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Evanston Township High School officials say most students, teachers and staff took part in a student-led demonstration this morning over incidents in which police have killed unarmed civilians they were trying to arrest.

The sit-down demonstration occurred during a passing period between classes. It lasted four-and-a-half minutes to symbolize the four-and-a-half hours that Michael Brown’s body was left on a Ferguson, Mo., street after he was shot to death by a police officer.

School officials quoted a demonstration organizer, senior Jordan Rosen-Kaplan, as saying the silence during the passing period, normally a time of chaos and loud noises, would provide a space for students to feel their emotions and be reflective.

“These recent tragedies have made ongoing and underlying problems of racism in America highly visible.” Rosan-Kaplan was quoted as saying.

(Photo by ETHS senior Katherine Bald.)

A flier promoting the event said, “Discrimination exists, in Ferguson, in New York, in Evanston. It’s not just a ‘black’ issue, it is a human one.”

After the demonstration, ETHS Assistant Suprintendent Marcus Campbell said, “I couldn’t be more proud of our students. They were reflective, respectful and responsible as they showed solidarity with the protests that are happening all over this country.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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54 Comments

    1. ETHS did not handle event properly

      After the demonstration, ETHS Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell said, "I couldn't be more proud of our students. They were reflective, respectful and responsible as they showed solidarity with the protests that are happening all over this country." 

      I don't think that firing is appropriate, but certainly Marcus Campbell should be reprimanded for making his statement. This also goes for any ETHS employees. such as teacher, who partisipated in this student action.

      Some student/teachers may think that this would be a violation of their 1st amendment rights but they would be wrong. They still have the right to protest on the public sidewalk outside the school.

      This is an opportunity for a teaching point for students and staff. We should all learn the facts before taking an emotional action. Teachers should be teaching facts and not their personal opinions. Demonstrations should not be held on school grounds.

  1. Wrong message at ETHS on so many levels

    OMG. This nonsense does not belong in a public school but yet public school officials promoted it.  This protest should have been held outside school grounds after school or on the weekend.

    If you're a parent and oppose the idea that Brown was shot because he was black you should be brave and say something. This propaganda is being taught to our students and probably PEG is the foundation that justifies this farce protest, claiming institutional racism at ETHS. These kids should be in the classroom studying.

    I agree with the first sentence of this story that the students were protesting police shootings of unarmed civilians because ya know I do believe cops are quick to the draw.

    But this is not about race. More whites have been shot and killed by police than blacks. This year, Dillon Taylor and Josh Winkler were shot and killed by police on the street. Both were unarmed. Both were white. Winkler, an assistant producer of the Tosh comedy show, was actually running away from a hostage taker. The cop that shot Taylor is a minority and was not indicted by a grand jury. On one Chicago weekend in July 1999, two cops shot and killed two unarmed black motorists in separate incidents. Both cops were black. Imagine what would have happened if they were white. Two years ago a black cop shot and killed a naked unarmed white teenager. That cop was not indicted. No protests or marches occurred. Based on the fact that none of these incidents made national news one could argue that white lives don't matter.  

    There is no evidence that Brown was shot because he was black. Brown ROBBED a store clerk and then attacked the Ferguson police officer in his patrol car. According to credible witnesses and forensic evidence, Brown charged Officer Darren Wilson. But emotion wins the day and what demographic is easily moved through emotion? 

    The message here should be, cooperate with police even if you think you're in the right. And protest after school hours. 

    I wonder how many of these teens enjoyed the protest because they got out of the classroom. On a side note, I heard that ETHS has ended its shadow program for prospective students. I can see why. And to think taxpayers pay $20,000 per ETHS student each year. 

    BTW – where's the discrimination in Evanston? And who's doing the discriminating?

    Is there anyone left in Evanston with common sense?

    1. Well stated Al. Unfortunately

      Well stated Al. Unfortunately, the racist narrative is drowning out the voice of reason and mushy young minds are soaking it all in. The fact that Mr. Campbell subscribes to this nonsense is troubling to say the least and I plan to write to the superintendant today to express my views.

      As for Mr. Rosan/Kaplan…I'm guessing mommy and Daddy are oh so proud.

    2. Read!
      Did you read the article beyond the first line of the story?

      The article clearly states that this was organized by a student, and therefore your concern about this “propaganda being taught to our students” is misinformed. I didn’t see where it said that this was being taught as a part of the curriculum. This isn’t coming from their teachers, but from their peers. Should we keep our students from watching the news as well? How about that scary internet?

      It took place during a passing period, when there isn’t instruction. At most, a couple of minutes were lost. Most likely less time that it took me to read your message, which clearly indicates that you did not read the article simply took the opportunity to share your views.

