Back in February, East Ridge High School honored Bobby Seale and Huey Newton and The Black Panther Party during a school-wide announcement. When ERHS parents cried foul over the honoring of a socialist militant cop-killing group like the Black Panthers, the district "leaders" brushed their concerns aside, opting instead to cave under the pressure by certain groups who insisted that the concerned parents were racist in their objection to the announcement. The issue caused so many problems for some of the concerned parents that they have opted to remove their children - prior to their Senior year - from ERHS and place them in private schools rather than deal with an administration that refuses to listen to parents' concerns and adequately address the question that it seems that violent groups are being promoted by the ERHS administration and staff under the guise that the announcement was "student led."
A photo circulating (which apparently has since been scrubbed from the web) on Twitter about the George Zimmerman trial that is wrapping up in Florida sheds light on one of the many reasons why the concerned parents objected to the honoring of the Black Panthers. Gee, Principal Harper and Superintendent Jacobus, do you still think that the commemoration of the Black Panthers was appropriate for ERHS? Will you continue to rationalize the announcement if the Black Panthers follow through with their threat to "burn down whitey's" neighborhoods? Or will you finally understand the reasons why parents objected to the announcement?
UPDATED 7/11/13 8:35a.m.
Updated 8/14/13 12:24pm
Sent to me by one of the concerned parents:
This is exactly why we had concerns about honoring ANY militant, violent, race baiting groups.
Despite some in the black community noisy objections, this was NEVER about race. This was, and is, about violence and hatred.
Why hatred is being excused because it is black on white is offensive to all Americans, but it is being excused by a segment of the black community, and much of the liberal community.
It would be interesting to hear if those same people, who objected to the ERHS parents concern, have the same elevated opinion of the Black Panthers today?
Do they condone this rhetoric? Do they stand side by side with a group that is obviously racist?
Racism comes in all colors and is not exclusive against the black community.
A country that elects a black man as president....TWICE....does not have a cultural problem with racism.
Does racism exist? Yes, and it will until the end of time, because humans are flawed and sinful. But is there mass racism being perpetrated on the black community? No.
As someone who is a governmental classified 'minority', I take offense to those who continue to divide this country along racial and sexual lines. I have always seen myself as an AMERICAN first, gender second, cultural heritage last.
Maybe if people started seeing themselves as Americans first- a delicious and harmonious melting pot, we might all come together; instead of being constantly pitted against each other, in a 'salad' bowl of warring ingredients, where someone gets to pick and choose what goes in the bowl.
Along with this letter, written to Al Sharpton by Dr. Ken Hutcherson:
I was born in Anniston, Alabama, in the 50s and had to fight for my equality most of my life. You see, there were many who thought I should be treated like a second class citizen, drink from a different water fountain, sit in the back of the bus, be counted as three-quarters of a person, go to a different school, eat and sit in the black section of restaurants, use a different bathroom; you know, be separate but equal. Then came Dr. Martin Luther King and all that started to change and praise God! I became a Christian in 1969. Today, I find myself again being put in that same category as a second class citizen, and I am not going to have that same fight.
I did not become a Christian to live the 50s and 60s all over a second time. Muslims have more rights and freedom of religion than I do as a Christian. Tell a Muslim he can’t pray at school or at the airport or downtown when prayer time is called for, and see what happens. Tell a Muslim cleric serving as a chaplain in our brilliant military that he has to marry a same-sex couple, and see what happens. Some of you are saying “what is that about?” Well hold on to your hat, there is more to come.
But as a Christian, let me say Merry Christmas on a national holiday called Christmas and you’d think Satan incarnate himself just showed up. I’m sorry that is a bad example because if Satan did show up, he would get more respect than Christians, Jews, Tea Partiers, patriots and conservatives. Thus all the forenamed groups, and any like them, must stand and fight for their equal rights that are disappearing faster than San Antonio fans after game seven of the NBA championship in Miami. This brings me to the point of Al Sharpton’s recent comments about our movement of taking back our civil rights as conservatives.
You mocked Glenn Beck, thus all of us, with your insult on the tea party fighting for their equal rights. Do you think we are going to go find a hole and hide somewhere? Mr. Sharpton that is not going to happen anymore. We refuse to sit by and let you or anyone else mock, attack, demean or laugh at our beliefs, and think it is okay to push us to the back of the Capitol in DC assuming we will just shut up.
Let me see if I can explain something to you, Al, that it seems you have forgotten. When you and Dr. King fought for our civil rights, was it because no one else had their equal rights? Black people were the first to get their equal rights, right? I presume you think that is correct the way you are talking. We both know that the reason why Dr. King and thousands of others fought during the Civil rights movement was because someone else had their rights and liberties, and blacks didn’t. My question to you Mr. Sharpton is who had those rights when we as a black people didn’t? It is true then that equal rights existed first for us to want them. Seems to me it was the white race that enjoyed that freedom. We saw it, said we wanted some of that, and fought and died until we got it. So why is it that you think Judeo-Christian believers, the religious right, tea partiers, patriots and white people in general who are starting to feel like second class citizens and separate but equal; are being scrutinized by the IRS and spied on by the NSA. Why should they not stand up and demand equal treatment under the law and the Constitution of these United States of America? The greatest nation ever founded under the banner of freedom, one nation under God, gives its citizens certain inalienable rights and the promise that they have the right to pursue their happiness. I believe we are endowed with those rights Mr. Sharpton, and deep down you know we are too.
As a black man Al, who went through the Civil rights fight in the 60s just like you did, and saw the first freedom bus burn in my home town of Anniston, Alabama, on May 14, 1961; I hated Dr. King for his non-violent philosophy. That did not change until I became a Christian later in life. Then I understood God’s biblical truth of love your enemy and do good to those who hate and persecute you. I think I have the right to tell you this sir; I think the likes of you and Jesse Jackson have done more damage to the black race than any white man will ever accomplish. You see as long as you can produce an ethnicity with a victim mentality to keep them in poverty, as the two of you get richer – you know like poverty pimps – and convince them that it is the white man’s fault because he has his boot on their necks, and as long as you teach our beautiful black women that there is a government out there to be their baby’s daddy, the two of you win. You are the self-proclaimed, appointed leaders of the black people. How we as black people have swallowed the lie that we have to have certain black leaders to get on the government teat escapes me.