By Rickey Hampton, Editor and Founder of TheAfricanAmericanAthlete.com
Race relations in America are currently going through one of the worst periods since the founding of this nation. The racist president campaigned his way to Washington with his divisive, hateful, rhetoric, which has seemingly made people think it is OK to be racist again.
Of course, it is not.
We should never forget that everyone doesn’t think along those lines. And for sure, the people at Montpelier School district in Montpelier, Vt., don’t think that way. The district is working to bring people together. Montpelier is embracing the concept that a diverse community creates a stronger community.
Recently, Montpelier High School kicked off Black History Month by raising a ‘Black Lives Matter’ flag to fly over the school, just below the American flag.
Students in Montpelier’s ‘Racial Justice Alliance’ took turns raising the flag in an emotional ceremony, attended by students, parents, and community members. African-Americans comprise only about five percent of the school’s student body.
The decision to raise the flag in honor of Black History month was unanimously approved by the district’s school board. Brian Ricca, the Montpelier schools superintendent believes the flag honors the legacy of the black experience. “The school board is taking a very courageous step in honoring the experiences of our students of color, specifically of our black students,” explained Ricca.
Montpelier’s gesture is an important step in the quest for a more tolerant society.
In an age of Colin Kaepernick kneeling for justice, BLM activists marching for justice, and at racist president trying make America great again, by making it all white, Montpelier’s message sends a powerful message.
As you might expect, this decision has met fiery criticism from some segments of the community.
Nonetheless, the fact that so many people from diverse backgrounds thought this was important is a small, but significant step, towards justice, equality, respect and tolerance.