Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Response to the Esperanza "Jackie Chan" Incident

When I saw this story on CBS I had a flashback to an incident almost 20 years ago at Buena High School. Our volleyball teams had gone and knocked off a very good team. Our varsity was shaking hands when the large Caucasian player from Buena pushed our smallest Asian player on the team.
Being young comes with many great benefits and a few of which is hubris. Whether it is in the mob of the student body or even at times the student athlete, we've all had it one time or another. Trust me, we were no angels when it came to trash talking in practice.
Racism isn't a new thing. In fact, if you think this is bad college sports is much worse. Jeremy Lin 林書豪 endured much worse than being called "Jackie Chan", I'm sure of it. But more so it reminds me also of Oscar Robertson, whose professional career was rife full of incidents of racism which still affect him today.
Esperanza's motto is "Where Excellence is a Tradition". Excellence is a great tradition to have. However, excellence cannot be achieved without learning one thing... the proper response to failure.
Failure is a fact of life. So long as we live in this world we have to endure with one another and our own imperfections. However, being able to confess those failures and move forward in avoiding the same failures is what the learning process is for. It's also what schools are for.
I hope Esperanza takes the opportunity to teach their students this. I hope the coach would personally call the student to apologize. I hope the administration makes an effort to be more proactive in guiding their students through this failure. I hope the students understand why it's wrong to berate someone simply because of race. 
Maybe this is one of the reasons why I believe the world needs the gospel of Christ so dearly.  After all, we need a better hope in this world for true change to come at the End.