View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Double Standards on Discrimination

I was troubled when I read Rochester School Board Member Cynthia Elliott's piece in our local newspaper that basically said it would be better for African American students to be taught by African American teachers.

I understood all her points and where she was coming from, but it still troubled me.

And I thought: What if I as a white teacher had written a piece arguing that it would be better for white kids to be educated by white teachers? Hoo boy, would I have been under attack, with words like racist and bigot tossed at me.

There just seems to be a double standard on some issues.

I hadn't written about this before, though, but another discussion elsewhere got me to thinking.

The discussion involved religion in schools. In thinking on that issue, I recalled my daughters' Christmas experiences in public schools.

They were involved in music and acting, so they were often part of the annual "Holiday Concerts."

The concerts included secular holiday songs, Gospel music, and Channukah songs.

But Carols? No way.

I asked about this. I was told that the permitted songs reflected cultural heritages, while carols were religious.

Gospel music isn't religious????

And isn't Irish Catholic a cultural heritage? (Two out of three of the daughters are red heads!)

I was fine with the Channukah songs and the Gospel music. I would not want to see them eliminated. But there was something that seemed grossly unfair about the things left out.

I guess some forms of discrimination are acceptable.


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