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We shouldn't be surprised that sportscaster Orin Harris and educator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were proudly espousing intolerant and racist comments during a streaming broadcast. In the age of Trump and malevolent Steve King, animosity toward Latinos and other ethnicities are encouraged and embraced.

Trump, King and many Republicans view prejudice and bigotry as an essential virtue in today's America. We have regressed to a dehumanizing behavior that continually reminds the world what a toxic and pernicious nation we have become.

What I found most chilling was the casual and lively banter of hostility these two espoused in ridiculing the young Latino athletes. It seems clear they have engaged in this conviviality of hate before. As expressed in their apology, no one was supposed to hear this conversation. That may be true. However, the reality is their closet bigotry has now been exposed for all to see. And I don't but their explanations of, "This is not who I am!" That's a common and tired alibi used when one is trying to explain away their prejudice to the public.

The Eagle Grove athletes should be commended for their inspiring integrity in handling such a horrid situation. Unlike Harris and Kusserow-Smidt, they displayed principled and gallant character. Iowa should be proud of these young men.

Phillip Sanches, Mason City

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