|Delusionati: We can be everywhere because we are nowhere at all.|
As an employee of a large corporate structure I take EEO and sensitivity training almost annually. Most of the time they are canned lessons. Sometimes the cans arrive too late for the scheduled training. When the canned lessons are not available the EEO person wings it. This is usually as funny as a circus-train-wreck.
A good number of years ago, and I think all the people involved have retired or moved on, there was a winging situation I will remember for some time. Earlier in the week an interracial couple in Salt Lake City had a cross burned on their front lawn. The EEO guy thought he could incorperate this into his improv lecture.
“So, just this week, a group of kids were out having some fun when they did something that was interpreted as a racial attack” he explained “They went and put a cross on someone’s lawn, and then lit it up with gasoline. To them it was just a harmless prank. They didn’t know that there was a interracial couple living in the house. The couple thought it was a racial attack, so when they caught the boys they got in a lot of trouble for their harmless prank”
He went on to describe how it is important to try and see how the person you play a prank on sees things, but I had been struck speechless. He went on to explain how they were severely punished despite being upstanding members of their ward (ward is the name for a local Mormon church) and the community.
“What do you think the odds are of randomly choosing a house in Salt Lake City Utah, and it containing an interracial couple?” I asked.
“See” he replied, thinking I was supporting his fantasy “You just never know how lucky you are going to be.”
“I’ve just never heard” I tried a different approach “of people burning a cross on a white couple’s lawn in Salt Lake City”
“Exactly” he was so pleased to have someone awake and agreeing with him during one of his talks “you NEVER hear about them when the cross is burned on a white couple’s lawn”.
I felt like jumping on the table, grabbing my temples, and screaming “The stupid...IT BURNS!!!”.
Apparently not hearing about something is strong evidence that it is happening secretly; certainly not evidence that it is simply not happening at all. However, I guess it was happening since the interracial couple had it done to them. Burning a cross on someone’s lawn might be a universal sign of racial intolerance, but you just cannot be sure what people are trying to communicate with it.
Even targeted statements of intolerance by the very prophet of the Mormon church have been re-interpreted to mean something that they just don’t say. What do you make of this:
“When one considers marriage, it should be an unselfish thing, but there is not much selflessness when two people of different races plan marriage. They must be thinking selfishly of themselves. They certainly are not considering the problems that will beset each other and that will beset their children,” -- Spencer W. Kimball prophet of the Mormon church.1982
Just this past week an interracial boy named Larz Cosby attended a school pep rally of some sort at Alta high in the Salt Lake Valley. There he was confronted by a boy wearing a white KKK hood. The KKK boy was jumping around and taunting Larzs.
I know some of you think I am about to describe how the poor KKK boy was held down by Larz and his classmates with his open mouth shoved against the hard edge of a concrete curb, and then how his teeth were all knocked out by repeated blows against the back of his skull, but that is not what I am about to describe. Larzs simply snatched the white KKK hood off of KKK’s face, and then he went and sat down.
I would not have heard about it had the Cosby family not contacted people who thought it was news. I would not have been as informed of it if Larzs had not written about it on a wordpress blog. I would not have been intrigued by the story if I had not read some of the many comments on it.
The school was “investigating” the incident according to the news broadcast. I’m still amazed at how I picture this story unfolding. KKK boy is hopping around demanding attention in a assembly hall filled with over a thousand students and over a hundred teachers administrators and staff, and it does not become an issue until he confronts one of the only interracial students in the school. I’m sure my former EEO person would chalk this up to some pretty poor luck on KKK boy’s part.
I wonder if KKK boy’s mom helped him sew up his hood. Perhaps it was a hand-me-down from his older brother’s cross-burning days?
The comments are decidedly in support of Lars, and the strength he showed in making his allegations. If I actually counted the comments you might be able to firmly trust me when I state that about 60.2% of the comments were in support of Lars. Roughly half of these appeared to be from people who did not sound like they were familiar with Utah. The other 30.2% sounded like they were Lars’s classmates. Of the 39.8% of those who derided Lars most sounded like they were his classmates; several used “hawk” (the Alta high mascot) in their anonymous comment names.
Although there were many well written and reasoned statements in support of Lars I found the ones attacking him to be more interesting; especially the ones with really poor spelling. I have preserved some quotes from a few of these for you here. I have tried to preserve them as much as I felt comfortable doing. I have hidden some of the filter-unfriendly swear-words with liberal use of the “*” character.
“Oh and get a life it looks like all you have time to do is right about the kid that did that! what are you like gay or something that your so obsessed with him that you need to right a whole story about him! that is very creep! Get over yourself you f**king fag” – ashley
“Larz you are not a saint either” -- bullied
"You are an attention seeker, like most black people. Move back to where you came from.” – genevieve
“I have alot of admiration for the LDS religion. For the most part they act as a whole community and try to help their fellow member’s as well as the whole world.” – genevieve
“i garentee nobody has even called you the “N” word your making this a big deal” – MB
“Just a simple joke. This is High School. Let kids be kids” – Bready
“Should i protest against the Governmemnt for selecting and entire month for ”Black History”..Or even better, maybe ill start an all white organization like NCAAP” -- AgR
“Hey if it offends you then dial ‘911’ and ask for Obama” – AgR
“get over yourself you f**king crybaby. go tell the people in libya, japan, and other countries in dire straights that you felt a skit was racist and see how bad they feel for you. Crybaby” – mike
“I support KKK. It was in reaction to the rights granted to the Negro after the Civil War. Negro should be repatriated to Africa. They are worthless and do not belong in America” –SH
“The boy who wears a kkk hood to school ought to be suspended for the simple fact that people like you have to blow it out of proportion and call attention to yourself like youve suffered slavery personally.” -- joe
“I certainly support what the student did. You are a racially-mixed, confused, and hateful person against whites. You should be expelled for trying to say he is racist when you are the racist one” -- Wyatt Powers
“Get over it and get used to it” – Chris
“What appalls me is race-mixing.” -- Matt Dillon
“You polys are more racist than most. You support him because he is brown. Solidarity in skin color. Sounds racist” -- Mike Jones
“polys are racist” -- Former Hawk
“I think it was funny and glad we live in a place you can wear a white hood. sounds like your a trouble maker and not to well liked in school grow up laugh it off and get on with your life. before it gets worse and you have other problems” -- uncle tom
“And seriously your not the kind of kid that should be saying stuff like this you are ruining the reputation of alta and the kid that did it when really its not like anyone is even racist here. Seriously dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – Altahawksenior
“I know Mackay he isnt racist he just likes to entertain people.” -- ALTA SENIOR
“But I do like how it’s not racists that there is BET, NAACP, United Negro College fund, so on and so forth….but…BUT….if I wanted to start a “poor white kid college fund”….or WET….or National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People…I would definitely be a racist” – Duke