      If you don’t believe there is racism in Evanston, you need to stand up from your computer and the blogs that occupy your time, go outside, watch, and listen. Maybe even walk into a store or interact with someone on more than a surface level. Your comments tell me you spend more time looking up statistics about crimes against white people than you do exploring the community in which you live.

    3. Honestly… what are you

      Honestly… what are you saying? "Where's the discrimination in Evanston?" Why don't you look at the housing market? Look how divided up Evanston really is. "Claiming institutional racism at ETHS?" The point of education is to educate! Common sense is to let students know the truth and the truth is the black people are always targeted and put at the bottom. And also, people have the right to express their emotion and grief. Most of the racism students experience is through the education system and by socialization.

      By you mentioning that Brown had robbed a convienient store (which isn't true), you're pretty much invalidating people's feelings and anger when you said "emotion wins the day." Also, even IF Brown had robbed something, he was killed by this police officer.

      Murder is excessive for something as innocuous as j-walking. Initially, Officer Wilson had confronted Brown and his friend for J-walking. Are you saying the people should not be getting angry over this child's death? And if it's not about race then why did you even bring up "more whites have been shot and killed by police"?

      Of course this is about race. This whole country since its beginning has been acout race and the consistent oppression of black people. Please just think.

      1. Housing discrimination?

        Tell me A.A. where is the housing discrimination in Evanston? Lets have some ACTUAL FACTS, Facts include links of additional FACTs done in studies. Waiting…………….

          1. Very old Articles
            How about some information about Housing Discrimination this Century. This are both about Realtors getting caught in the 80’s.

          2. Yes, I did read it

            This is from page 1 of the executive summary. Did you not get that far? "Private-sector policies were also evaluated from a fair housing perspective. A thorough review of mortgage application data suggested that upper-income minorities are more likely to experience loan denials or high-cost lending than lower-income White applicants."

          3. Mortgage Application Review
            The comparison would have been better if they compared races in same income level. There probably another study somewhere that will show that people at higher income levels may have lower credit scores.

    4. First off, it’s great that

      First off, it's great that these students took a stand. This generation needs more leaders to show the other students that are going down the wrong path what's wrong and right. Taking 4 & a half minutes to show condolences, respect, and to reflect for the people who have fallen doesn't take out any part of the students studying. It clearly says it was during the passing period. I am an Alumni from ETHS that hasn't graduated that long ago and I promise you the things that are being taught in high school aren't needed in college. They'll learn the same things their first year. What's important in this new generation, is to teach the students current events. Being aware with what's going on in today's world will be more beneficial than learning about why the Europeans came to America. The workforce doesn't care about the Europeans in 1879! There will never be a protest saying "White Lives Matter" because there is already white privilege. Whites already have the upper hand in EVERYTHING so for you to bring up the stories that never made the news was selfish. There's a million stories that don't make the news. The problem is that white superriotity in the law has surpassed their boundaries. The problem is that it's become excessive. If the world was different and blacks were not the miniority and black cops were killing innocent citizens. Believe me, there would be a "White Lives Matter". So your comment under this article is evidence that racism is still alive. You said that there is no institutional racism in ETHS, correct? You wouldn't know because you're not the one that it occurs to. Next time read up on both sides of the story and take a step back and be selfless. If your family members (all Sally, Katie, John, Jack and what have you) were killed by the police, you would want the same respect that these families are fighting for. Your comment is evidence that there is racism in Evanston but you wouldn't know about being the minority, inferior, or the one laying in your own blood on the pavement because cops were "scared of your skin". People like YOU need prayer, along with this country. 

      1. Specific examples of Institutional Racism at ETHS?
        Nikkole, it is deeply disturbing to know that Institutional Racism exists at ETHS. Can you please give 2 or 3 specific examples from your experience so that others in the community can better understand what you and others experience? When more people understand these inequities corrective action can take place and ETHS can fulfill its mission of providing Equity and Excellence for all students.

        1. Can someone please provide examples ?

          In addition to Nikkole, can others please participate and provide specific examples of Institutional Racism at ETHS? If others would like to cite examples of Institutional Racism in D65, or City of Evanston Government please contribute. Our community needs to have this dialogue, and root out Institutional Racism in order to provide equitable opportunities for all citizens. However, we need specific examples to better understand the issues and develop appropriate and ever lasting change.

          Everyone will benefit, and Evanston will become a better community.

          Please share your examples.

          1. Evanston Government Breakdown

            What is the racial, ethnic and gender breakdown of Evanston government ? Managers, Supivisors, Profession [i.e.  requires special academic or training lasting more than one year, and/or certifications, eg. CPA] ?

            White, Black, Hispaniic, Asian, other ?

            Male and Female ?

            Has the city been sued for 'reverse' discrimination ? Outcome ?

