Friday, November 3, 2017

Can we misconstrue the Klan? Or is racism on the rise amongst our teens?

I’ll be curious to see how the courts wind up addressing a case out of a high school in suburban Barrington, where some people are insisting on discipline for several students they believe were supportive of the Ku Klux Klan.
The ultimate arbiter?

For this incident reminds me of something potentially equally stupid back when I was in high school more than three decades ago – one Halloween when a student managed to concoct an overly elaborate costume for himself that wound up offending certain students of an African-American persuasion.

HIS COSTUME, AS I remember it, was essentially a white sheet – albeit one that had been decorated with elaborate, ghoulish-looking drawings. As I recall, the costume was intended to be symbolic of the rock band Black Sabbath (remember Ozzy Osbourne back when he really bit the heads off of bats and before he became a reality television star?).

But the black students who saw this white sheet walking down the hall presumed that someone had the nerve to wear a crude-looking Klan robe to school, and I remember seeing them chasing this student down the hall.

Teachers ultimately intervened, and the incident didn’t become anything lasting – although I wonder if somewhere out there is a one-time school mate (one whom I haven’t seen or heard from since those days) of mine who’s convinced he saw the Klan, and wishes he could have kicked its derriere.

Or, if some heavy metal rock fan realizes how close he came to getting a beat down because of his absurd choice of a Halloween costume?

IT SEEMS THERE is an incident at Barrington High School that has elevated to higher intensity levels – one that the courts ultimately will have to resolve.

It seems the Internet, amongst its many stupid and trivial images and tidbits, includes a photograph of white girls at a party, wearing white t-shirts and holding their arms over their heads in a gesture that some are choosing to be the equivalent of Klan hoods.

One of the girls, whose party the photo was supposedly taken at, is identified by initials. Which happen to be a string of “K’s.” How unfortunate for her.

For it means the photograph has been spread around the Internet to people who are insisting that the high school district take some sort of disciplinary action against these budding white racist princesses who likely view their purpose in life as the propagation of the white race by creating multiple white supremacist babies. A statement as over-the-top, ridiculous and absurd as this case has the potential to be.

THE FACT THAT this activity was not part of any school activity and took place on property not connected to the school doesn’t seem to sway any of these activist-types. They want action!

And when Barrington Community School District 220 didn’t provide it, they went to court, where assorted documents have been filed in recent months, and a hearing on the issue is scheduled for Monday.

Now I don’t know any of the people involved in any side of this particular case. So I don’t know if any of these girls involved at what was a “white out” party (everybody, including the black people who were invited, wore white clothes) has racist tendencies in their personalities.

Or if the activist types are just looking for a fight that some of my black classmates were willing to carry out many years ago.

BUT YET I don’t want to automatically dismiss the chance of racist perceptions being seen in our society. For they are there. They are real. We do have people with irrational hang-ups amongst us who largely count on the fact that they can couch them in such vague ways so as to make them unnoticeable to the masses.

Who would just as soon believe that such things, if they ever really existed, are a part of our societal past.

Ultimately, it’s going to be the courts that will have to decide what constitutes improper and racist behavior, and whether this incident rises to that level.

Although there’s a part of me that suspects the only real crime here is the parents of a certain teenage girl who gave their daughter a name resulting in multiple K’s for initials.


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