The taunting of players and supporters from Sheldon High School during a girls basketball playoff game at Nevada Union last week disappeared from the news almost as fast as it surfaced, but that doesn’t mean the issue has gone away.
For those of you who may have missed the story, Sheldon officials said racial and homophobic slurs were directed toward the school’s players and cheerleaders, and that pennies were thrown at the cheerleaders.
NU Principal Mike Blake and the school’s athletic director were at the game, and Blake apparently saw nothing out of the ordinary. In any event, he told The Union, the issue would be discussed with the students. “It’s not reflective of our student body,” Blake said.
No, but it is reflective of the community where these kids live. There have been three or four similar incidences at NU and Bear River in the 14 years I’ve lived here, including one that triggered a fistfight. The one thing these incidences had in common: All involved visiting teams with black players and supporters.
It may be difficult for people living in the second whitest county in California to comprehend, but whites are a minority in the world. Based on current trends, they will cease being a majority in the United States during the lifetime of the county’s teenagers. It will happen much sooner than that in California.
Like it or not, our youth are going to have to co-exist and work with Americans who don’t look like them. If they go to college, their classmates and teachers will span the spectrum of ethnic groups. If they go in the military after high school, they will be taking orders from blacks, Hispanics and others who don’t trace their ancestry to Europe.
If you seek a career outside Nevada County, you can bet the people you work with won’t resemble those in your graduating class. Even if you never leave Nevada County, minority influences are everywhere.
Do you drink Coke or Pepsi? Charge with a MasterCard or American Express card? Use Yahoo? Copy documents on a Xerox machine? Attend games of the Sacramento Kings? All of those firms were founded, or are run or owned by minorities.
We’re not preparing our local youth for the world they’ll live in by perpetuating racial and ethnic stereotypes. Maybe the kids will be smart enough to figure that out.