Sunday, December 18, 2005

An Interesting Story

The Courier Journal ran an interesting story on December 5th about activist Christopher 2x speaking to youth at a local school about drugs and violence. Many of you know him from the local media, wherein 2x is usually present at some event, along with Rev. Coleman and others, where some murder or other tragedy has happened. According to the Courier, Christopher 2x is a former drug dealer, and ex-con. In a recent WHAS 11 news report, Mr. 2x, who is unemployed, depends on donations from the community to do his community activism. Ok, that's not to unusual. A lot of former addicts and inmates have sought to give back to the community for all the misery they've caused.

However, what made this story unusual was that 2x, himself a minister, was speaking to black males only at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Now, perhaps I'm wrong, but I've always been under the impression that schools could not segregate the student body by race when it came to allowing a speaker to come and talk to kids. A speaker could, for instance, request to speak to just the girls, or just the boys, but not to just the white males, or Hispanic males or black females. In short, the Jefferson County Public Schools were not to allow speakers to discriminate in choosing their audience. Now, like I said, I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I would also think that a topic such as this, dealing with gangs, drugs, and violence would benefit all the students, not just one population. Yet, Mr. 2x was allowed to do just that.

Secondly, I mentioned that according to the Courier Journal, Christopher 2x is a minister. In deed, he is a member of the Nation of Islam. According to Tolerance.Org (http://www.tolerance.org/), which is web project of the renowned Southern Poverty Law Center, the Nation of Islam, headed by Rev. Louis Farrakhan, is registered as a hate group. For those of you unfamiliar with the Southern Poverty Law Center, these folks have been around since the 1970s. They routinely seek out and prosecute hate groups such as the Neo-Nazis and KKK, inflicting as much financial damage as possible.

If this is true, so why was someone like Christopher 2x being allowed to speak to such impressionable school children as a bunch of middle schoolers are? Granted, the message may in of itself be good, but I'm concerned about the messenger, and what kind of message that sends to these kids. Would the JCPS allow, say someone from the local Klan or Neo-Nazis to come and speak to white youth only, even if it's strictly dealing with issues like crime or drugs? Keep in mind that the message in this case is already racial because of the segregated student population. It would appear that JCPS may have no choice since they've already set a precedent.

I emailed Courier Journal reporter, Chris Kenning (ckenning@courier-journal.com), as well as Mr. Marty Bell (mbell1@jefferson.k12.ky.us), Director of Communications/Government Relations/Parent Relations for JCPS. I wanted to know if meant any organization would now be allowed to come and speak to whatever racial or religious group for that matter, they wanted to, as well as JCPS's position. I also wanted to know what parents had to say, especially the parents of those children who were left out. To date, I've received no response from either. As for me, all I can say is that we have no time for hatred or intolerance, no matter how innocent or subtle it is presented.
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