Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Diversity in Utah

Yesterday morning I opened the sports page of the Salt Lake Tribune and on the front was an article about a U of U women's basketball player. The article focuses on the fact that she is only the second African American to complete 4 years in the U of U basketball program. Do we really have to make this point?

I know my roots run deep into the progressive, hippie, liberal Northeast but I thought we left this sort of racism behind several decades ago. I also know that African Americans are not a large part of the cultural makeup here in Utah, but we do live in the 21st century at least 50 years removed from the days when that's all we saw of people, the color of their skin.

I would have hoped for better, even in Utah. I would have hoped that her individual accomplishments would have meant more than her ethnicity.

Racism comes in many forms, blatant and subtle. If we are to truly grow beyond our forefathers and not discriminate against someone because of their race, creed, color or religious, or other, preferences, we need to stop pointing these differences out. She is a star athlete and an academic success, nothing more, nothing less.


The English Teacher said...

A few months ago, the school where I teach was asked to provide a student to go on camera for a local SLC news station to support the bill against smoking in cars with young children as passengers. I was told to pick a student who was under 15 years old, intelligent, articulate, good-looking, and NOT WHITE. The TV crews were miffed about the boy I sent, as he was white. However, once they heard him speak, they realized I'd made an excellent choice.
I chose the kid because he was the best for that particular job; I didn't freakin' CARE what color his skin was.
However, I thought it was very telling that my official instructions were to include a minority race for an issue about smoking, which obviously affects all races equally.

Pedro said...

It will be nice when and if we get to that point.