Skip to comments."NAACP Up in Arms Over Student's Proposed 'Caucasian Club'"
Posted on 10/06/2003 2:46:39 PM PDT by priceofreedom
"NAACP Up in Arms Over Student's Proposed 'Caucasian Club'"
Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Go to any high school or college campus these days, and youll see clubs for African-American, Latino, and Asian students, but nothing for white students. A young lady at Freedom High School in Oakley is trying to right that disparity by starting a ''Caucasian Club.'' While the students are mostly amenable to the idea, predictably, the NAACP is up in arms about it, accusing her of being a racist.
Danielle Samaniego, writing for The Contra Costa Times, demonstrates why separatism is a slippery slope.
Lisa McClelland insists that she is not a racist.
The 15-year-old freshman at Freedom High School says her campaign to start a Caucasian Club on campus is an effort to bolster diversity, not promote bigotry.
''It's not racist because we're not excluding anyone, and we're just trying to solve the issues of racial disparity,'' says Lisa, whose ethnic background is American Indian, Latino, Dutch, German, Italian, and Irish.
Lisa says she and many of her friends feel slighted by other school clubs that cater to specific cultures and races, such as the Black Student Union and the Asian Club.
The Caucasian Club would be open to everyone of all ethnic backgrounds, she says. She envisions activities such as fund-raisers and field trips to places that emphasize history, such as museums.
Since launching her campaign three weeks ago, Lisa says she has gotten 245 signatures from students, adults, and others on and off campus who support the formation of the club. She intends to get hundreds more before submitting the petition to Freedom High principal Eric Volta this week.
Others are uneasy about the proposal. It comes in the aftermath of racial tension at Freedom High and elsewhere within the Liberty Union High School District.
Darnell Turner, first vice president of the East County chapter of the NAACP, said he believes the Caucasian Club will create racial division.
''It will not allow us to heal that divide that we've tried to overcome in the past couple of years,'' said Turner, who spoke out during the 2002 Liberty High incidents. ''If her motivation is to bring harmony, as she alleges, this is not the way to go.''
The grass-roots effort has come primarily in the form of sheets of binder paper passed around in class with the written topper ''Caucasian/White Club Petition.'' She also has gone door-to-door in the community to gather signatures.
Freedom freshman Tyleisha Crooks, 14, who is African-American, signed the petition.
''It'd be tight because they can learn more about their history,'' Tyleisha said.
Lisa's neighbor Elliott Perez, a 14-year-old Freedom sophomore who is Latino and white, signed as well.
''I think it's fair for white people to have their own club because every other race has their own club,'' Elliott said.
Gossett says he does not have issues with the concept of a Caucasian Club as long as it is positive.
''If it's going to be helpful then I don't have a problem with it,'' he said. ''I'm kind of a positive person, and I tend to look on the positive side of things. I think that probably some groups want to feel a part of the whole community and, in that way, they're expressing themselves in a positive way.''
The NAACP's Turner said the club's concept sounded similar to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's 1989 election campaign when he claimed his National Association of the Advancement of White People was also about harmony. Turner added that organizations such as his and other ethnic clubs have never been associated historically with bigotry.
''It was a way to identify the members of that group and unify,'' he said. ''When we use the word 'white' or 'Caucasian' or whatever, it has always been associated with racial bigotry. Using that term opens up old wounds, and we don't need to go there.''
''We've worked very hard over the last year to have a real positive feeling about this school, and I don't know if a club of this name would upset that,'' said Volta, the principal. ''We have clubs that support the same thing,'' he said, referring to the Power of Unity club on campus.
The Power of Unity is an umbrella organization for the cultural clubs at Freedom and is similar in its concept to Liberty's unity plaza, he said.
Freedom High activities director Dana Johnston said students interested in forming a club would need to first find an adviser, then create a constitution, which would have to be approved by the school's club council members, the Associated Student Body and Johnston herself. She refused to comment further.
Ultimately, it is Volta who will give the final approval. Aware of this, Lisa says if her club is rejected, she plans to protest or take legal action if necessary.
Lisa's friend Kristine Maguire, 14, who signed the petition, says she understands the club's name could immediately put some people off but that attitudes might be swayed if they grasped its overall purpose.
''If they really knew what the club was about, they wouldn't say it was racist,'' she said. ''You've got to get to know the club before you judge it.''
Freedom High's student population is composed of about 63 percent whites, 26 percent Latinos and 4 percent African-Americans, along with small percentages of Filipinos, American Indians and Pacific Islanders.
Until two years ago, when Lisa moved to Oakley, the teenager found herself immersed in diversity while growing up in Richmond and later Martinez. Her distinct style is derivative of who she is, from her bleach-splashed hair to the red-rimmed glasses she sports without lenses. On a recent afternoon, she spoke with conviction even as she fidgeted with a paper, inked stars and the letters ''O-z-z-y'' marked across her left hand.
Her mother, Debbi Neely, says she always has been open-minded toward others and taught her children to do the same.
''I personally think it all comes from the home,'' Neely says of bigotry. ''You learn it from your past, your families. Mostly kids her age today are like, 'Why? Why is this still an issue?' ''
It should be clear to all conservatives by now that the left intends to demonize us. They don't just disagree with us, they hate us. And worse, they want to get other people to hate us.
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Anyone that followed the 2000 election and the hate mailing sent out then can see that.
Kinda like the Democrats pretending to be advocating for the people of Alaska by stopping miniscule drilling. Of course, if they'd actually bother to ask the Alaskans, they'd find they all support it. Don't you love how liberals can speak for any group w/o its consent?
Obviously this is a racist statement. She should be forced to spend 1 hour with Jesse Jackson...uh...well maybe not Jesse. He doesn't need any more "love children". She should be forced to spend 1 hour with Al Sharpton...uh...well maybe not Al. We don't need any more Tawana Brawleys. She should be force to spend 1 hour with Kwazi Infume and he would show her comments are just the product of her upbringing at the hands of the great white satan.
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