Over the last three weeks there have been at least four situations in Jackson area high schools involving racial slurs.
White students making comments about apes, talking about white privilege, and even going as far as creating nooses.
I think my big question is, where is this coming from? Where are they hearing these thoughts and ideas and then thinking it’s okay to say to other people?
When I heard about yet another incident of this, I began thinking about the little parrot that has taken over my house.
Nana has gone from just saying “yes” and “no” to saying a sentence, latching onto that sentence, and then repeating it over and over and over until someone acknowledges her.
On top of that, if she hears something she likes, whether it’s the tone of the phrase or the phrase itself, she repeats that as well.
Last night it was, “What’s up, Daddio? Ya cookin?”
She’s listening all the time whether I’m paying attention or not.
This makes me think of the song “be careful little eyes what you see…be careful little ears what you hear…for the Father up above is looking down with Love be careful little eyes what you see.”
How many times have I said something I’d never want her to repeat? How often have I argued with her daddy in front of her? Something I saw throughout my childhood and had promised myself I wouldn’t do.
This leads me to the conclusion that the reason students are saying these phrases is because they’re hearing them from somewhere. A place or person where hurtful words aren’t taken seriously enough. A place where conversations about how to treat others doesn’t happen often enough. A place where apologizing with true sincerity doesn’t hold weight.
Courtney Warren is a contributing writer with The Bolivar Commercial. She may be contacted at email@example.com