Monday, March 9, 2015

Showing Up

This morning a hidden camera tape surfaced of a fraternity on the University of Oklahoma campus singing a blatantly racist song.  The verse included a reference to the N word and how their membership would never include the same.
How sad that this comes on the 5th anniversary of the Cvil Rights march for voting rights in Selma.  It comes juxtaposed in the news with another young African-American man being shot to death by police.
As saddening as this is, what seems even more troubling is that no major Republican figure went to Selma to represent the U.S. Congress at that major Civil Rights venue in this country's past.  Are we that alienated?  Apparently.  What is equally sad is that those frat boys and most of those politicos will never experience the power and empowerment that comes from taking your beliefs to the street.  The willingness to become visible and take a stand for what you know to be morally right is both a privilege and, I submit, an important experience for all.  What must it be like to have no sense of that?  Is that why people unthinkingly sing racist songs or do not think they need to attend milestone events that are crucial to the government they represent?

Though the media is rife with fear about International terrorism, we do well to consider that the inability of this country to deal with race is really the issue that is most threatening.  When I see school systems trying to literally control the narrative in their text books and intimidating young teachers with assessment data that is virtually meaningless, I experience fear.  Maybe the hidden camera can help with this current dilemma.  Evidence, on video, of the complexity of educating a human being just might be the way to go.  That and teachers uniting, despite the continued attempts to alienate and intimidate them.  What's at stake here is sending a generation to college that will sing a different kind of song.

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