When did Hitler's killing of millions of people become funny? If the hood
wasn't a KKK hood, what was it a coincidence?What if it had been a
guy running around in 1800's clothing with a paper that said Mormon
Extermination Order? Shout of "Mob power!!!" Would that be funny?Those who don't think this is a big deal get to live in their shell of
comfort because you don't know what it is like to be targeted and intimidated
with racial "humor".
The area around Alta is about 90% white according a recent map published in the
NY Times representing data from the latest census. It does not surprise me that
most parents in the area would think it was over blown. If I was in
an area where a group, say the LDS, were an extreme minority, and if someone
wore garments to a school rally it would be offensive. But most parents would
probably think that a suspension and any media attention would be overblown.I guess it matters which side of the aisle you are sitting at determines
how one perceives an event.
This isn't about this specific instance, it's about having someone to blame like
two veteran administrators. Why isn't the superintendent willing to support his
administrators rather than to throw them under the bus? Hmmm... there is
something more going on here...
Meanwhile, back in the real world, approximately 100 people will be murdered in
the USA today. And most of the perpetrators and victims will belong to ethnic
minority groups. Where are the protests about that? Or doesn't that
If this is a true representation of what happened, it is a serious overreaction
by the district. I suspect that there was a little more to it than just a
student defending his class color. However, there must be proof to show that
the student intended for it to be a racist act and understood the impact of such
an act on others before action is taken against him. Any action taken at that
time should fit the full "facts" of the case and not just be a
reaction to the fact that one or more students were offended by the act. After
all, people being people often take offense where not was intended.The same applies to the administration. They have a right to at least the
same due process as the student. Unfortunately the way this incident is
unfolding looks much more like a lynching. I believe that was also part of the
racial history of this nation. So we treat a situation that may or may not have
had intended racial overtones by using another bad part of the abominable racial
history of our country to deal with it.Did not Dr. Doty earn a JD?
Whether you think it's overblown or not, we are talking about a 16-17 year old
kid being an idiot. Kids do dumb things. I think it's safe to assume that he's
not a member of the local KKK Chapter. This episode has made National News.
The kid wearing the pillow case (let's keep in mind that it was a pillow case
and NOT a hood) has been raked over the coals. The Adminstration has been
suspended. Lesson learned. I am pretty certain that everyone has got something
out of this and will be more sensitive. Get the kid and admin's back in school
and move on. Yes it was terrible. But no one was hurt or killed. Kids screw
up. If it was your kid, you would have forgiven by now. Probably grounded him.
But certainly forgiven him.
This is a tragedy all around, for our community. The comments in this young
mans's blog are filled with language that is unfit for display anywhere, no
matter what the topic. I am sickened and appalled that these students raised
in our community obviously feel that this sort of communication is acceptable.
Are the parents of these kids ever checking their computer use? Children who
communicate in this manner need serious intervention, and this begins at home.
The bullying language used in these comments should be a wake-up call to
everyone, as well.
I graduated from Alta. I am racking my brain trying to come up with a scenerio
where something, even remotely, resembling a KKK hood would be even a little bit
funny. If things happend as described here, shame on anyone who did
not just get up and leave the auditorium when this "clown" dawned his
He offended in a public way, let him apologize in a public way, and then forgive
him and forget. Lesson learned.
Seniors wear all black, juniors wear all white...who set that up? Black vs.
white? Which teacher fumbled the ball on creating this insensitive
"learning" environment. Overblown or not, why do it to begin with?This young man was a junior this year competing for the white team
against the black team. Rules his school set up. Is he a bona fide
racist? Maybe or maybe not. Someone should find out, but he's obviously at least
too immature for this "learning" activity at his high school and I am
guessing he's wasn't the only one acting immature at the spirit rally.
Here's the thing....Was the kid being stupid? Yes.Was the kid
intending to do something Racist? Don't believe so.Was the offended kid
making a mountain out of a mole hill? ProbablyIs EVERYONE over-reacting?
YES..This PC crap has to stop... People who LOOK for racism will
find it intended or not.Have we got to the piont where we are so sensative
to offending someone else we go so overboard that we now have to watch every
single thing we do? I say "get over yourself".I know what
racism is, my family comes from the deep south, aso it first hand in the 60's.
This was simply a kid doing something stupid. The principal should
have pulled the kid in and have a talk. THE END!
Yep, just what I figured I would find here: comments from people, just like
some parents at Alta, who don't understand what the big deal is.To
explain: the big problem isn't that a high school kid made a very tasteless
joke. Adolescents do that sort of thing all the time, and it's actually kind of
heartening that the world has improved enough that the kid didn't grasp just how
inappropriate the joke was. The big problem was that the school administrators
didn't do anything. All they needed to do was sit down with the kid and his
parents for a talk about what happened, bring him up to speed on the history of
race-related violence in this country (something a few Deseret News commentors
need as much as the high school student), and make sure he understands why what
he did was inappropriate. Apparently, though, the school
administrators did nothing, and therein lies the problem. The incident itself
was, as many have pointed out, was intended only as a joke, not as a threat to
anyone. But it needed to be addressed by the responsible adults.Everyone clear on that?
