For many sports teams, chants at games and pep rallies are a must. While many of them may perhaps dated and uninspired, they are nevertheless a treasured tradition.
One of the most classic chants is simply shouting the school’s name or colors back and forth among parts of the crowd. For one Connecticut high school, however, this practice has recently come under fire.
East Hampton High, whose school colors are blue and white, has been told they can no longer chant the “white” part of “blue and white” because the use of “white” is “problematic.” (Apparently, “blue and” or just “blue” or perhaps even just “and” is okay.)
Principal John Fidler posted in the sign to students photo reproduced below that “given the current social climate across our country, our use of the ‘White’ cheer is under suspension.” Fidler added that students should show pride for their teams “through other means.” Fidler didn’t say what “other means” means. I vote for chanting “blue and.” it has a nice ring to it.
School Superintendent Paul Smith agrees with Fidler. (It figures.) He says “there’s a time and a place where the cheer is appropriate and a time [and place] when it may appear insensitive.” (emphasis added)
I can’t help but wonder:
Where is the time and place Superintendent Smith thinks the cheer would be appropriate?
Where is the time and place he thinks the cheer would be inappropriate . . . because, apparently, it “may” appear insensitive?
Appear insensitive to whom?
Is it really enough that it “may” appear insensitive?
Not all students are happy about this “politically correct” development. Said one on his Facebook account, “This stuff has me outraged. They are trying to take a simple chant that our school has done for years and years and now make it about race.” Another student posted about the chant that “When the students cheer all they say is white, not white power or anything involving race.”
After students voiced their anger online, the school claimed that the chant has, after all, somehow not actually been suspended despite the clear pronouncement to the contrary in the sign below posted by Principal Fidler. “In road games, we’re dressed in blue, and even though it’s still the student tradition to say white, white, white, over and over (more accurately, one student section says “blue and” and the other student section says “white”),” said Superintendent Smith. “I think the context is not understood by everybody,” Superintendent Smith said. (emphasis added) Smith concluded that Fidler “is not telling them what they can say and can’t say in the gym at the games.” Really? Then what does Fidler’s sign below say? And just who is “everybody”? Is one out of a thousand enough to establish this tyranny by the minority?
How about a vote on this? Which is worse:
The action suspending the decades old harmless chant.
The poor example our school administrators set by not having the confidence and integrity to stand behind their action and call the “suspension” exactly what it was and remains . . . an ill-advised, unconstitutional “suspension” . . . of free speech.
I didn’t vote for either Hillary or Donald because I didn’t think either was fit to occupy the office of President. In this case, I can’t vote for either of these two choices because that would suggest the one I didn’t vote for is not so bad. They are both so very . . . very . . . bad!
I wonder where Messrs. Smith and Fidler went to school? Maybe they need a refresher course?
Editor’s Note: I almost always use smart quotes. You know, those are open quote and close quote marks that are curly. I like them because they are high tech and I like to show that I’m high tech. However, you will note that in this blog I used regular quotes, the ones that are not curly. I couldn’t bring myself to use the smart quotes because I didn’t want anyone to possibly conclude that I believe either Mr. Fidler or Mr. Smith are very smart. 🙁
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