Here we are again: dividing ourselves further and further as a school community. As featured in the news piece, “Conflict in student section ignites racial tension”, the events that occurred at the February 17 game against New Trier is a prime example of how we´re more socially regressive than we are progressive.
As I’ve stated in my last column, Evanston students take great delight in knowing that we go to school that presents itself as racially diverse and nondiscriminatory. We separate ourselves from less diverse schools in the North Shore, believing that when they have a racist scandal — like when the N-word was written in New Trier´s bathroom walls — they´re the bad guys because something like that would never happen at ETHS. We´re beyond race. We´re above prejudice. The reality is we´re feeding ourselves lies.
How ironic is it that during a game at New Trier, a student body some of us have labeled as biased and bigoted, we were the ones showing those qualities in our student section? It’s more than ironic. It’s sad. It’s embarrassing. It’s the shameful Wildkit way, and all too reminiscent of an intolerant past. A past that left my own elders bruised and beaten all because they wanted the right to sit where white people sat.
Some accused of being the trash-throwers insist that their motive to push others out of ¨their seats¨ was more about establishing seniority, more than racial superiority. Even if that was the case — though I highly doubt it considering the student section was made up of mostly upperclassmen that night — it is still ridiculous to think you´re entitled to any seats within a public school building just because you´re a senior. It’s called the student section, not the Class of 2018 section.
It´s a shame that we, as self-acclaimed people of tolerance and inclusiveness, did not have the mindfulness to be a bit more thoughtful about how intolerant those actions were –racially motivated or not — especially during Black History Month.
I challenge everyone to look deep into themselves and be mindful of not only how their actions affect others but how it can create division. We are all Wildkits, despite age, race, gender, creed or religion, and its time to start acting like it.