by Barry Smith – Sports Medicine Teacher
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
ALL LIVES MATTER!
These phrases have connotations and those connotations are different depending upon whom is speaking them and who the audience is.
In the article from the September 30th edition of the Falcon Flyer, you provided a pie chart and a text- box ”quote” that were uncredited. Particularly as an article not an editorial, you owe it to your readers to provide them with your sources for these two pieces that appeared in the article. Both the pie chart and the “quote” indicate that there is racial disparity of those in this country who are killed by police officers. I am not arguing with the information but would like to know where it came from.
In the article the photographs are credited as is the quote from the Chief of the Black Diamond Police Department; but the cornerstone of your piece is uncredited. Where did the pie charts and the 3.2 times statistic come from? Printing such damning and inflammatory language in an article without crediting its source is not good journalism, it is propaganda.
In the article you state that Black Lives Matter is a movement. A problem for those of us on the “outside” is that as a movement there is no one in charge. No organization, no email address no corporate Facebook page. Who do you contact if you want to join? Without someone in charge who answers the questions of why is it ok in the name of your movement to destroy private property, (smashing windows, looting stores, burning cars) assaulting other people, and calling for the murder of police officers?
I do not believe that your article was an indictment of Kentlake High School but let us use the commons as an example. Does racism, prejudice and discrimination still exist? Yes. Am I guilty. Yes. Aren’t we all? Look at the tables in the commons during lunch. We actually do pretty well her at Kentlake but there are many mono-race or mono-ethnic tables at lunch. Does this make those students racist or prejudiced or our school a racist place? Humans are pack animals and it is normal for us to align ourselves with others of like experience/appearance. Does that make us racist? Have you ever been the “new kid” in school? If so who were the first people you made contact with, who were your first friends.
In conclusion, I have witnessed Kentlake High School change from arguably the least to the most diverse high school in the district. That in itself neither promotes nor discourages prejudice or racism and I believe that we as a whole do a very good job of trying rid our school of both. Again, we all have our prejudices that we in one way or another learn or are taught and it is a battle that we must fight within ourselves. There is a quote from some famous man who was martyred for his beliefs that included a line about “content of character not color of skin’.
Finally, my instructions to my children, for when they get pulled over by the police while driving was: to get out your ID before the officer gets to the car, roll down your window, keep your hands on the wheel, do as you are told, keep your hands in sight, and answer with yes sir/ma’am or no sir/ma’am.