Incidents of descrimination like this are overblown.... if they're aimed at a
group that is different than you. If the descrimination is aimed at your group,
it is not overblown.
Anyone can be offended by anything if they try hard enough. The assumption here
is that the student meant to offend and that he put the white pillow case on his
head to purposefully portray the KKK. The explanation of why he did this (which
had nothing to do with race) is reasonable and the student should be taken at
his word unless there is strong evidence to the contrary such as him saying that
it was race motivated. People; you need to grow up. You can't prevent
everyone from having their feelings hurt. what we encourage with this type of
attention is a society who sues and presses charges every time someone looks at
them the wrong way(in their opinion) or says something they don't like. Grow up
and get over it!
Obviously, the young man who wore the white hood is extremely ignorant and
over-indulged. I don't believe he is even aware of how horrible his actions
were. It sounds like parents and teachers need to take this opportunity to
educate not only this student, but others like him, on the history of racism in
this country. There is not anything about this situation that is
Knowing what the due process issues for all involved here, the district would
not have taken the steps they have, without some serious previous issues
documented. This is a sad day, and I wish everyone involved a chance to learn,
heal, and move on.
The only ones making a big deal out of this are the ones that didn't see what
actually happened. It also seams odd to me that the kid who supposedly
took offence to this has a father trying to sell a book about racism.
Hmmmmm. Read the kids blog, then read the comments to his blog. Then come back
and tell me there's no racism problem there.....
white, black, and red are the school colors. no one was trying to pit white
against black. They were all just assigned a school color.
Let's outlaw anything white (and black).
Yes, the kid should not have done it, he thought it would be funny. It's
something that most of us have seen in the movies. Remember the scene in
"Scary Movie" where a rapper who is white is on stage rapping in front
of a black crowd? After he's done, the crowd is cheering but then he puts on the
hood from his jacket and it mistakenly looks like a KKK hood. The entire crowd
stares in silence while pointing their revolvers at the white singer. Wrong on a
couple of levels, but funny?When we start seeing behavior like this
in the movies, we begin to feel that it's OK to poke fun of peoples' race and
religion and especially for a 16 year old it's hard to see where those barriers
are. The kid has been suspended and has apologized. I think he's been through
enough. Lesson learned.
From the article, "During this year's assembly, the parents of the student
accused of racial discrimination said, their son was chanting "white
power" with members of the junior class in opposition to the students
cheering "black power."". Were some students offended because
the senior class was cheering "black power"? Seems ridiculous to
expel the student accused of racial discrimination. sensitive folks. maybe the
school needs to change its school colors so no one is offended by white, black
or red. were Native Americans offended too?
"he began running in circles while showing his support for the general Nazi
cause, hailing Hitler."Make excuses for that one those of you
who say "look for racism hard enough you will find it".White power and Hitler have done tremendous damage and has resulted in
millions of deaths. This is not a harmless event. The kid was purposefully
taunting.You know darn sure that if this were an anti LDS
demonstration this principle would have been fired before he could take his next
breath.This incident is not overblown and is quite serious. If you
don't think it is serious, then you are part of the privileged class that thinks
they never need top worry about this stuff. Racism is alive and well.
I grew up in Utah. I am white. I lived on the South side of Chicago for
six-years as a minority before moving back to Utah and I now have a very
different view on racial issues in this state. This is a case of extreme
ignorance to black history and racial issues in general, simply because of the
lack of diversity here; the incident at Alta High attests to that.Do
I think this kid meant real harm? No. Do I think this incident was overblown?
Maybe, but I'm glad it was. Utah in general is way behind on racial issues and
we need some heightened awareness of the history and how that translates to
today. Not everything is fixed and perfect between races, not on any side, and
anyone who thinks racism is in the past or a joke, is disrespectful and
ignorant. Ignorance is a very dangerous thing.
How many Utah kids really know much about the Klan anyway? Being a mom of three
teens, I can tell you that with this generation the Klan means very little
compared to my generation (X) or my parents generation (Baby Boomer) for that
matter. The kids were wearing costumes to reflect their year colors. I wouldn't
be surprised at all...this being "white" Utah if this student really
understood the all of the ramifications that his stupidity would bring. Was it a
poor choice? Sure, but we are making more of it than it needs to be.... I don't
think this student needs his life ruined for making one poor choice.I
believe that racism needs to be eliminated in all forms; however, I would be
more concerned if this was an ongoing problem that the administration turned a
blind eye to.One more note..The young man with the blog is sure
getting alot of attention, and his moment in the spotlight as well. Just shows
that it pays in this country to find offense in anything.
Many people don't realize that many other racism related things have been
happening at alta and for this "joke" to happen at the same time seems
like to much of a coincidence. There was a racist text floating around
and the kid who wore the kkk sheets has done it before.
To the poster from Beverly Hills, care to tell us how racially diverse that city
Of course the parents of the kid who wore the hood say the whole issue is
overblown, why would they want to be responsible for their hood wearing kid.
Why would they want to admit he did anything wrong, it is much easier to blame
someone else. The kid messed up, admit it and move on, don't just make excuses
for his behavior.
