Is racism or ignorance behind recent school incidents, PTSD and the padre from Canada, who owns the news, should there be a military draft, and the ice musician.
The Monday Morning Rouser:
Photo: Shane Schuster
The principal at Grand Forks' Red River High School says appropriate action is being taken against the kids who dressed up as Ku Klux Klan members at Friday night's hockey semifinal game. The students were part of a "white out" plan at the game.
Typical of these types of instances, officials won't say what "appropriate action" means. And, of course, the usual questions persist: Were these kids racist? Or just ignorant about history?
"The students removed the attire after students around them told them how offensive their attire was," the principal told Forum Communications, indicating the latter, and reflecting, perhaps, the quality of the history curriculum in schools.
The hockey game was against Davies High School, named after Ronald Davies, a former federal judge from Fargo whose rulings in 1957 integrated schools in Little Rock, Ark.
Do they teach this in history class?
Related: Hudson High program promotes acceptance among students. (Pioneer Press)
Sometimes, one wonders whether anyone is coming home from the wars without post traumatic stress disorder.
The CBC provides the story of Maj. Michel Martin, a chaplain who went to Afghanistan to help the troops there deal with the mental health effects of war. He came home with PTSD.
"PTSD destroys a lot of people. I never thought one moment that I would go through it one day. It almost destroyed me," he said.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports another afflicition may rival PTSD. "Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call 'moral injuries' -- wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code," the AP reports.
If women are now eligible for combat in the United States, why don't 18-year-old women have to register for the draft? Legally, there may be no other choice, the Associated Press says.
Better question: Why do we even still have a Selective Service system? Melvin Laird, the former secretary of defense, says we don't need it.
Some contend the draft is needed so that military sacrifice and risk may be more equitably shared. Ironically, a fundamental issue the Gates Commission on an All-Volunteer Force cited when the draft was discontinued was that it was inherently unfair. Among the issues the commission also cited was policymakers' inability to adequately answer the question: Who shall serve when not all serve? Nobel economic laureate Milton Friedman, a member of the commission, summed it up by saying that conscription was inconsistent with the American values of choice, personal liberty and a free society.
Unfortunately, the majority of those who would be eligible for the draft today do not meet the standards for military service, for physical fitness and other reasons. People are the military's most important asset. But if the objective is to maintain at reasonable costs an effective military force, the draft fails this test. If the objective is to require all young people to serve their country, there are numerous possible alternatives beyond making the military the only outlet.
But Thom Hartman, writing on Truthout, says it's no coincidence that wars with an all-volunteer military are longer than ones with a draft.
We need to bring back the draft. Our founding fathers knew its value. That's why they formed a citizen-based militia. When George Washington, in his farewell address warned us to beware of foreign entanglements, he knew that a citizen militia - what today is closest to a draft - was the best way to prevent us from jumping into foreign military misadventures.
A draft system is a great leveler. When there's a draft, what our founders called a "citizen's militia," every single American has some skin in the game.
Fewer than 1 percent of Americans have been touched by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fewer than 1 percent of Americans have experienced the pain and suffering of losing a loved one on a distant battlefield.
There was a horrible crash at Daytona speedway on Saturday, spilling debris into the crowd and injuring more than two dozen people. After NASCAR got order restored, its next priority was making sure you didn't see the most compelling video of it.
It claimed a copyright infringement and forced YouTube (Google) to remove the multiple videos filmed by people in the crowd. At first, YouTube acquiesced.
Within hours, however, Google put the videos back, but the questions remain.
Writing on the website, Paid Content, Matthew Ingram says the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- DMCA -- "only gives services like YouTube 'safe harbor' from copyright-infringement charges so long as the company acts quickly when it receives a takedown notice. In effect, there is virtually no leeway for protests or attempts to get a provider to defend their demands."
"Our speech is to a large degree controlled by private corporations like Google and Twitter and Apple," Ingram writes, "and in many ways we are still coming to grips with what that means for us as a society."
Related media: Spring training baseball games started over the weekend. The little boxscores in the paper are a lifeline to people desperately trying to survive winter. But agate type -- little scores and data -- are disappearing from the newspaper. (TV Fury)
Terje Isungset, is putting on a concert on a corner by the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis today (7:30 p.m.) But first he had to make his musical instruments, the Pioneer Press says. Out of lake ice.
Bonus: After 19 days in a coma, volleyball player wants to play one more season. (Winona Daily News)
The authority preparing to build the new football stadium in downtown Minneapolis has announced plans to tear down the old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome early in 2014. Today's Question: What is your most vivid memory of the Dome?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: The battle over the Keystone pipeline.
Second hour: Are there limits to what we can learn from data?
Third hour: Somali-African American tensions.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Historian David Nichols, speaking at the Minnesota Historical Society forum on "War Within War: Lincoln and US-Dakota War of 1862."