    5. Agreed

      I couldn't agree more! I am a senior at ETHS and I sat down for this, but only because I felt like I had to… It was like if I didn't it would have been an abomination. And just to reply to other comments, the school does enforce a certain type of ideology towards what is going on in America. Many teachers are pushing their opinions during class and making kids believe in really weird things. It's really annoying as a student who disagrees with a lot of this "black vs white" thing, especially because I am black and white! Honestly I tend to feel a bit uncomfortable when it comes to sharing my opinion now because I feel that I will be attacked. It's good to know I am not the only one who feels this way. My parents agree too. The news and the media are controlling public opinion, and young minds are soaking it up! It's sucks to be the one that disagrees and watches all of this go down, at least I'll be out soon!

    6. White like me

      According to the above posts, people like me "need prayer, to "just think" and "stand up from [my] computer … go outside, watch, and listen."

      People  like me enjoy white privilege, they write. I'm white, therefore privileged. Most Americans living in poverty are white. Are they privileged? Go tell them that and see what happens. 

      They say there is discrimination in Evanston. Just look at the housing market and "how divided Evanston is."  Last I checked there are laws that prevent housing discrimination and folks are free to buy wherever they like as long as they can afford it. In fact, Eric Holder and Obama created disparate impact policies in the housing market that can be used to punish individuals and companies for discriminatory practice without having to prove intent to discriminate.

      An example would be a landlord could face a discrimation suit if a certain amount of applicants of a protected class were rejected because of criminal background checks. The landlord may be consistent and acting in good faith in rejecting all applicants regardless of race due to felony convictions but under disparate impact the landlord could face a discrimination suit if some of the applicants were simply members of a protected class. It's a Catch 22 situation.  The Supreme Court has taken up a case involving the constitutionality of disparate impact. It can be argued that disparate impact is black privilege.

      Nikkole Wade, a former ETHS student, writes here that I'm "selfish" for pointing out the names of  unarmed white males shot and killed by police that didn't make national news. Tell that to the families of Dillon Taylor, Gilbert Collar and Josh Winkler. Don't they deserve justice? The problem, she says, "is that white superriotity in the law has surpassed their boundaries."  So our laws are based on white superiority?  Please explain. Which laws? Not disparate impact.

      I never said there was no institutional racism at ETHS. I am challenging those that do say there is institutional racism at ETHS. Where is it? Point it out. Name names. Be specific. No one ever does on this board or in this town. But it's thrown around with white privilege as if it's the undisputed truth because no one dare question those loaded terms because they would be shouted down as bigots and racists.

      Elliott Cady, a white male subsitute teacher with a masters degree from Northwestern and 19 years teaching experience, just filed a discrimination lawsuit against D65 because he claims a black principal ignored his application for a full time teacher position and hired a black female who had just graduated from college and had no teaching experience. Cady contends that he heard from current and former teachers that the principal planned to hire a black woman for the job. The principal never even gave Cady an interview despite the district’s human resources director personal recommendation.

      Wade concludes my comment is evidence that I'm racist. She says "people like ME need prayer. People like me.

      White LIKE ME? 

      1. It’s not about victimizing each other

        I can tell you about how there are only 3 black/mixed people in my AP US History class. I can tell you about how almost everyone in my immediate neighborhood is white. I can tell you about how when I take the bus to school each day, I can watch the houses I pass gradually grow smaller and the people who live there, darker. But I'm not the right person to tell you. The people to tell you are the black students at ETHS who experience racism, microaggression, and ingrained segregation in their daily lives. I understand where you're coming from, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who feel that they are victimized just for "being white". But you have to understand that there are things going on in this country that not everyone sees. That just because you don't perceive racism in your life and your community, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's true that white people have problems too. It's true that whites face prejudice and discrimination just as blacks do. But "white privilege" does not refer to things just automatically being great because you're white. What it does refer to is the fact that whites do not have to put up with the same obstacles that blacks do. That whites have historically been in a position of power, and in fact still are. Most of all, that as whites, you and I simply may not be able to understand the extent to which black citizens struggle in this country. We can try. But we haven't experienced it. That's all.

      2. This isn’t to be aggressive

        This isn't to be aggressive or rude, and I respect your right to your own beliefs, but I would like to let you know that although you feel strongly about your points, that doesn't make them correct. 

        White privilege has nothing to do with current economic status; in simplest form it is the idea that people who are white have privileges that people of color do not have. As a white person, people do not make assumptions regarding my character based on race related stereotypes, a luxury that isn't given to people of color. Something important to note is that even if you denounce white privilege, you still have it. It cannot be wished away, it is with you as long as your skin is white. White privilege is evident in the moment when a group of young black men pass some one on the street and they pull their belongings closer to themselves. I can't say anyone has ever been done when I've passed some one walking. Beyond this, if I get in to a really great school, people assume I did so on merit. On the other hand, if a person of color is admitted, people assume it was affirmative action. This isn't a full definition of white privilege, but should give an idea on why saying there are poor white people does not negate privilege. Socioeconomic rank doesn't negate privilege. A poor white person will still not be judged in the way a person of color would be. 