Well I can't speak to the motives of the student, but either way it looks
bad:1. the student is intentionally racistor2. The student has reached high school completely ignorant of American history
and racial relations.What could possibly go on in that student's
Beaker asks "Remember the scene in "Scary Movie" where a rapper
who is white is on stage rapping in front of a black crowd?"Actually, no. Why would anyone pay money to see such trash?Tell
us you didn't take your kids to it?AND YES, GO READ THE COMMENTS ON
THE KID'S BLOG>Children learn from their parents, and there's a lot of
shameful parents in the Alta HS area.
@Mom of Six Oh, yeah. The boy who's getting "all that
attention" sure is!I guess you read ALL of the comments being
directed at him -- and you dare proffer that it's a benefit to him?If your child doesn't know about the Klan, your child hasn't been educated on
lots that's important. Homeschool?
Fair to say that the accused kid was being stupid. Have you even read the
comments on the kids blog? This whole thing has been a chance for those who are
racist, both against "whites" and "black", to go ahead and
express their racist opinions. Just read the comments and you will find just as
many anti-white comments as there are anti-black. How come it's not
"against the rules" to be offensive to whites?Me myself, i'm a
minority. I know exactly what it's like to be put up against racist situations.
Get over it. Minorities get a lot of breaks because their not white. They have a
greater chance of getting into colleges because their not white. Thats life.
Racism and Bigotry cuts both waysIt is a fallacy to assume the antic was
racially motivated. Lets not besmudge the boy, pretend to know his motivations
and character, and most importantly lets not rush to judgement about his
upbringing and his family.Unless you know him and his family
personally, please dont rush to judge his parents, his neighborhood or him based
on a stereotype. Isnt that the the same mistake the KKK made in the first
place?We can analyze the action and judge it wrong, but let us not
assume to know what the boy was thinking, or more likely NOT thinking.
Ive read Mr. Cosbys blog and also scrolled through the 200 or so comments. There
is a common theme. For the most part those that were NOT there assume the boy
who donned the hat was racially motivated and react accordingly. Those that WERE
there and who know both boys react quite differently, claiming that the boy is
in fact not racist but rather a tool and clueless as to the history and
suffering of blacks and the role the KKK played. Here is what I
gather from eyewitness accounts.1. The boy in question is not
racist, his best friend is black. His antic was focused on the senior black clad
class and not blacks as a race. Yes it was stupid, but stupid not racially
motivated. Rather than being labeled a racist the boy needs some education with
regard to the plight of blacks in this country.2. Mr. Cosby himself
has somewhat of a reputation for using racial slurs and behaving as a bully. He
and his father are using this event rather disingenuously for publicity of an
upcoming book.3. Mr. Cosby is not entirely accurate in his reporting
of the event.
Anyone have any comments about the state-funded scholarship program that only
provides monies to white males? It discriminates against females, latinos, and
blacks alike. Only white males are allowed to be apportioned any taxpayer
Racism is deplorable in all its forms and if there is any sort of a history of
threatening behavior or exchanges involving this student, he should be expelled
(and perhaps further action is warranted). However, accusing someone of racism
who had no intention to offend or have his act construed as that of a racist
statement is almost as reprehensible. I don't say it is equally reprehensible
because some people may be overly sensitive because of racism that may have been
directed toward them in the past. High school kids make bad decisions sometimes,
not realizing what they are be doing could be misconstrued. I'm not sure what
the case is here, but I struggle to associate a pillowcase with a KKK pointed
hood unless there was other behavior that suggested a racist sentiment. Whatever
the case, I hope the district can get to the bottom of it and move on.
Crazy Alta Falcons. This is way overblown!
From the article:"When asked about racism in schools, Utah Gov.
Gary Herbert said Tuesday it's important that Utahns be welcoming to
everyone."That's true. It IS important. And it's important
for parents to be good examples to their children. This means not verbally
bashing those whose skin color and heritage might be different from their own.
Little pitchers have big ears.
What suddenly made the school(Alta) unsafe today that they need the police?
@Reasonable PersonMr. Cosby has a book deal, and the publicity is
not hurting him. After all, he is young too and is getting some attention from
all of this as well. I feel bad that he chose to be offended rather than shaking
it off, and considering the source.BTW- My children are not
homeschooled...I wrote my comment to make the point that here in Utah we have
very little exposure to the KKK. Although children can read about the Klan in
textbooks and hear of what hate can do... reading and experiencing first hand
are two separate events. The actions of this student are stupid and
deplorable, but speaks of ignorance not hate.
The situation is not overblown. It is good the powers that be don't tolerate
what happened. That said I there is no evidence of significant malace here,
just youthful ignorance. He deserves to be forgiven and I hope he will be and
soon.It doesn't help that the the boys parents say the issue is
overblown, ... it isn't. They need to understand that undeserved hurt can
occurr in cases even where it wasn't intended. The offended kid should in no way
just suck it up or put up with what happened. He was right to not tolerate this.
He was right to stand up for himself and others by speaking out.
I believe there may be more to the situation than is contained in the news
story. The fact the district put two senior level administrators on paid leave,
administrators who have worked in the Jordan and Canyons Districts for many
years, several days after district people began an investigation into the one
incident, as well as the police presence, seems to indicate to me that there is
more going on than the one incident mentioned in the article.
