"Despite progress by some, prejudice still apparent"

"After watching the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team lose 69-50 Wednesday night, a gentleman not affiliated with the school but there as a South Kitsap fan said to me, “The reason Foss won was because they had five black players and we had one”.That one, sophomore Jason Boyd, didn’t even play, so where this man got his logic was dumbfounding.But the comment proved that prejudice still exists.Even my own prejudice came into play when the Foss fans started chanting to the SK students in the bleachers, “Tractor drivers,” which of course is illogical because there is no farmland around here.A small group of SK students chanted back, “Hooked on phonics.”The Foss team is predominantly made up of African-Americans, and I immediately thought the SK chant was racial. But after thinking about it, I figured the comments from either side of the gym were not racial, just rude.My own prejudice came into effect because I immediately assumed they meant to say,“Hooked on ebonics” Ebonics was an inner-city language allowed by a school district in Oakland a few years ago, which made it acceptable to speak in slang and/or other forms of language not necessarily the norm in English.I realized (because of my own thoughts) that society has become so politically correct it is hard to define what is prejudicial and what’s rude.Because of our own personal prejudices, we tend to interpret things differently.The good news is that even if the comments the students made were not racial, the students did conclude what they said was wrong. Thursday morning, some of them met with school officials to discuss their actions during the game.Principal Dave Columbini said the students felt bad about what they said and “took it upon themselves to write a letter of apology to the Foss students, staff and supporters of Foss athletics, for their behavior and lack of sportsmanship.”That shows more maturity and responsibility than that of Atlanta Braves’ pitcher John Rocker, who has been making national headlines recently with made not just rude comments but prejudicial comments.Rocker shot off his mouth after about gays, Asians, non-English speaking people, etc.People on call-in radio programs and in the newspapers were outraged by Rocker’s statements.With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up on Monday, the bad news is that there are adults who feel it’s okay to insult other people, which Dr. King clearly didn’t believe in. The good news is that today’s youth are proving progress is being made when it comes to not just being politcally correct but just plain old nice.Yes, the students said some stupid things, but at least they took responsibility for their actions and realized they were wrong.If only some of the adults I come across could learn a few things about being nice."

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