        On the issue of housing, I will do what few others on the internet will, and not speak on things I don't feel qualified to, as candidly, I don't understand the issues regarding housing fully. 

        On the issue of grieving for white people killed by the police, I don't think you would find a single soul who wouldn't feel sorrow for some one who has died at the hands of law enforcement, regardless of race. The point is that people of color are dispraportionately impacted by police killings. So while white deaths are tragic, all other race groups feel the impact much more than we do, but it doesn't seem that society is acknowledging this. Everyone understands all lives matter, but we need to realize that certain lives don't seem to be valued the same. You wouldn't go to a pancreatic cancer fundraiser and tell everyone there "You are all selfish, don't you feel sorry for those dying of colon cancer?"

        Additionally, some of our laws are skewed to benefit white people. One good example is the difference in judicial treatment for posession of crack versus powdered cocaine. There is not a good reason for these to have different sentences, and the longer sentences for crack cocaine have impacted non-white communities more profoundly than the lesser sentence for powdered cocaine which has allowed white individuals milder repercussions. 

        As some one who hasn't been at ETHS in a few years, I won't comment on the institutional racism charge. While I don't doubt it, some one with experience should speak on this. 

        While the last instance is unfortunate, and as neither of us were directly involved, we don't truly know what happened. And in all reality, don't you believe that the black community has likely been at the shorter end of the stick in situations like this throughout history? Additionally, Cook County is rife with corruption, and you aren't raising the alarm about the many other qualified people who have been passed over for jobs. That doesn't mean that the issue isn't important, but perhaps the principal wanted a black teacher so that black students in the school would have a voice in the administration? Shouldn't all students have their demographics reflected in their schools? Perhaps she brought other skills to the position that weren't expressed as easily on paper? Additionally if he has a masters and 19 years of teaching experience, why was he in a substitute position? Surely another school district would have jumped at the opportunity of hiring such a well qualified individual initially, versus D65 offering a substitute position?

        I really hope you don't interpret this maliciously, it truly isn't. If nothing I said has caused you to think, I'm sorry you wasted your time. But don't let this one comment on a local news website be your basis for all things race-related. As a white person, I can't speak for people of color. No individual can speak for a group. It is important to go out and research, learn about privilege and the many disparities between white and non-white communities. Talk to as many people as you can, with an open mind and not defensively. What I have written may be innaccurate, and I hope that some one will comment and tell me so, but not in a way that stifles the very important dialogue that should be had on this issue.

    7. As a participant, I would

      As a participant, I would like to clear up some facts regarding this event.

      1. The demonstration was organized and led by students, who decided to work with the administration in order to ensure that the event was safe and peaceful.

      2. Students were given the option to participate, it was not enforced.

      3. No class time was lost. The demonstration took place during a passing period and students walked to their next class during the 5 minutes that is built in to the school day for announcements over the PA system.

      Please ensure that you are properly informed before you make any such claims in the future.

      1. That is fine but the students

        That is fine but the students should not have done it on school property and the administration should not have allowed it to happen.

        I hold the administration to blame, not the students. Maybe the administration feels empowered to do what they want.

        Teachers should have more common sense than joining the demonistration but then again, they are the ones who called in sick, went to Springfield, and screamed, "raise my taxes". and embarrassed themselves to the taxpayers. It was all for them.

      2. That is fine but the students

        That is fine but the students should not have done it on school property and the administration should not have allowed it to happen.

        I hold the administration to blame, not the students. Maybe the administration feels empowered to do what they want.

        Teachers should have more common sense than joining the demonistration but then again, they are the ones who called in sick, went to Springfield, and screamed, "raise my taxes". and embarrassed themselves to the taxpayers. It was all for them.

  2. I love how people only want

    I love how people only want justice if it fits into their views. The grand jury descison was justice in action. If you want to protest why are there not marches every single day In Englewood or the west side. The most dangerous person to a black person is not the cops; it is his fellow black person. But nobody wants to admit that. Where are Sharpton and Jackson? Oh yeah, they can't rile people up if they can't cry racism for everything. 

    1. Grand Jury Role
      Some have faulted prosecutors for presenting so much of the evidence at the Grand Jury.
      Can you imagine the protests if all available information was not presented and then the Grand Jury and they still decided not to indite ?
      Maybe people want 911 calls to be directed to Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton’s home so they can go out and settle crime cases and patrol the neighborhoods.