I read the kids blog I think that kid should be punished.Why is it
only white people that can be accused of racism?
Nothing like teaching children about racism, even if it wasn't a raciest
gesture. The authorities are assuming the act was to be racist. What about
another scenario, a ghostly figure, aren't they always portrayed and draped in a
white head to toe? Does ghost costumes mean some one is portraying the KKK or
some-other offensive idea? Maybe we need to pass a law that ghost costumes
cannot be used for halloween, they look to much like a KKK.The real
racist is not the student or administration, its the racist slobs who have
narrow minded focus and are the race police. Weak and narrow minded people are
the ones who are offensive to the rest of the natural world. People who are
ashamed of themselves and how they look and their heritage are the real racist.
If people are too weak to overcome what they are that is not the fault of
society or the laws.
Oh... my mistake.I didn't mean to say that schools discriminate
against black, females, and latinos in order to have a whites-only scholarship
program funded by the taxpayer.It's the other way around. MESA
exists as a tax-funded, MINORITIES ONLY club and scholarship program.Just imagine if someone were to start a WASP school club or a whites only
tax-funded scholarship.Discrimination works both ways. This story
may have little to nothing to do with actual racism, but people are getting fed
up with discrimination of all flavors.
The district's letter said itself this incident is not the only one. Who knows
what they had found.I am surprised to read from parents claiming
kids don't know about KKK. Maybe they think their kids believe babies come from
Paris too?Finally, what about if they send the student to attend an
assembly of some New York high school and do the same thing. I am pretty sure
the student would hardly survive.
First, Ned G is right. Go and find Larz Cosby's blog and see for yourself. The
last time I checked, there were more than 700 responses to his post---many
filled with unambiguous, undeniable hate speech from students at Alta High. Second, the original KKK hoods were made from flour sacks and pillow
cases. It's not that it was a hood, but it reminded the student of a hood.
For a very long time, I've felt that Utah has a bit of a tin ear when it comes
to racial issues. The underlying issues just have not been part of the culture,
and most Utahns really don't get it, even thought they think they do. It's
understandable to a degree, but they just don't.
Wake up parents and friends of Alta View! I'm white but my kids are black and
hispanic. We have people that think it's ok to make comments, or do actions and
then say "it was a joke". If some one complains the response is
'You're being too sensitive. Grow up and wake up! It's the 21st century. You are
the problem. This behavior is unacceptable. If you believe this is ok go back an
live in your cave because you do not belong in civilized society. Think before
you open your mouth.
The insensitivity expressed here is a representation of a larger issue of
insensitivity that has crept into our social discourse over the past couple of
decades. It has been driven by the largely negative, even hateful
"entertainment" available on the AM radio dial through various talk
radio personalities. It has led us to a point where if you don't agree with the
prevailing political ideology, you are Socialist, Communist or, Un-American for
having a different view of things. That is just as ridiculously PC as being
"oversensitive" to a youthful "indiscretion." The real
issue is that very often, people in a bad or tough situation will tell you a
version of the story that does not paint them in a totally bad nor very accurate
light. I bet in and through all of the "versions" of this story is
the truth. Too bad we may never know.
To SJ mom and others who say the adm. should support these guys. It bothers me
as I graduated from SJ and there is no room for the good ol boy system in the
world of academia. The history of SJ has led to the attitude of the desecration
of the graves of the ancients by people who were teachers as well as others in
positions of trust. Maybe if someone had reminded others that stealing wasnt
apart of the dominant society's culture then three good human beings would be
still alive. Yet the rhetoric continues and remains acceptable down your way by
those who think they have a right of passage. What concerns me is ..would such
an antic be acceptable in front to the Utah Jazz team or for that matter
religious leaders or parents of colors. Some of these students are attending
seminary and preparing to give a message of peace...for two years of their lives
which is noble. What is more noble is the message of the mighty change by those
who put the candle in the window of the train of peace. The greatest of all
I don't think I've ever seen such a media hyped hysteria over any issue. It
really punctuates the old adage that you can't believe anything you read in the
newspaper.(Alta administrators were put on leave due to OTHER issues
that were uncovered during the investigation of the hood wearing incident)Based on both written and video testimonies of dozens of witnesses that
were actually at the assembly and attend Alta High, we could reach the
conclusion that the incident was NOT intended racially. Even other black
students (Javon and Ammon) say they know both boys and say they know the white
kid while perhaps clueless is not racist. Both have also said that Larz has
blow this way out of proportion. Multiple witnesses close to the events have
said the white boy has tried repeatedly to talk to and apologize to the black
boy, but that black boy isn't having any of it.In spite of all this
the media hype continues and people that were not there continue to be whipped
up in a race riot hysteria.
if it was a kind of a black joke about white nothing would of been done but if
its a white joke about black oh oh break out the lawyers and that is just the
way it is out there and dont say its not because it is
I'm glad the DesNews has printed this follow up piece with some additional
information.I wasn't there, I don't know what happened. I certainly
don't know what the INTENT of the student was. But I know that one person's
intentions cannot necessarily be discerned by how another person reacts.The student who donned the white pillowcase may well be racist and had
every intention of offending or intimidating.OR, he may have been
completely innocent not intending anything offensive and never making any
connection between his get up and the wardrobe choices of the night riders. I
mean if one wanted to look hard enough one could see some connections between
KKK robes/hoods and the world's easiest ghost costume for Halloween (a white
sheet with two eye holes cut in it).Or, anything in between these
extremes. Most of those commenting here and jumping to conclusions
also were not there. Some however see racism behind every tree. Others, would
not admit to racism if it bit them on the derriere.We would all do
well to reserve judgment just a bit until we get a few more facts.
