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A 'teachable moment' after racial incident at Washburn High.
Reality is it was one kid that did it. The others were standing around when he did it. Stupid stupid stupid...but seems like there were lots of people waiting to complain about something...anything. You got your stage. Now you'll be in the spotlight for 15 minutes.
What happened is a symtom of the cultural racism that exists to this day.Racism has to be taught and it begins at home.It has to be dealt with.Just because Washburn is much more diverse than it was 50 years ago doesn't mean people get along any better.
Racism is ugly. There is no other word for it. This may have been just a stupid kid pulling what he thought was a prank, but it won't be interpreted that way. Hanging dolls, swastikas placed by synagogues, burning crosses--these and other like symbols are symbols of a brutality that is still very much with us. But be that as it may: did the Strib report "news" in this case or create it? However this is handled within the school, it is certain that the story as reported without is going to cause racial tension, and possibly even spark retaliation. This involved minors in a situation that was already being handled internally by the school. It should have been left there.
Owatannabill- great post! I agree 100%. Much of what is spewed as news today is sensationalism. As horrible as hanging a doll with dark skin is- it really is no different than any other form of bullying and/ or harassment. Be it done to nerds, gays, fat kids, skinny kids, or minorities. Where I grew up on the iron range people were teased in the 60s and 70s because of: nationality, what town you were from, religion, north or south side and the list goes on. Our melting pot is many times a tower of Babel. And-kids will be kids.
The editorial alludes to racial threats, intimidation and violence in the South, as if it never happened here in the north. Id did happen here, and still does.
And if the doll were white why would it make it any less an issue?
I was very impressed by all the students who attend Washburn that spoke on Wednesday night. This is their community and their school. They were respectful and articulate. Some of the adults, less so. Some of the so called "activists" who were present were nothing but bullies. While spouting "anit-bullying" and "anit-racist" themes, they themselves were acting like bullies. I found it insulting to Washburn teachers and students that they do not know their history and they that need to "learn about the Jim Crow laws" The students were appalled at this comment. They learned those things in Jr. High. Perhaps if the "activists" and the media would have let this be handled by the students and the school, it would not have turned into a more dangerous and damaging situation. Washburn is not a racist school and every student (of all colors) I have spoken to and heard speak, agree with this. Why are the adults creating a problem that does not exist? No one argues this is serious, but it can be made worse by throwing fuel on the fire.
Was this an act of ignorance, or was it an act of malice? Additionally, does it make a difference in how it should be handled?
Apparently it's not in the past. Racial and gender divisions are critical to modern political strategy.
>>> What happened is a symtom of the cultural racism that exists to this day. <<< That is one way of looking at it. Another is that a single student, or a group of students decided to attract more attention to themselves than they deserved, and knew precisely how to cause a massive overreaction. It is a nasty little prank, and I sincerely hope the perpetrators are caught and receive appropriate punishment, but it is being blown WAY out of proportion.
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