This commentary is written well in advance of the day it appears in print. In the interim some things may have changed. I sincerely hope so.
Last year Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver on the NASCAR circuit, prevailed upon NASCAR to remove all Confederate flags from NASCAR venues. You may rest assured he got threats. This year, at Talladega Superspeedway, when his colleagues thought he was being threatened by some anonymous bigot who hung a noose in the Richard Petty Team garage, they all got together to show their support for Bubba. This was in Alabama.
Meanwhile, here in Jordan, a young lady dares to post something online, and some bigot thinks it’s too controversial. And so, the Jordan Commercial Club, rather than stand in support of their princess asks her to be more neutral.
She chose to give up her position as an ambassador for Jordan.
To her I say, thank you for showing us what integrity means.
The Commercial Club was handed a golden opportunity to show Jordan and the world this town values its children, supports them, and wants them to grow into committed, thoughtful adults. Instead of offering support, the Commercial Club said it was afraid the ambassador would become a target.
The young lady was told if there were any other complaints or issues the Commercial Club would ask her to step down, and would revoke her $350 scholarship.
Reading deeper into the JI story, we see past Miss Jordans have received at least one actual death threat. This should have been met with the full, immediate, and absolute disdain of everyone in town. But it wasn’t. The young ladies were fed pablum. They are not the ones giving Jordan a black eye. We are, when we accept that our children (and we ourselves) should keep our opinions and thoughts to ourselves lest we offend someone.
This is nonsense. Parents, do you want your kids to have ideas, and the courage to express them? Or do you want them to be ticky tacky in little boxes?
The Commercial Club, it seems to me, worries more about its image than about its morality. It’s time they grow a spine, and promote Jordan as a 21st century town that values all its people, and the good things they bring to Jordan. I think that message would play much better than the one we’re spreading now, which is “Keep your head down in Jordan.”
“And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
And they all get put in boxes, and they all come out the same” -Malvina Reynolds, “Little Boxes,” as sung by Pete Seeger