It sure is easy for the media to get people worked into a frenzy. We better
bring in some counselors to help the students deal with the traumatic stress
this incident has caused. I can hardly bear to think of the mental anguish they
are going through. They should also bring in some people with fancy phd's to
hold some diversity training. Maybe add few more police to patrol the
hallways.Was the kid acting like a bonehead? Yes. Should he be
punished? Yes. Should the school officials be punished? No. Was this blown out
of proportion? Yes. People make fun of my religion all the time. I feel sorry
for them being ignorant more than I feel mad or traumatized.
Well this shows how much of a bubble Utah is. If this kid had worn a
"pillow case" to the High School I went to in another state, he would
have been sent home in a coma from the beating he would get for this offensive
act. But in Utah, he is defended and anybody who objects is too politically
It is a sad day when you have parents attempting to justify the actions of this
child rather than using it as a teaching moment to explain how horribly wrong
his actions were. Perhaps this "justifying" by the parents is an
indication that the child learned these actions and attitudes from these
parents...or perhaps it is an indication that some parents need to develop
appropriate parenting skills. Either way, the actions of this child were
clearly inappropriate and were not indicative of a student simply showing
"pride" in his school.
One thing is a teen being interviewed by the press showing his face to the
public and another being interviewed in private. Teens want to be accepted and
after what is happening to the kid who posted that blog, I don't think they
would want that same attention to themselves. So, unless the media interviews
the kids as anonymous, we will never know what is really happening behind doors.
This is not the only incident. The letter says the district found more problems.
Utah is becoming more diverse. But, there is a long ways to go until we reach
the national averages of minorities vs white. Utah has a reputation for being
overwhelmingly white, as well as having a predominant culture that hasn't always
been accepting of minorities.It is safe to say all of us harbor
feelings of difference with those that look different. Denying this is has
always been politically correct. But we have to face up to the fact that WE
personally must extend a hand of friendship, sensitivity and love to others.When a young person naively makes an error and offends someone in a
racial way, it is a great teaching moment. We all can learn. We all can become
The sky is falling! the sky is falling! There is some truth about racism
in many of these comments. Both traditional discrimination and reverse
discrimination which can be just as bad as the first. The biggest problem is
that most of these comments have little or nothing to do with the event at
Alta.What should have happened: The offended should have spoken with the
Principal and had the other boy called in. The situation could have been
explained and the apologies and acceptance therof could have been offered. The
offender could then have been educated by the Principal and warned that further
behavior could result in discipline. END of story!Instead we have
Jessie and Al coming to town. A little over-reaction? Ya Think!
This is a bad situation in many ways.The kid was wrong to wear a
white "hood" like that. Anyone arguing it's not wrong is naive or
racist.That said, what scares me the most is how a stupid incident
like this can ruin someone's (or several people's) lives.I was a
good kid (even called "goodie-two shoes" at times) and yet I look back
at some of the things I did and know that if my children were to do those things
now day they would probably be arrested or at least sent to alternative
schooling or something. (Firecrackers, shooting the BB Gun in the back yard and
local woods, etc.) Kids are going to do things wrong, like the kid
at Alta. They should be corrected and punished ACCORDINGLY so they learn their
lesson and not just to be to be punitive. Some people act like they would like
the actual KKK to come and use their expertise to hang this kid up in a tree
just for inappropriately (and wrongly) dressing like one of them.
@Hugo StiglitzSo you live in a bubble? LOL!
Over 100 years ago, the federal government determined that the Klan was a
"terrorist organization." Over time, immigrants, other racial
minorities, Catholics, Jews and even labor groups became targets of the Klan.What would the reaction been, in that pep rally, on that day, if it had
been an Asian or Middle Eastern student, donning a head scarf, running around
the gym, pointing at the students?The Ku Klux Klan is still a
terrorist organization. The fact that very few people at the Alta school see
this "prank" as a serious issue is proof of the underlying racism of
that community. I'm sure that most of the students at that school know the
history of the persecution against Mormon pioneers. If the same children don't
know enough about the history of racial injustice, and that it is an ongoing
problem, it is because it has not been important enough for their parents and
their community to teach it to them. Forget about being politically
correct. Let's try just being morally accountable.
