There is plenty of research clearly showing diversity at work and in communities is needed to produce healthier environments, greater profits and more creativity. Given this reality racially exclusive endeavors, racially isolating groups and racial purity groups can easily be sowing the seeds of their own failures. Yet through deliberate financial market undertakings like redlining, school funding patterns, the prision industry coupled with racial profiling in stop and frisk as well as in-group social pressures racism persists trhoughout society across many generations. It actively limits everyone by restricting access to "the other."
The persistence of the racial divisions in society are well documented and pervasive in many Greek life organizations on our campuses. Since racism involves support across many socially important venues the team identities of schools are also relevant. When the schools permit racism to occur, by turning a blind eye at the very least, claiming tradition when challenged or citing the costs of change--although those costs are never detailed--we all lose but especially those who adopt racism as their personal lifelong pattern.
The mere fact that high school students thought this was appropriate this year identifies beyond any question the presence of powerful racist groups within our schools today. Persistent use of Native American mascots in the major league teams certainly can be seen as endorsing their beliefs.
I wonder if it has crossed the minds of those seeking racially based power, exclusivity and social standing that all the work and goals they are seeing as so valuable are slipping through their fingers by the problems inherent in the very processes they are taught to use and value. If marriage to another member of the world of Greek Life or among the same "kind of people" on campus or in groups is the ultimate status symbol we may be looking at a situation where the narrowed genetic pool creates similar problems to those experienced by inbreeding among royal families across the world. Royalty had physical problems due to narrowed genetics but I suspect new ideas, problem solving and creativity were also limited due to limited exposure to other groups of people. The current sidelined roles of royalty in society coupled with the real loss of political and economic power indicate something more than poor health has been at work in the royal families which has seriously reduced their success. Do the narrowed genetic pools of the racists in the upper reaches of the 1%ers hold the same future? Quite possibly. Will team owners recognize this and lead to a better future for everyone? Maybe.
Personally I choose to speak out, work to change minds and hearts in the sports world rather than sit silently, assume things will somehow magically solve themselves and ignore the possibility that each of us can make a change, we all can, in our daily lives make a difference. Open the conversation, read a book, share this site. Silence condones. Always.
Do one positive change in your world today. Deal with racism. Together we CAN change the world.