Monday, October 14, 2013

I Look Forward To The Day When We Don't Need The Caveats

This boy's accomplishment is significant enough without having to bring his skin color into the discussion:
Standing next to the bleachers he helped build, James Hightower III recited the Scout Oath “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

His father, James Hightower II, tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka how much being in The Boy Scouts means to the Hightower family, “We believe in scouting.  Where else can a young man, at the age of 10 or 11 start a oath by saying ‘on my honor'?  It starts with saying 'on my honor' and those are very powerful words and words to live by.”

They're words that the Glen Hills 7th grader takes seriously.  James joined The Boy Scouts when he was eight years old and now he is the youngest African-American Eagle Scout in the country.
And yes, I'd like to see a similar news story any time a junior high school student makes Eagle Scout regardless of his skin color.  It cheapens the accomplishment to add race to it; it's like saying that a 13-year-old white kid's becoming an Eagle Scout is ho-hum but a black kid's becoming an Eagle Scout is a "big deal".  Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations!

(And if a left-handed lesbian Muslim from Bolivia accomplishes something extraordinary, I hope we'll read about the person and her accomplishment and not fixate on the descriptors.)

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