  3. A worthy cause yet…
    Where is the support for the hundreds of police officers attacked by citizens each day as they strive to do what taxpayers pay them to do? Protect us. And serve us. If I were a policeman I’d be questioning why I should bother to come to work each day in the face of such hostility and absence of support.
    I’m not defending the situations where the few cops get it wrong…we all are flawed humans. Just suggesting more perspective and balance. In those instances, as a society we must work together to be better. We shouldn’t turn things on their head and vilify all policeman as villains.
    I am thankful for the citizens who serve as good police officers. We can all work together to make their jobs easier… Is there even hope we could as a society eliminate the need for police? In working towards such a goal we might well also rid ourselves of the officers who serve us poorly.

    1. Response

      I appreciate the questions but there are assumptions in your statement and there are far more perspectives and ideas being discussed at ETHS. This demonstration was not about villifying ALL of anybody, it was a student led demonstration about the lived experiences of many of our young people, particularly our young people of color.

  4. Respectful…..for someone

    Respectful…..for someone that attempted to murder a law enforcement officer by taking his firearm…..have these people lost their minds…..where was the outrage over Demarco Bailey….who was murdered by four thugs that ought get the death penalty…..over a jacket. There is something really warped about individual values of some members of the Evanston community.

    1. Were you there?
      I’m sorry…I’m waiting for the part where you say that you actually, visibly saw Michael Brown try to murder Darren Wilson… Were you there? Doubt it. Eyewitness testimony was not unanimous and you relying on speculation and the testimony of a cop who was trying to save his own ass in court is not helpful. Fact check your sources. The fact of the matter is, no mother should have to bury her child. That’s a fact. The fact of the matter is Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. It was preventable. Why do we have to play a game of “where were you when..?” The students at Evanston Township took a stand for something THEY believe in. Is that not remarkable to you? KIDS are acting based on the way that they have come to understand the world. Just because their cause is not good enough for your taste, does not mean you should knock it. This is not to say that what happened to Demarco Bailey is not horrifying and sad, God rest his soul… but there is something wrong with YOUR values if you can’t find it in your heart to sympahize for both. Lives were lost in both cases. Two mothers are crying. Two communities feel a loss. Who says there’s no outrage?

      1. And You…?

        And were you there B at the altercation between Brown and Wilson. 

        Doubt it.

        So your comments are just as speculative and not rooted in fact.  

        Have a nice day. 

      2. I think a cop with a clean

        I think a cop with a clean record is more trust worthy than a kid that just committed a strong arm robbery that there is video surveillance of.

  5. Unified, respectful, thoughtful

    I am so proud to have a son in this school.These kids were unified, respectful and thoughtful. I have a hard time time believing anyone could find this to be a negative situation.

    1. Based on comments in some of

      Based on comments in some of the posts, many of the students sat down because they feared reprisals from some of the other students and/or teachers who openly partisipated in the demonstration. Also I understand that many students ignored the action and went directly to their next class.

  6. I am proud of ETHS

    This was an appropriate, thoughtful way for students to express themselves. 

    What I don't understand is where people compare *any* other violent acts to those commited by officers.  When criminals get caught murdering, they are charged – unless, it seems, they are police officers.  THIS is the problem being addressed.  The grand jury system, especially when it comes to crimes against those of color, needs to change.

    1. Not appropriate

      It was not appropriate to demonstrate on ETHS grounds. They should have moved it out to the public sidewalk. But they are just students, unlike the teachers who should have known better.

      Everybody knows that discrimination exists almost everywhere but only a small percentage of people do so. It is not only blacks that are the victims.

      As far as Ferguson, Brown was responsible for his own death. All the evidense supports this. This was brought out in the grand jury. He was not shot in the back or when raising his hands. He did punch the officer and try to steal his gun. He did bull rush the officer and was ordered to halt several times. This all happened in a matter of about 12 seconds. The fatal shot was fired when Brown was about 8 feet of reaching the officer. Brown was found to have traces of drugs in his system which may have accounted for his erratic behavior.

      The only reason the prosecutor even bothered to bring this to a grand jury was to calm the demonstrators. It didn't work.carried drop-guns as a backup firearm or a gun to cover their mistakes

      A minority of the demonstrators rioted, murdered 1 man, stoled a few hundred thousand in merchandise, burned down 12 businesses, and caused almost 65 neighbors to lose their jobs.

      I am sure that there are many police shottings that are not justified or mistaken. 40 years ago, half the police in Chicago carried dropguns to cover any mistakes. They were usually cheap guns with serial numbers filed off.

      It is sad when anybody loses their life because of violence but people need to know that most of the police shootings are justified.

       

      1. Not in school

        We'll never know the details of what happened with Michael Brown so it's fruitless to discuss it here. This article is about a school demonstration not the right or wrong decision made by the court. Still & all, I do agree that any voluntary demonstration should not have been held in school or on school grounds. If I were white, I'd fear being judged as racist if I didn't participate. If I were of mixed race, I'd be afraid of having fellow students judge me either way. If I were black, I'd also be concerned about others' view of me & my views. What a hard choice for a teen to make! A demonstration would be better held in town where those who felt the court decision was a travesty of justice could freely express their views without being singled out by their immediate classmates.

