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Los Angeles, CA, United States


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Can Call me Al...no please don't

So I'm reading the following article on Yahoo and I'm appalled at the apparent prejudice, racism and narrow-minded thinking of some school administrators from Texas. 


In short, a reporter from Al Jazeera News, asks permission to film during a Texas High School football game.  It's part of a series of reports he wanted to do for his network 10 years after 9/11.  He basically gets shut out and denied and reports several comments made that infers the administrators based their decision to deny permission to film because Al Jazeera is a Arabic language news network.

Here's my take for what its worth.  Had this been CNN or BBC or 60 Minutes, the administrators would have opened their arms and shown some Texas hospitality.  Because Al Jazeera is based in the Middle East, they're guilty by association with terrorists.  Most people only know of Al Jazeera because Al Qaeda would drop off video and audio messages of Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.  Osama Bin Laden and his goons made Al Jazeera their personal network for getting out their message.  Not that this is negative,  any news organization would have jumped at the chance of being the first to release video or audio of the world's most wanted men.  Al Jazeera just happens to be the CNN of the Middle East.

If you read one of my previous posts about the state of news in our country, you'll know that I enjoy Al Jazeera's reporting.  It's good to hear a different perspective on the news.  So often our news is tainted with political slants to the left or right i.e. Fox News.  In any case, I'm saddened by these Texas high school administrators.  What's the message that they're sending to the kids they're trying to teach?  It's okay to be a racist?  The administrator on the high school website attempts to explain his side of the story.  Of course after a firestorm is created and the negative publicity angers the school district, he comes up with a lame excuse that other circumstances were stressing him out.  Okay Mr. Lee, why didn't you explain that to the journalist in the first place?  I think he would have been understanding.  If anything, you could have kept your comments to yourself particularly, "I think it's damn rotten what they did." 

In a world full of hate and mistrust, it's unfortunate that these stories reinforce that prejudice and racism exists and sadly, propagated by those entrusted to teach our children.  The administrator in his self righteousness never admits fault or apologizes for the misunderstanding.  With an opportunity to right the wrong and invite the journalist back to visit and do his filming, Mr. Lee opts to circle his wagons and end his excuse with a comment, "I am sitting here listening to the music from our annual "Fiesta Night" that celebrates the unification of the many cultures that make up our community."  Gosh, if listening to foreign music makes one a non-racist, let's all download foreign songs into our ipods and proclaim the world a better place.

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