Saturday, December 08, 2007

Diversity in Action: A Tale from the Schoolyard

A young gentleman of our acquaintance has eagerly related to us information regarding a recent event at his very diverse (and highly rated) public middle school, a story that he believes deserves wider dissemination. We explained to the lad that while the story did not rise to the level of “news” as it is traditionally defined, it was the kind of “news” in which we have become increasingly interested, and we would do our part if he would “write up” an account. We instructed him to pretend he was a “reporter” and try to stick the “facts” as he witnessed them, without seeming to favor one side or another. This young man has been in the USA for only a couple of years and thus is not fully comfortable with the nuances and complexities of our difficult English language, yet he already possesses a talent for sequencing and chronology that far surpasses those of much older and more experienced native English writers with whom we’ve worked. We present his report here, with only the lightest touch of the editor’s hand, not to embarrass the young man but because … it’s interesting (a lot more interesting than, say, this prattle). The youngster’s title for his story was “The Race War,” a choice that may or may not reflect his mastery of the American art of hype. We cannot vouch for the veracity of all of the particulars, but then again it sounds real true. We have changed a name to protect the innocent:
The war started with a childish arguement during lunch. When this Asian kid said “Asians are the smartest race.” And then this white kid said “hell(x2) no, female dog!” [and] “F***ing Asian.”

Then all these Asian kids started to beat this white kid. Using the Asian martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu, etc. And then reinforcements came from the other side of the school. Yelling “White Pride.”

However they didn’t fight they just stared at the fight. The kid who was getting beaten up saw these Mexicans laughing at him and said “D**n Mexican” and then the strongest and biggest kid came and joined the war.

That kid was a bully who was the violentest kid in the whole school (one time he brought a weed and guns to school and went to juvenile detention canter).

He said “Hey kid, I heard that you are talking sh** about Mexicans.” The kid who was getting beaten up literally shook by the time he saw the bully kid coming. When that Mexican kid came Arab kids said “ooh ….,” then the kid who was getting beat up said “shut up you F***ing terrorists.” Then the whole school surrounded the arena. When the teacher noticed that all the kids are gone, he ran to the courtyard and stopped the violent action. He gave 1 little detention to a Japanese kid who hit the pressure points to the white kid and then he gave 3 ISS (in-school suspensions) to all these white kids. That was the end of the Race War of 2007 at [Ambrose Bierce Middle School].
We suggested to the author that there was only one element missing from the story---a quote from Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg---but the boy apparently did not understand our lame attempt at jocularity.

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