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) - TBA
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The Voting Rights Act, born out of the Civil Rights Movement, was enacted more than 40 years ago. But now, the Supreme Court will soon consider challenges to the law that binds some Southern states to federal supervision. NPR will have the story.
Re: RACISM OR IGNORANCE?
In my experience, the two usually go hand in hand.
Robert, I came here to say that. When I looked at the discussion on Reddit, opinion was divided between "that's awful" and "it's No Dak, what do you expect?" with a smattering of "it's a hockey game so there were probably no black people in the auditorium, no big deal".
I agree with Robert & Cara - ignorance and racism go hand-in-hand. That being said, it's not excusable. It is frustrating to see a pattern of schools locking down information when the big issues crop up. Perhaps having honest and open conversations would do more to change attitudes than trying to hide behind "privacy" laws. The fans of this No Dak high school should take a lesson from the coaches, players, and fans of the Texas high school basketball team you profiled last week.
4) WHO OWNS THE NEWS?
Do they get it right more than wrong?
I get that the issue is we don't really know, but with the speed of social media these days we kind of do. Don't we?
They knew enough about the KKK to put the costumes on. Are we to assume these kids had no idea at all they are rooted in white power? Of course they knew that. If you know one solitary thing about the KKK, that's what you know. That's why you put the costumes on.
And, how on earth anyone thinks "ignorance" could be an excuse for *high school* students is beyond me.
In re the KKK guys: I'm glad other students shamed those boys into removing their costumes, but there seems to be an element of "boys will be boys," as in the Reddit discussion. I wonder how the school would have reacted if girls had been the ones to put on the costumes.
Jaime, although it's frustrating when privacy laws are invoked, I'm not sure it's always a case of using the laws maliciously to tamp down on information. I imagine school districts don't really have much choice in the matter. Usually, it's a case of "Well, there's a law, and if we break it by releasing this information, we are going to be fined, at least." Maybe some people in this situation are glad not to have to come clean, but I'm sure others would be only to happy to address their situation in public.
Not an excuse but a reason - http://www.academic.marist.edu/mwwatch/fall05/science1.htm
PS 1957 Arkansas video. What does it say about the state of our politics that it is considered by many to be horrible now, but national guard troops where actually used (and consented to being used) against a federal order.
PPS Thurgood Marshall was in the video.
Bob, I'm not sure it's a failure of history class. As any high school teacher (or parent) will tell you, there's a difference between something being taught and then that same thing being retained and applied.
Not excusing the behavior, but don't think it's fair to point the finger at teachers or the school system unless we've actually looked at those things.
Ignorance IS racism. They do not know the history, they may not feel they need to, they may not care, they may think it doesn't affect them, that "it's in the past" and "there's no discrimination now." Denying or ignorance of uncomfortable history is their dubious "white privilege." It's easier to rest in the comfort of their perceived superiority than to face the truth.
Hands up if you were taught Brown vs. the Board of Education and the history of the Ku Klux Klan as part of your history class (a significant part). Extra credit if you were taught about the lynching in Duluth.
In North Dakota, Grand Forks was the center of Klan activity but the target of their hate was Catholics. The Klan wasn't just about hating based on race; they found all sorts of reasons to hate.
What about these youths' parents? What are they talking about at home? Have any of them been scolded, grounded, banned from the telephone and all social media for a week, made to read a book about lynching or maybe Emmett Till and report back on it? Perhaps the parents could relay the account of the three innocent black men lynched in Duluth my a white mob. Have they been made to apologize publicly to the other team? This is how you get it across that this is serious and there are consequences. But sadly, many adults are just as ignorant.
Re #1: Ignorant, yes. Racist, yes. I suggest a third root cause. The anonymity of blogs allows people to make inflammatory statements to get attention without risk of public shame. This may be an instance where people used to being anonymous trolls online didn't consider that a live setting gives offended people a chance to respond directly.
Good for those students who stood up and called for it to stop.
I seriously doubt that these students fully understand the symbolism and hatred that those costumes represent. They probably know just enough about the KKK to think that it's "edgy," that it might provoke a reaction, or gain them some attention.
It's a handful of little bastards who need a bigtime talking-to and some re-education, but I don't know that they should be punished. It's hard to say that they broke any laws.
If women want full equality under the law, then I believe that includes conscription. I think including women will expand the debate around the draft and whether we, as a nation, wish to continue this policy.
What role does having Native American mascots have in the freedom they feel to do this?
//What role does having Native American mascots have in the freedom they feel to do this?
Since their mascot is Teddy Roosevelt not sure how you are drawing that line.
If you are thinking of the University of ND sports mascot that has not been in use in a while and voted down by the state population in huge numbers.
Omg, this game was held at the RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA! What have these kids been taught???!