Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Your silence will not protect you."

I saw this story on the news last night. It really pissed me off.

Here's the gist of it: Recently, Jennifer Tesch, a woman in Madison Heights whose six-year-old daughter was on a local cheerleading squad, objected to one of the cheers: "Our backs ache, our skirts are too tight. We shake our booties from left to right."

She brought it to the attention of the public (I saw the original story on the news a few weeks ago). And now the parents of the other cheerleaders have unanimously voted her daughter off the team for "casting a bad light on the league." Oh, and get this: The cheer stays.

Okay. I'll concede that maybe Tesch should have talked to the other parents or coaches before alerting the media, but that does not excuse the other parents' behavior; it's appalling. One of them is quoted saying, "This is like a family. And to me, if you attack your family, what are you gonna do? You know, people are gonna be upset."

Talk about hypocritical. Instead of discussing the issue of the cheer in question, the parents of the other cheerleaders voted unanimously to kick Tesch's daughter off the team because by bringing it to the attention of the media, Tesch "cast a bad light on the league."

Please. By booting her out, the rest of the cheerleaders' parents are the ones "casting a bad light on the league," and ought to be ashamed of themselves.

When we're kids, we're encouraged to stand up for what we believe in. Our parents, teachers, and other mentors tend to emphasize that our actions--despite any adversity we may face--will ultimately end in glory and honor. But it really doesn't happen like that (which is something I've learned the hard way, especially in the past year or so). And I have to applaud Jennifer Tesch for voicing her opinion; I admire her for doing so.

Lately, I've been trying really hard to live by the words of Audre Lorde: "Your silence will not protect you." This whole cheerleading fiasco is an incredibly unfortunate example of why so many people think their silence will protect them, and so keep their mouths shut.

No comments:

Post a Comment