  7. I’m so proud.

    I'm so proud of my former HS. That so much of this comment section seethes with racist bile shows the need for students like these to stand up to totalitarian, white supremacist and sickening hate on a regular basis. I'm glad that people, young and young at heart, stood up to both the hate online as well as off to say what they feel. People will disagree legitimately, and that's their right. The idea provided that institutional racism doesn't exist in Evanston, however, relies not just on simple opinion (albeit a *quite* simple opinion) but a lack of facts, stories and experience. I know of at least one person having experienced various forms of racist discrimination in Evanston: me. I was told by ETHS officials I could not go to honors courses because I was not the 'right type of student'. I fought and made it anyway. I remember being stopped multiple times by Evanston cops for "random" searches my white and Latino counterparts did not face. I remember being ostracized in classes when I was the only black face time after time. These memories exist, they are real and it takes a special type of bigot to try to act like they know better about my own life than I do. It would make more sense to try to at least disagree on grounds that are less about how terrible black people are as people and maybe on the facts of a case, ways to improve our society, and other constructive thoughts and ideas. It's your right to say any number of things, but why should invective and hate be people's prerogative?

    1. A point in time and “white privilege”
      The treatment that you detail is unacceptable. I am sorry that you had to endure that kind of treatment.

      But what year did you graduate from ETHS? With a student there now, it is my sense that, though no place is perfect, much has changed for minorities.

      For example, according to the school, there is a concreted effort made to encourage minority students to take AP classes, rather than your experience of being discouraged from taking such a course. Also, there are student groups that vigorously and vocally represent the interests of various student communities, including African-American students.

      I have seen posts here and elsewhere referring to “white privilege.” I have always found that term to be offensive because it assumes that all white people are similarly situated. Sounds like racism to me to do that, right?

      Yes, there are racists out there. They still exist. But there are many, many people categorized as white who hold no ill will toward any minority. I know many white people who did not come from privileged backgrounds and were disregarded for reasons other than race — gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, financial status, education, intelligence, etc. The idea that all white people are similarly privileged just by living in this country is flat out wrong.

      Disregarding someone based solely on a person’s appearance, gender, financial status, education, intelligence and opinions (as long as those thoughts are not discriminatory or violent) is unacceptable. So please see the tendency to scoop up all white people and put them into the same bad bowl with those who have hate in their hearts and their speech as another form of racism.

      1. White Privilege

        You say that white privilege "assumes that all white people are similarly situated. Sounds like racism to me to do that, right?" That is absurd- it is like saying that feminism is about hating all men, which is sexist against men. In both cases, the point is to expose privileges that people of a certain group share. Having white skin in the U.S. grants you specific privileges that non-white skin does not. (I can elaborate on what these are if you really need me to, but I hope that at least some examples come to mind for you) No- it does not mean that all white people are equally privileged, that would be an absurd argument. It just means that having white skin as opposed to any other skin color is advantageous in many situations in this country- it always has been. "So please see the tendency to scoop up all white people and put them into the same bad bowl with those who have hate in their hearts and their speech as another form of racism." Predjudiced/biased/wrong- sure. Racist? No. Racism is prejudice+power. In other words, prejudice that is backed by power and privilege and therefore can be exerted in oppressive ways. Black people are systematically disadvantaged in this country, therefore, it is very rare that racism towards whites would be possible.

        1. PEG has taught the dogma well at ETHS but it’s racist
          Being white may give some people privileges but for many white people (those in poverty, those who look or think differently), they get disregarded and mistreated, too.

          Can we all focus on how to make things better than relying on the blame game every time? If I don’t get what I want or if I believe that I am being treated in a way that I don’t like, it is to be blamed to white privilege.

          According to students at ETHS, there is a dogma there — you, white student, are an oppressor. Remember…the children who attend this school were born in 1996 or later and are as young as 14 years old.

          You are told that you need to take actions now and for the rest of your life to recognize that you are an oppressor. If you deny being an oppressor, then you are a hopeless racist as you cannot even recognize the depths to which you oppress.

          Thanks to the tens of thousands of dollars spent on PEG, this attitude is now common at the high school. Even if you don’t believe it, you must accept that it is what it is and you must conform with the notion that you are an oppressor. Why is that a good thing — making students ages 14 to 18 take personal blame for hundreds of years of prejudice? Do you think that some students actually take offense at being labeled like that?

          We are not advancing any part of race relations by relying on the so-called “white privlege” dogma for virtually all of society’s ills. It alienates many people who are white but are not racists. How about some thought on what has gone right in race relations, what has gone wrong and how we can move in a positive direction? Action based on thought, not blame.

