[eDebate] From Joe Miller: Jeses loves Terrance Shuman, and so do I
Fri May 30 14:56:18 CDT 2003
It's goo that Joe brought up the flat out racial divide in the area.
It's discussed in the article a bit, and anyone who's been around
Missouri (and any number of other places for that matter) knows the
role that race has played in where people live and how laws are laid
down. St. Louis, as a hub for immigration, was racially and ethnically
divided from the start: Dogtown for the Irish, the Hill for Italians,
various spots along South Grand for Vietnamese, Bosnian, and Hispanic
families; black families were on the north and east sides. Even
today, these divides exist. Urban sprawl and suburban growth
complicate the issue.
To call MSHSHAA's decisions regarding debate *purely* racial is rather
simplistic though. In 1998 (maybe 99, don't recall), a team from
Clatyon High School was struck from the MSHSAA qualifying tournament
and prevented from attending NFL Nationals because they traveled to the
Harvard tournament, which is not sanctioned according to Missouri
rules. Similarly, a dispute arose in St. Louis over allegations that
in order to attend tournaments, a "full-time staff member" must be
present at all times. While the bylaw actually stipulates that
a "staff member," meaning even a hired judge or coach, must be present,
the interpretation of the rule actually slanted in favor of the
suburban public schools in the area to the disadvantage of many of the
private schools and UDL teams.
So, are these laws intentionally racist? Do they disproportionately
affect certain schools? The main rationale that I've heard for these
rules is that the state activities board was afraid that, with the rise
of more nationally oriented sports and activities, that students would
engage in circuit activities at the expense of school. That's probably
paternalistic, and I'm sure people have plenty of arguments as to why
high school students should be able to make their own decisions.
I guess that all comes back to Joe's point about institutional racism.
The question is, will striking these rules do much? Consider that a
few years back, the superintendent of the KC school district used money
intended to go to rebuilding a school to buy a new car. KC Central's
story highlights the complete apathy that people have about how
insanely disproportionate wealth and services are in the US, and how
little people do to worry about it. It's pretty disappointing that
this whole discussion has broken down into stupid arguments that have
been going on for the past six months; it's really irrelavent if the
state activities rules are racist. It's really irrelavent if race is
the sole motivating factor for this whole situation. What *is*
important is that, even if what's been going on at the behest of the
state is inadvertant, apathy on the behalf of many people screwed
somebody. And it's not like anybody gained something out of it either.
As Joe and Marcus can probably tell you, UMKC's campus is right next to
two landmarks: the Plaza, where ritzy shops and the Ritz Carlton tower
over the city, and Troost, an almost entirely black area low income
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