
Several people who contacted the Rhino Times regarding Netter’s posts were critical of Netter, saying that her post displays a type of unfounded racial anger and a biased way of thinking that does not benefit the Sheriff’s Department.
One critic of Netter said, “I wonder how she feels about bowling – I suspect she’s a fan.”