28 November 2007

Ten Little Nincompoops

The National Association for the Advancement of Political Correctness has another, ahem, feather in its cap, thanks to Gary "you can call me Al Sharpton" Hines.

Ohio Dave posted a thoughtful perspective on the matter and points out the difficult position the school was in. But one thing he didn't mention was the Hines factor, which, to me, is clearly at the center of this manufactured controversy. This is apparent from both the Enquirer and Pulse-Journal articles. And check this out from the comments on Ohio Dave's post:

I am a student at Lakota East. I am very involved in the theater program there...

...the school did try very hard to work with the NAACP to create a "teachable moment" out of this situation. It could have been a great step forward for diversity in West Chester. An essay on the racial content of the original title was written by cast member Alicia Frost to be included in the program, and the NAACP was invited to help in a dialogue about the play. However, they refused this course of action and instead filed for a permit to protest the play.

The school then caved under this increased pressure. Gary Hines does have a very real history and finacial interest in promoting an image of my school as intollerant. While I agree that a discussion on racial issues is necessary in Lakota, Mr. Hines has chosen an unfortunate course of action in his attempts to generate that dialogue. Regardless of his intentions he has caused true and unfixable damage to the Lakota East theater program, and has tarnished the reputation of the NAACP in the minds of some of the school's most socially liberal students.

This has absolutely nothing to do with diversity, tolerance, justice, or racism. This has to do with yet another Sharptonite who perpetuates racism so he can make a living. God forbid this guy should set an example for black youth by getting a real job and emphasizing education as the cornerstone of success. They might stop believing his self-serving excuses. They might start turning out like this guy. Or this guy. Or this guy. Or the gentleman I mentioned two posts ago. Even women could be afflicted with success, like this one.

Like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Damon Lynch III, and Chris Smitherman, Gary Hines is just another parasite feeding off the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm just glad King isn't around to see his greatness putrefied by these scum-sucking bottom feeders.

Yeah, I'm mad. Why shouldn't I be? All I see here is a self-righteous megalomaniac exploiting people and situations for his own benefit. The color of his skin is irrelevant. To me, he's cut from the same cloth as Karl Rove, Pat Robertson, and Wal-mart.

Or maybe I'm just a racist. After all, I did see this play at the Playhouse when I was in junior high...

A man walks down the street
He says why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard


ohdave said...

One reason I didn't mention Hines is that a school official needs to be able to resist pressure from isolated individuals or interest groups... this was ultimately the school's decision, not Hines'. Hines has no position of authority. If the school doesn't give in to him then the play goes on, albeit with a picketer or two.

My take is that the school heard from various interest groups within the school that expressed concern. That shouldn't have been enough to close down the play, but I understand the school's decision. I have a hard time believing, though, that it was all about Mr. Hines. Let's not give him so much credit.

Mark said...

The sad thing is that the play doesn't touch on racial matters at all. If Aggie would have only used a different rhyme.

Anonymous said...

The NAACP never asked the Lakota School district to pull the play. They asked Lakota's superintendent to do his own research and Lakota responded by pulling the play. Lakota then reconsidered and informed the NAACP it was back on. The NAACP SUGGESTED Lakota take the opportunity to make this a teachable moment. At no time was the NAACP informed the students wanted to work with the organization. I agree with ohdave, the Lakota school district has obviously handled this badly. It makes the final decisions. Does the school district not bear any responsibility in all this? The drama teacher? The school principal?

WestEnder said...

I was in a PO'd state of mind when I wrote the post, but I agree that the buck stopped with the school administration and they handled it poorly.

However, I do think it's fair to acknowledge that the school was put between a rock and a hard place by Hines. They had to choose between pulling the play or being slandered as racists. It was a lose-lose situation and it was Hines who made it that way for his own aggrandizement.

The ironic thing is that a lot of people probably have an increased interest in seeing the play now.