So, nobody is aware that the principal and assistant are on paid leave not
because what the student did but because 1) they didn't do a thing and 2)there
were other racial incidents?Is people reading with some level of
Much ado about nothing. Let's fight racism where racism exists. This had nothing
to do with racism. I didn't know that Utah was overcome by PC (Politically
Way overblown by the media but also, we need to not be so sensitive all the
time. The media loves these stories and actually the administrators should have
been prepared to take care of the problem themselves without the medias
interference. Sick of journalists trying to make a name for themselves and
those who tip off stupid stories and cry "The sky is falling."
Several points:1. Setting up a Black vs White assembly (yes I know
those are the school colors) shows poor judgment. The potential for both
misunderstanding and outright racism are too high.2. Why aren't the
reporters "reporting" on this story doing any investigation? They
seem to be simply repeating what the district tell them. Here are some
questions for them to look at: Is there tape of the incident? Did the student
with the pillowcase dress in black-face for Halloween? Did his friends? What
is the "Rawhide" group that they belong to? 3. Anybody
who doesn't think there is a problem at Alta should look at the comments on the
blog that Larz Cozby set up. The stream of hate, vulgarity, and racism on
display by purported Alta students is shocking. Everyone who has children at
Alta should take a look and have a serious discussion with their kids.
Racism is wrong and should not be tolerated. But give me a break. People choose
to be offended. It is a chosen response. If we're going to go into every high
school and start throwing everyone out who has carelessly done something that
offended another then we would solve the problem of classroom size in our
schools. If it was intentional then deal with it appropriately. None of us is
perfect. We all say or do things that others could take offense to, whether
intentional or not. What we need is more tolerance and to give each other the
benefit of the doubt.
to BYU#1 | 10:28. I can understand why many do not view this as a racist
situation.A teenager doing something goofy. But the symbolism he
used, whether deliberate or not, carried a racist message to some.Having been born in Mississippi and raised in the South, I can assure you a
white pillow cover worn over the head is a very real symbol of extreme racism in
the South.We are far removed geographically and historically from
the South here in Utah. But racism is definitely here among us, and in the past
history of the Utah culture.So it isn't "much ado about
nothing". The investigation associated with the principal and vice will
determine the relative seriousness of the Alta situation(s).
When a white child wears a klan hood and gives a nazi salute to a brown or black
child at school, the school has a responsibility to help the white child and
his/her parents understand the meaning of the attire and action. Meaning is a combination of the intent of the person communicating and the
understanding of the person receiving the communication - within the context of
the situation and setting.The principal and vice-principal neglected
their duty as leaders of the school.
Why not invite the two young men to sit down with a counseler at school and go
over the issue? Have the counseler explain why the boy with the pillowcase needs
to think more about what he is doing and how things may look to others, even if
no harm meant. The boy can explain what his actions were and what he did. The
other young man can explain how this appeared to him and why it may have been
upsetting with him. The more they can talk, the more they can see that they are
very much alike in many ways. Teenagers with teenager problems. Grades, school,
acne, etc.. By bringing all the other things into this, we are forgetting these
are two teenage boys and they can probably get along if we just let them. There
clearly is a disagreement over what happened and only one boy knows what really
I listened to an interview with the mother of the boy accused of the racist act,
and to be honest, I believe her account of what happened. She was not
defensive, and in fact expressed great remorse that she had not done a good
enough job of educating her children about things that can be interpreted as
racist. However, this was a pep rally in which senior students were assigned
black, juniors were assigned white, and the sophomores were assigned red (black,
red, and white are the school colors). Many students were dressed almost
entirely in their assigned color. Many students with sweatshirts pulled their
hoods up over their heads to try to achieve a "black out" or
"white out". And this boy grabbed a pillow case and put it over his
head. The "nazi" salute was actually him jumping around pumping his
arm up and down like you would expect at a pep rally.Also, from her
account, her son was sent home for the remainder of that day, and suspended for
an additional full day because the administration explained to her that his
actions could be interpreted as racist. She did not fight the suspension.
Continued . . .
It looks like Hoops Fan 12:30 pm) put it correctly. How can we get to the point
of calling this act racist? It's obsurd. And to compound the situation by
suspending the Principal and Vice Principal by the action of the School Board?
All this did, along with the snap judgement and over reaction of the local
media, and everyone else weighing in on it without the facts is just
irresonsible. And making the entire studentbody of Alta High School somehow
become part of this and have to interview everyone about it? Chill out and get
back to reality. This state is not racist. According to black activists, by
virtue of being a white person, you are automatically racist. That is how far
afield from reality we have come.
Part 2: Instead, she agreed that some consequences would be appropriate for
what occurred, even if it was not intentional. One point that she made was
particularly compelling. Basically, she said that her son is so NOT racist that
it never occurred to him how his actions might be interpreted. He apparently
has a very diverse group of friends, but never refers to them as a "black
friend" and just doesn't think of them in that context. Isn't that what
we're striving for as a society?? That doesn't mean there should be
ignorance about our history, but causing offense out of ignorance is much better
than doing it intentionally, in my opinion. It seems to me that the former is
what occurred here.Having said that, I was deeply disturbed and
appalled by the comments left on the student's blog about the incident. Racist
or not, the majority of those comments reflect very poorly on the character of
the students who are posting, and if there really are that many foul-mouthed
punks at Alta, I would agree that they do have a problem there.