          I do not condone the racist drivel spouted by PEG and similar ilk. As a person who may look like a white person but who is actually a mixed race person, I can tell you that there is nothing positive about the “white privilege” argument. It is a racist stereotype because its premise is that everyone white is automatically privileged and has power. That dogma needs to be called racist by everyone of good will.

        2. White privilege? What about Asian privilege?

          Is there Aisan privilege? Hispanic privilege? Millions of "brown" people risk their lives sneaking into America with nothing on their backs and can't even speak English. Somebody better tell them about white privilege. Maybe we wouldn't have an immigration problem.

          The concept of white privilege is simply identity privilege. Studies consistently show that tall men and fit people acquire more wealth in a lifetime than short men and obese folks. Shouldn't we be talking about tall man privilege? Obese people are clearly not privileged in our society. What about them?

          Are right handed folks privileged? We live in a right handed world. It's not easy finding a left handed golf club, hockey stick or guitar. What about parapalegics and other disabled folks? They are not privileged. Curse the able bodied privileged! Let's have another sit in!

          The main idea behind white privilege is that more doors of opportunity open if you're white. But what if you're Asian? Are Asians more privileged than whites because on average Asians acquire more wealth than whites. The median income of white households was $62,545, the median income  of Asian households was $75,027. Shouldn't we really be talking about Asian privilege?

          How do whites benefit from all of the affirmative action programs and other programs, mostly government, geared specifically toward minorities (except Asians)?

          Another key idea of white privilege is institutional privilege – white individuals dominate the powerful positions of society. Maybe that's because whites makeup about 75 percent of society? Ironically, minorities are disproportionately employed in government.

          White privilege preachers say whites can go to job interviews and will likely see a white interviewer and owner: read a news report likely written by a white or enroll in a college course that likely will produce a white teacher. When you call the police or fire department you will likely see someone white. The logical conclusion of this thought process is segregation. To end white privilege, non whites must apply for jobs owned by non whites, attend schools that will produce non-white teachers and read the news only from non-white owned media. And so on. Is that what we want?

          The talk of white privilege also contains an inherent subtle racism'. As some commented here, if you're white you can't understand white privilege. This kind of talk clumps an entire race into a category in which they are unable to emphathize and understand the difficulties of people of other races, real or imagined. Maybe whites are too stupid or too occupied in the comforts of white privilege to understand.  

          White privilege theory claims whites are treated better simply because they are white. An example used on this post that I've heard often is whites "pull their belongings closer" when blacks walk by on the street. In this scenario who has the power? The whites in fear of an attack or the blacks walking by unafraid? This example is used to explain how whites stereotype blacks but without any mention of crime stats or the recent phenom of the knockout game. If blacks, 13 percent of the population, didn't commit more than 50 percent of violent crime then perhaps the fear wouldn't be as pronounced. Community activist and presidential candidate Jesse Jackson once said he' would cross the street rather than walk by black teenagers. Hmmm, someone tell Jesse he';s not white. 

          Another example used here and often mention is the difference in sentencing between crack and cocaine dealers. Never mentioned of course is it was African-Americans, exploding in rage at the devastation crack was inflicting on their neighborhoods in the 1980s, who demanded severe penalties for crack cocaine. 

          All kinds of people assume all kinds of things. But when you start throwing crap out there like white privilege you are only going to anger and insult a lot of people. What good is that?

          The main thing regardless of what you like look like is how you present yourself; how you act toward others and your attitude toward life. You can sit around and blame others, embrace vague, far fetched and insulting theories to justify perceived disadvantages or you can just buck it up, understand people will be people and do the right thing with the expectation that others do it as well. This is America. We are free. No excuses.

          You either can soar with the eagles or gobble about in circles like a turkey.

  8. On Point
    I think we need to stay on point here.

    Very tempting to throw out our individual speculation on what actually happened between Brown and Wilson, if Racism had anythign to do with the shooting and opinion with the Grand Jury decision.

    But save that conjecture for another forum or when appropriate.

    The article above is about a demonstration at ETHS.

    My comment, I think it is fantastic they demonstrated, I am for it.

    But only if this was or/ganized by students 100% and not influenced or involved by Faculty. If the latter is true, then this crosses a line.

    1. Appropriate

      This sort of demonstration certainly is appropriate for school given the fact that some of the victims of violence are the same ages of many of these students. It is dillusional to ask these students to ignore the headlines that they are seeing everyday when at any moment one of their peers could be next. 

  9. ETHS

    It is appalling to see how many don't read the facts. Everything has been predicated on an 'unarmed teen' making it seem like he was minding his own business. The truth…he was 18, 6'4", 300 pounds, certainly big enough to over take most people. How about the fact that he assaulted a police officer, punched his face several times and went for his gun all before letting him out of his squad car? Remember, the gun went off inside the car and shot Brown's finger, that's what made him back off at all the first time.

