Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Flag panel should be a diverse group

My former high school, Douglass High School in Kingsport, was a few miles from Sullivan South. Unlike a former resident from Gate City featured in a story in the local news, I have a very broad view of diversity, but do respect his First Amendment, free speech, rights and his views on the mascot of Sullivan South. I found some additional information online about the date Sullivan South was established (1981) and reviewed again the definition of the mascot and the history of this word, long associated with the past, yet having very similar connotations to the complexities that we see exhibited and at the root of many mental and physical challenges of community members who take sides on many community issues, not really for the sake of resolving an issue, but merely just jumping into the fray. I also am aware that school faculty and administrators are meeting to begin discussions about the mascot, as there are complaints, including from area schools.
I encourage this group to include current and former students as well as local community leaders in this discussion — a diverse group — and to develop a resolution that allows the local and regional community to see Sullivan South High School as the academic leader that it apparently is and not as the definition of the word “rebel.” A rebel is one who rebels or is in rebellion: “He is the perfect recruit for fascist movements: a rebel not a revolutionary, contemptuous yet envious of the rich and involved with them” (Stanley Hoffman). A rebel also can mean a Confederate soldier.

Rosemary Gray
Lake Charles, La.

Fight fat instead of a lost war

My profession has allowed me to live, work, and travel in all but a handful states. I have lived in the South for a number of years. I have also resided in the Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, and Mountain States. The one thing that is more evident every day I live in the South is the overweight grade school children, overweight middle school children, overweight high school children, overweight young adults and overweight older adults. From the looks of people, the South is a stroke or heart attack waiting to happen.
And it is just not me. When I have friends who come to visit from other parts of the U.S., they see and comment on the same thing I see. It is about time Southern folks gave up fighting the Civil War (you lost) and started fighting the war on fat. You can win this one if you try.
G.E. Rogers

Rebel flag isn’t the real issue

Who really believes there are those who are deeply hurt or have to seek psychiatric treatment when South High students run across the football field waving a rebel flag? The rebel flag isn’t the issue. It’s a matter of a few wanting to exert control over the freedoms long enjoyed by all Americans — their right to choose. If we are to put the rebel flag under the microscope, let’s do the same for others. Does calling D-B “the Indians” really glorify those of Indian descent? My grandchildren are part Cherokee. If one of them complains, is D-B ready to get a new nickname? And those Hilltoppers? Some might live in the desert with no hills to be seen. Aren’t we rubbing their sensitive nose in it by talking about “Hilltoppers” — whatever they are? Let’s call the schools the A’s, the B’s, the C’s, the D’s — that should end any controversy. I know, I’m getting ridiculous — but no more so than with the rebel flag being an issue. Once it’s gone, that’s not the end. There will always be a few more things for those in power to gain control of to remind you that they are in charge and that you are subservient to their wishes.
Americans are beginning to say enough. Whatever your office, you weren’t crowned king, and we can vote you out. And that’s the message we need to send about the rebel flag. Mind your own business, or we will vote you out. Our individual freedoms are important to us. Good Americans have fought and died to protect them. We don’t intend to let others trample on those rights. Keep it up and we will show you who has the power. It’s time to say enough, starting with the rebel flag issue.
Richard H. Blair

Others shouldn’t decide for South

We as graduates of Sullivan South High School have used the rebel flag as our school pride for years. There is always going to be someone not happy in any situation. Why let them get the best of the situation? In that case every school should not use their mascots for school pride. We are proud to be Rebels and show it by our school spirt, the flag being part of that. I graduated in 2002 and still show South’s pride. Everyone who enrolls in Sullivan County schools knows Sullivan South High School as the Rebels, and it has been since 1980. Why change it because people are offended by our flag? I am offended by them having more rights in this country than the people that started it. In that case there should be no flags, mascots or any symbols of school in the entire world.
So what if people were offended. Move on. The world needs God in school, and if people don’t start showing that He is our creator, we are in a world of trouble. I think having a mascot in school shows interest in school activities and helps keep kids out of trouble. They should not be able to choose for Sullivan South by being offended. Take a vote and let’s see what the public decides.
Regina Robinson