Are "we" just too damn sensitive?
Another story about racism in America
A homecoming display at a High School was suppose to rally school spirit for the night's homecoming game, what it did was upset students and parents and caused the principal to call a town meeting. The display depicted a Viking football player in the claws of a falcon. Parents and students thought that it looked like someone being hanged. Have we become so damn sensitive that every action must be held under a racial microscope? Or are we not sensitive enough to those that still suffer the pains of their forefathers?
Hey, this is Leticia and I must admit that I'm not sure that my heart or head is ready for this article yet. On a personal note I've been really dealing with the realities of the Jena 6 and it was and continues to be such an emotional drain for me. If you've missed the story Google it, because I can't even begin to go there right now. So, I found this story that is somewhat related but may be considered by some a lot less serious...you decide.
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This could have taken place in any town USA. However, it happens to occur in a small town in North Carolina. It was homecoming week and as so many high schools do, there were pep rallies and competitions among the school clubs and organizations to see who had the most "spirit". One group, like many before them, created a dummy football player, dressed it up in the competitions school colors and with the claw of a falcon (the home teams mascot), attached to the mock player, that was shown dangling from the ceiling of the school.
Some students and then parents said that the display looked like a "black person being hanged". There were complaints and then the Principal invited more people to come and view the exhibit to "judge for themselves". Then there were reports that the school was suffering like so much of our country right now, with racial tension. So, the Principal tried to hold a town meeting to address the issues...it was postponed due to the "lack of sufficient facilitators".
Is it just me or do you remember a time during high school when we would have an effigy of the other schools mascot and set it on fire? The whole idea was to massacre, kill, and cream the competition. It was about building team spirit, morale, getting hyped up before the big game. The game where everyone that wore the same colors and sat on the same side were all for the same team? There was no black or white, just (insert your team color here).
In no way am I saying that a noose doesn't represent a terrible act that in our history for so many meant something very painful, hateful and unspeakable. When did "intent" stop being important? When did we stop caring how some things to some people are offensive? What or who determines what side of that thin line the actions perpetrated fall?
Is it self appointed civil rights leaders, angry grudge ridden parents, politicians or worse yet the media? How do we heal a wound that is constantly being re-opened again and again?
Are there others out there that believe that even though a certain word or action may not offend me personally, I respect the fact that it offends you and therefore I will not publicly use it because even though I may not know you, I don't want to hurt you...on purpose? That even though I may have the right, under the constitution, to say what I want, when I want, where I want. I will above all else use discretion when choosing my words because my intent is to educate not humiliate.
Above all else I do understand and realize that I do have a place (that I can create), where I can freely display my thoughts, views and opinions with any words, pictures and samples that I so choose, and where others of like mind and opinion can come and freely express theirs, and if you don't agree or like it, you don't have to bare witness because it is clearly marked and labeled for what it is and it's not on public display. But how do we do that? How do we not offend someone, anyone, and everyone at some point in time? And if we do how do we explain that the intent was to just be us and sometimes it has nothing to do with you?!
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