Thursday, April 10, 2008

Local high school's targeted mentoring a prime example of the hypocrisy of race relations today

The ACLU is making an inquiry over an assembly at a local high school:

West Brook High School administrators on Wednesday defended a black-male-only mentoring session that has prompted a recent inquiry by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The March 29 program, dubbed the "Big 3 Conference," was an invitation-only event for the school's more than 800 African-American males in the ninth, 10th and 11th grades.

The sessions were divided by grade-level and addressed issues such as education, test scores, crime, family and gangs.


"I think it's really problematic on its face," [ACLU Foundation of Texas legal director Lisa Graybill] said by phone Wednesday. "Targeting a specific ethnicity for a program I find extremely worrisome."


"On what basis is the conclusion being drawn that black people need some kind of special intervention and to what end is that intervention tailored?" Graybill said.

I'm a West Brook alum (Class of 2003) and I can recall a couple of instances where students were pulled for targeted assemblies, which are listed after the jump:

  • My freshman year there was one where all the girls in the entire school were pulled for some sort of women's health awareness thing, something I'm glad I wasn't forced to attend.
  • There was one where all the Asian students were pulled out of class for some sort of assembly. I don't remember any details on that one.

Dividing people up by color, creed, or whatever else is wrong, no matter the reason. Martin Luther King preached it and I believe it.

That belief is the reason I have such a problem with this. It's similar to how people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson claim to preach equality whilst trying to differentiate themselves, to make themselves special in one way or another. That's not equality, it's hypocrisy. I sincerely believe that people like that do more to damage race relations in this country than they do to improve them.

What they did is wrong, it's that simple. There's no excuse for it.

Now I'm not going to go screaming for people to be fired or anything but I do believe that the people involved come out and man up to their mistake. Just come out and apologize so we can all get on with our lives.

But what do you do about the issue of hypocrisy in race relations? I believe that if people would just look back at the message that MLK left us and stick to those principles then the hypocrisy would go away.

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