With so many witnesses, how can there still be a question about the boy's
behavior. What else did he do besides don a pillowcase and run around? Did he
single out any non-whites for derision? Did he make any Nazi salutes or say
anything racist? It should be obvious all the witness what he actually did.
Deciding why he did it and how strictly he should be punished is another matter.
My guess is that Cosby kid (no pun intended) has an axe to grind. If you choose
to be offended than you can be offended for anything. Finding racism at what
amounts to a pep rally, where there actually is none, says alot about the kid
who was offended. I think that is he is the most racist of all. It would be
interesting to see just how big the chip on his shoulder actually is.The kids were wearing the school colors, white, black, and red. They weren't
up there burning crosses or hanging anyone. They weren't making racist comments
or insults. Was the wearing of a pillow case on his head stupid? Maybe. Was
it wrong? No.If we truely want to live in a color blind society and
treat all as equals, then we need to look at ourselves and decide if we are
going to let a school assembly offend us.
It's really disheartening to hear members of the overwhelmingly white majority
to tell people to not be so offended. That's very easy to say from within the
middle of the giant, white crowd.But when you are the minority it is
a different story. Mormons, of all people, should understand this.If
you're a member of the majority telling someone in the minority to "not be
so PC," you can be pretty sure that you don't really understand the
situation.In fact, this situation is the direct result of a whole
generation of coddled white kids hearing their parents dismiss even the most
commonsense call for civility and respect as "political
correctness."Would it be so hard to err on the side of respect?
Could anything bad come of that?
Racism on any level is not appropriate. That being said, Superintendent Doty's
public spanking of two fine long term public servants was both inappropriate and
wrong. The lack of experience by Mr. Doty is evident. In his effort to give
the appearance that he doesn't support any form of racism he leads the public to
believe, through his public actions against the principals at Alta High, these
two administrators support racism which does not reflect the truth at all. Doty
touts himself as the "Great Communicator," but his actions of throwing
his own public servants under to bus to protect his personal image is tiresome
to both the community and other district employees.
When you escape the "whiteness" of Utah you start to truly understand
how bad it still is.I'm from Utah...very much white. And I used to
think that most racism was very much gone. Now I live in the midwest...where
the white folk still call the African American Folk...colored...to there
face.Schools in the south are still being ordered to
desegregate...cause they are still trying to send all the African American kids
to one school...and the white kids to another. Schools in the South still have
White proms, Black proms...ect.Utah needs to wake up and realize
that ignorance is not an excuse. He is old enough to realize he was using poor
poor judgment....period.If my child's school allowed such nonsense
to go on...I'd pull her out in a heart beat. Most in Utah are not willing to
stand up to racism...by just believing it doesn't still exist.
Do the people who say this is an overreaction also think racism is OK? That
would be my guess. And if they do think racism is OK, I'm guessing they would
be against descrimination if it were targeted at them and theirs. Again, pure
selfishness and a lack of empathy for others.
It's sweet that you all have decided that this boy "chose" to be
offended by a symbol of an organization that terrorized and killed thousands of
his race. These comments are just a symptom of the privilege you're viewing the
situation with, which is unfortunate.Further, it's unfortunate that
this is viewed as a "PC" issue. Any portrayal of the KKK, done in
ignorance or not, invokes the hate and terror that organization spreads. Mr.
Cosby has every right to be offended.
A student being threatened with a noose on the football bus while being taunted
by racial slurs, nazi salutes in the lunch room while even more racial slurs are
being thrown out, white power group on campus. This is not just
ignorace, "a joke" gone wrong, a misinformed student, political
correctness, a student who "chose" to be offended--this is undeniable
blatant racism. I am totally sickened by the comments on this
message board, by those who choose to see it anything but that!
@Menace,I'm one who said that I believe the mother's account of what
happened with her son. And I absolutely, unequivocally do not believe racism is
okay. But if we're going to talk about racism, shouldn't we also be
disciplining all of the senior students who were dressed in black, including
those who wore black sweatshirts and pulled them up over their heads and were
shouting "Black Power?" If not, why not? I believe it's because
everyone realizes that those students were simply caught up in the pep rally,
and were thinking about their school colors, not race. Is this a
good learning opportunity? Absolutely! For the whole student body, and
especially for these boys involved. But does it warrant crucifying a kid who
admittedly didn't exercise a lot of wisdom, but also wasn't even alive when the
KKK was most active in our country? By most accounts, he didn't intend anything
by his actions other than a rowdy display of class spirit and has repeatedly
attempted to apologize. His mother has also apologized for not teaching him
about that part of our country's history.
Is the Assistant Principle Mr. Montague the former teacher at Brighton High
School? If so, I am confident he in no way knew about or condoned this racist
behavior. Mr. Montague at Brighton was the American Problems teacher (many
years ago...not telling how old I am!) who taught us all about the evils of
hatred and racism. The things I learned in his class still have an effect on me
today and the way I chose to raise my children. He class was very advanced for
the time and he was a life changing teacher.
