So many questions without any real answers. So many issues that leave us scratching our heads in embarrassment, or even breaking down in tears.
For the second time in 10 days, a social media clip has emerged showing Valley students mocking what is happening in America right now, where protests have entered into a third week after the death of George Floyd and others.
First in Mifflinburg, where a video from two district students was described as promoting “a racist and discriminatory view of others.” A minute-long clip shows two students deriding the legitimacy of the protests in the wake of Floyd’s death at the hands of police. One of the students claiming black persons feel entitled because of slavery. Then this past weekend, a video emerged out of Selinsgrove, where one student holds another underwater while saying, “Stop resisting.” The teen underwater then comes up for air saying, “I can’t breathe.”
School officials and law enforcement personnel have said there isn’t much they can do about these awful and unforgivable videos.
That doesn’t mean we should ignore them. It means we should call these videos what they are: Disgusting, unacceptable and hate-filled.
These students are old enough to know this is wrong.
What are we doing? What are we teaching our kids?
This kind of behavior and thought is not inherent; it is learned from somewhere.
We’ve got to be better than this.
“This is a really poor representation of our community. It’s upsetting on a personal level. I guarantee should something like this surface at a school function or event, we would absolutely take action. We don’t tolerate this language and attitude in our schools,” Mifflinburg Superintendent Dan Lichtel said.
Lichtel is right on all accounts.
Let’s go further. We shouldn’t tolerate this language and attitude anywhere.
America desperately needs to address racial injustice.
What happened in Minneapolis, when an unarmed black man was killed by a white police officer, has given rise to an important, perhaps societal-changing movement to do just that.
If we are going to get there we have to be better than these awful videos and the racist comments we find too often on social media pages.
We cannot shrug and just say these actions are simply kids being stupid.
The response of a disappointing number of people to what has happened since May 25 — both from students old enough to know better and adults who always seem threatened by people who don’t look like them — is worse than racism.
It is inhuman.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.