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Monday, March 9, 2015

Some students racially biased

Students need to be taught racial tolerance. (Photo Die4kids)
The recent incident on an Oklahoma frat bus brings back memories of a song sung on my school bus in the late 1960's.  I was a 9th grade student at Riverton Middle School in Madison County, Ala. I was one of two Black kids left on the bus. The bus driver forgot to let me off at my stop, he said. That had never happened.

"I'll drop you off on the way back," he said.

Then the racist chant began. It was sung to the tune of the Oscar Meyer Weiner song:

"Oh, I wish I were an Alabama trooper.
That is what I'd really like to be.
For if I were an Alabama trooper,
I could kill N*****s legally.

I was appalled and scared. This was before we used bookbags, and all my belongings were on the seat. One boy grabbed one of my books and dangled it out a window, like he was going to launch it onto the roadway. I made some comment that I don't remember, like, "Give that back to me." I don't remember the bus driver saying anything.

All the students got off, and I was let out at my stop. The next day, my mom called the principal. He called all the people on my bus into assembly and said that type of behavior would not be tolerated. It never happened again, but my parents let me drive to school as soon as I got my driver's license.

Fast forward 40 years...

While a teacher at a Cobb County, Ga. school, Kell High, my assignment for my Honors History class was to write down opinions on the Civil Rights Movement.  There were 16 students in the class, and three of them were Black. I was appalled to read one White student's paper.

"Blacks are lazy," he said.

"Do you really feel that way?" I asked him. He replied in the affirmative.

That was seven years ago, and now we have a racist video shot on a bus filled with college fraternity revelers in Oklahoma who appear to be drinking.

Their recorded racist chant claimed that "Niggers" would never be members, and that lynching was more preferably than membership for Blacks.

"That's a learned behavior gotten from their parents," said Sherman Johnson. "I don't know what's going on in this country, but Satan is moving through the air."

Most fraternities and sororities are segregated as are 95% of churches in the United States. Places where morality should be lauded, it appears that socially and religiously, this country is still segregated and corrupt.

There is a reason for what's happening now; we must be aware and safe.

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