    Sitting in on a protest because you 'felt like I had to' is just as bad as those that did it and really don't know what happened.

    How about all you protesters of the police start a public website. Post your names, addresses and photos so if you ever have the need to call the police for help, they can check the website to discover if you believe in them or not. If your on there, you shouldn't want, need or get help regardless of the situation. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

    Displaying protests or opinions about a few isolated incidents is sad. Take a look at statistics around the country, see how many of our hero's in blue are put in harms way each day going to work to do their jobs. Evanston is certainly no exception. Someone makes you mad so you go shoot them. That's very mature and goes to show that some of you are just as bad as Brown, no respect for people or the law. You get what you give. Is it worth spending the rest of your life in jail?

    Shame on you, shame on the faculty and staff at ETHS. Why not start with taking a look at how many times the Evanston Police are called to the school for all kinds of inappropriate behavior right on your campus on a daily basis. Look within, start with yourselves to be better humans and quit pretending that you want to take a stand for someone else's inapproriate behavior, it just makes you seem to be asking for the same acceptance of your bad behavior! Go to school and learn something!

    1. Response from an observer…

      Before you start with "shame on the faculty and staff at ETHS," keep in mind that the faculty and staff had no say in this protest. Also, the principal announced that the protest would be occurring right before it began, so I have to believe that the number of students participating was a bit artificially inflated. (Tell a school full of students that there will be a protest that delays their having to go to class, and suddenly everyone wants to participate.) To me, the protest was a symbolically significant gesture, but ultimately, rather shortsighted. For one, sitting for 4.5 minutes in order to represent a young man lying dead for 4.5 hours is a bit disrespectful to his memory. Secondly, to have a "protest" that is only visible to a captive audience–mostly students who participated anyway, either because they wanted to or felt pressured to–doesn't really send much of a message, IMO. If the students had walked out, without permission, or had staged a sit-in in the halls and had skipped class, that would be much more meaningful. Instead, the administration told them they wouldn't even be marked tardy to class! On a side note, police are not called to the school on a daily basis. Stop with the hyperbole.

      1. Faculty

        The story notes that some members of the faculty joined in with the students. There was a lot more than a couple minutes notice that this would be happening. It should not have been done on school grounds. It could have been done on the public sidewalk that surrounds the school. The administration appears to have little control over what is allowed on school grounds.

        1. re: Faculty

          Some faculty members did join the students–and some did not. My point was, don't lambast the entire faculty and staff when none of them were consulted about this protest. Also, my comment about the principal making an announcement right before the protest took place was not to imply that it was a surprise, but to point out that the announcement probably increased the number of students who participated. As for the administration having "little control," I don't know where you're getting that. Since the students presented this idea to the administration, the administration set up the time when it would happen, and the administration coordinated the effort, it seems like they have quite a bit of control over what happens on school grounds. As for it happening on public school grounds or on a public sidewalk, I see very little difference in those locations–if it's an actual protest, and not five minutes of sitting.

          1. Thanks

            Thanks for correcting and clarifying some of your prior statements.

            I don't know why you can not see the difference between protesting on school grounds and a public place like a public sidewalk or park. This was a protest. There is no doubt about that.

            I commend the students for having a peaceful protest but it was in the wrong place. It appears that many of the students did not care and just went along with what was going on because they few choice with being in a confined area. If they were told to go outside for the protest less than half the students would have gone. It was cild out there. If they were told that the protest would be at a public park on Saturday, it would have been amazing if 10% of the ETHS students would show up.

            It condemn the ETHS administration for allowing this to happen of school grounds. They could have allowed the protest to happen in a public area (I know it is a public school but it is not a public place. You need to be invited in.) but they choose the path of least resistance. They also allow students who did not want to be involved, to be emotionally pressured to sit down in the hall. The administration was just plan wrong.

            The students did the correct thing in the wrong place and (Adult?) admistration allowed it to happen in the wrong place.

  10. Slippery slope

    I still maintain that demonstrations don't belong in school or on school grounds but rather in a public area away from the school.

    If a police station were blown up for no apparent reason, would students be able to protest this violent action?  If a student were beaten up by a gang of another students on school grounds, would non-involved students be able to protest the lack of security? If the superintendent expelled a large number of students based on strongly debatable evidence, what then? 

    There are so many things people strongly disagree with, feel are essentially wrong that could conceively prompt protests.  Let the protesters speak their peace, by all means, but it shouldn't be partially arranged by the administration & not on school grounds.  If nothing else, this invites/risks a lawsuit.

    A precedent-setting decision condoned/aided by the adminstration presents a slippery slope.

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