Friday, April 10, 2015

And in the end, some reconciliation.

So at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, this happened.

Seemed fairly tame until the police and the green card and yada, yada, yada.  The race card was unveiled.  The insensitive card was unveiled.  The stupidity card was unveiled. 

In the video, students in the audience can be heard yelling, “That’s racist” and “You are racist.”

Not really.  That’s pretty damn far from being racist, especially when you take into account that all but one of the performers is Latino or Latina. 

Insensitive?  This is where we start talking about what we actually want to push within our schools.  Student Jose Ramirez was trying to bring something that was satirical to a school production with a cast that, in fact, was represented by formally undocumented migrant children.

“I used to see it a lot. I got relatives that got deported and, to me, that was traumatizing,” Ramirez said Wednesday. “But the older I got the more I released my feelings in, like, a comedic way.”

Comedy, satire and political statement. That’s what Ramirez was aiming for when he conceived of a dance performance last week that has raised concerns among some Maria Carrillo students who believe it was insensitive and even racist.”

Comedy, satire, and political statements are things that should be  celebrated in our educational institutions.  But we have become a nation where hurt feelings put the immediate kibosh on all controversial discussion.  Ramirez even stated that he couldn’t understand how Latinos were being stereotyped when his stagehands wore sombreros and ponchos, when that’s what Latinos were wearing when he went out into Latino society!  And the conversation that was supposed to be about immigration strayed into “well that was hurtful.”

But in the end the principal of the school stood back and let some discussions take place, and it looks like there is some understanding.  There was protest, sharing, and in the end there was some young adults worked out possible questionable choices (the end of the skit) while making it clear that it is ok to talk about topics that are controversial, even through the filter of humor.   

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