Possible solution: Have school uniforms. The students wear them to class and
all school sponsored events. They can look pretty good and a lot of students
take some pride in wearing their uniforms. No one takes offense for a real or
imagined clothing insult. No crazy "T" shirts with crude and vulgar
messages on them. No questions about immodest dressing. And, students wouldn't
have to spend lots of money for a new wardrobe each year. I saw it in England
and there were no problems associated with it. It has also been done
successfully in lots of private and public schools in the USA. There are some
real benefits. What are the negatives?
I'm a minority and consider myself an observant person because I've always been
aware of my surroundings. I don't consider this post a valid recognition of
racist bullying. The guy who was wearing the white costume, in my view, may have
been taunting the OP, however, unlikely due to racism, and more so because he
was showing off to his friends.If this was the only experience the
OP had, he has no case other than preconceived notions he created in his own
mind. I know what it's like to be excluded and looked down upon because of my
race, so I sympathize with how he felt, but I believe his conclusion is
convoluted.The biggest problem with this post is how drenched it is
with political correctness. He used how he FELT to "make a case"
against the school and it's officials, rather than by the facts. As a society,
we are a melting pot of many races, and that's wonderful, but what isn't
wonderful is how people seem to misunderstand one another, and how the underdogs
(minorities) can get their revenge to an unnecessary dispute.
One more thing, I dont agree with the actions the kid in white was portraying, I
really do believe he was just showing off to his friends. This age group is
bound by immature thoughts and actions, as long as theres no violence and abuse,
it should be corrected and pardoned.Kids in the past used to pretend
to use gang signs in my high school, not because they were in a gang, but
because they were influenced by mainstream media and MTV. Did that reflect their
gang status? Absolutely not. Did it reflect their immaturity? Most definitelyAnd
this never lead to anything more than immature playing around with their
friends.Im aware that other high schools in the United States exist
with real gangs, but it did not exist in my high school, so honestly, it was
never an issue.
When I went to Alta the school colors were Silver, Black and Crimson. If people
would have just left the school colors what they were we might not have this
problem. Who would have cared if someone was in a silver outfit and yelling
"Silver Power". The Ding Dongs who changed the school colors should
have left well enough alone.
There was no racism intended by the students actions and that should be obvious
given the circumstances. He did nothing to tie his attire to the KKK or any of
the other things that have been said according to friends and witnesses. I'm
sorry this gentleman was offended but I don't think the other kid did anything
wrong unless he somehow tied what he did to something racist. Just putting on a
pillowcase should not get someone branded as KKK. That is stupid.Now, go read the comments on this person's blog if you want to see the real
problem. You will see it is not limited to a single race, nor is the hate
limited by gender, appearance, sexual orientation or religion - now that stuff
"just pulling a hood on" and chanting White Power.... that is a bit
more than some 9 year old playing casper the ghost. If this chap didn't know
the significance to doing the Hitler salute, chanting white power, and donning a
white hood represents, then both the schools and his parents have done a real
poor job of educating this kid, and those around him that equally don't
"get it". Are people or more specifically youth in Utah
really that clueless? The accidental display ignorance, if that is what it was,
clearly displays how isolated Utah really has become.
UtahBlueDevil, I haven't read that anyone else corroborates Larz's claims of a
Hitler-style salute (just putting your hands in the air is not enough) or any of
the other claims in Larz's blog about racially oriented discrimination. So
removing those from the equation let us look at what we have.The
school has assigned colors to the grades (white for Juniors). An assembly is
then held where students from the different grades espouse their pride in their
color/grade by chanting and wearing those colors. One junior puts on a sheet
and pillowcase of his color (again white) and people suddenly lose all
situational context.Now, are we so sensitive that putting on a sheet
and pillowcase under these circumstances automatically depicts us as emulating
or depicting the KKK and subjects us to repercussions as if that was our
intention all along regardless of our true intentions. Good heavens, what about
children who dress up in sheets for Halloween, do we look at them and scream
"KKK!" because that is all they could possibly be dressing like that
Justin - I would agree with you except for this line from the piece...."The investigation pertains to "serious incidents" that have
taken place at the school over the past year that were uncovered
recently"and then the continuing story today that this was not
an isolated incident. I know no one wants to admit this stuff goes on in our
schools, that our kids don't need to deal with adult issues. But unfortunately
our kids are a reflection of the attitudes around them and those they are
allowed to see in the media. The fact that the police and others
looking into this have found a pattern of activity lends credibility to the
accuser here. I am all for giving people the benefit of doubt... but where
there is smoke, quit often there is fire. And there really is no
alternative interpretation of a cross burning. Sure the kid down the block
dressed in a sheet could be just being a ghost for halloween, but you add a
burning cross to the picture, salute or not, most can figure out what the intent
was.Why would anyone make excuses for this really confuses me.
UtahBlueDevil, if there are serious incidents that have been uncovered then we
need to deal with those, no question. I'm strictly talking about the incident
at the assembly with the sheet and pillowcase. I don't know if that correlates
to any cross-burnings or other forms of intimidation and racism or not. If the
investigation finds that there is in fact a link and that the intentions of the
student in the pillowcase were to go beyond the context of just that assembly
than that changes things considerably. If there is no connection, and it is
just a kid in a pillowcase, then I stand by my previous comments.