Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
We were alarmed by the local story of hate-filled racist actions out of West Vigo High School that were brought to light last week. The extent of the actions, how long they have been going on, and the willingness of school officials to avoid accountability are not yet clear. But it is clear that the amount and character of the actions exceeds even our most pessimistic assumptions about the character of our neighbors.
I, along with many others, attended Monday’s school board meeting. Brave members of the community spoke up, not only for the victims of abuse, but to charge our leaders with the responsibility to fix it.
What genuinely surprised me was that there was no prepared statement or public declaration that affirmatively named that racism is, in fact, bad.
While many in our community want to see action, not just words, it is words that often beget action. Words from our leaders and elected officials who are willing to say something as direct as this:
Racism is a scourge on humanity. It is immoral. It is evil. And tolerance of such vile behavior is destructive to human flourishing.
We must be able to say that. To one another. And then, also, act accordingly. Because, in light of abuse happening to our neighbors, friends, and loved ones, not saying it is just as political an act as saying it.