East Hampton High has used the word “white” in its game cheers for decades, especially given the school’s blue and white colors. But now, the school’s principal has banned the word “white” from games, calling the word racist.
The manufactured controversy began over a week ago when a letter written by Principal John Fidler and circulated among students cited the “social climate” as his reason for considering the ban.
The absurd ban outraged students at the Connecticut school. One student noted on a recent Facebook post, “this stuff has me outraged they are trying to take a simple chant that our school has done for years and years. They are trying to make it about race.”
One of the chants in question, based on the school’s colors, goes: “We say blue, you say white! Blue! White! Blue! White!” and the senior class has shortened its portion to “White! White! White!”
Principal Fidler, though, said he felt the chant is all about race. “Given the current social climate across our country,” Fidler wrote, “our use of the ‘White’ cheer is under suspension. Please show your pride in our town and in our school through other means when cheering on our teams.”
School Superintendent Paul Smith rushed to defend Fidler’s decree, saying, “It’s kind of outgrown just being done in our gym and at pep rallies and there’s a time and a place where the cheer is appropriate and a time when it may appear insensitive.”
Many didn’t understand why the school colors chant all of a sudden became all about race, when it has nothing to do with race. East Hampton student Kylie O’Brien wondered, “It’s not really that big of a deal to me or to any of our sophomore class. I don’t understand why it’s a problem now.”
Local citizens weighed in as well. “Why should you change a chant or cheer that has been around for years and has no racial connotation just because a few people are too stupid to understand such simple context?” Blake Friel posted. “Why should the vast majority of people change the chants they know and love because of a few racist retards who can’t see anything past skin color? Those are the questions you should be asking.”
“When one or two people can change the course of thousands, that is what will doom this great country of ours,” Friel concluded.
Scott Smith, another local resident, said, “Fidler and Smith should be fired. They are obviously too stupid to have positions of authority.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.