One Lancaster

The controversy over Lancaster High School’s anachronistic, racist “Redskins” mascot was resolved by unanimous vote of that district’s school board. There was some outcry and protestation, and two of the most vocal opponents of the change were elected to the school board last week. The students, for their part, are in the process of selecting a new mascot via plebiscite.

It’s sort of how the world is supposed to work – controversy arises, a decision is made, the decision has consequences, the community moves forward, end of story.

One might say, “that’s the way the cookie crumbles”.

Indeed, someone did, in the Lancaster High School’s yearbook, and that page enabled race-baiting radio station, the voice of threatened white Buffalo WBEN to gain just a few precious extra minutes of a controversy that ended long ago.

A yearbook is generally assembled and written by students, who are overseen by faculty advisors. It’s their project, and is intended to, among other things, memorialize big events that happened during the preceding school year. It’s not a stretch to suggest that the mascot flap was a big deal and deserved some sort of mention in the yearbook. As long as a yearbook entry isn’t palpably obscene, profane, or otherwise objectionable, there would be no reason for something the students picked to be omitted.

The page has offended some of the more delicate residents of Lancaster because its heading is, “that’s the way the cookie crumbles”.  This breach of political correctness has Lancaster residents threatening violence.

One caller to WBEN’s Tom Bauerle called it a joke. “If my kid brought that book home, I’d take it up to (that school) and bash it over the adviser’s head. That’s what every parent should do,” says that caller.

Another caller says whoever wrote the headline wanted to divide the community again.

“The taxpayers and the students are owed an explanation, and should get the name of the person responsible for this,” says Debbie. “I don’t know what’s on the backside of the page, but if it’s something owners of the yearbook can live without, take that page, rip and out and leave it in the superintendent’s office.”

I mean, that seems reasonable. You’re so incensed by the abandonment of a racist team mascot that being reminded of it causes you to threaten violence – and the radio station re-publishes your threat on its website.

If you read the text of the offending yearbook page (seriously – re-read that – adults are whining to a radio station about a yearbook page) it’s promoting the Lancaster Educational and Alumni Fund (LEAF) and its efforts to combat the notion that Lancaster is a town divided over a mascot. Hopefully because of how childish and ridululous the preceding sentence sounds. As to the offending “cookie” crumble, one woman commenting on Facebook noted that,

School board had nothing to do with the “One Lancaster” shirt. It was created by a few well-meaning teachers (actually in favor of keeping the Redskins name) in an attempt to preserve the enthusiastic spirit and camaraderie for which their school had always been known. The “cookie crumbling,” while perhaps a poor choice of wording given the emotions surrounding this issue, was part of an overall yearbook “menu” theme. Not well thought out? Perhaps. “Slap in the face” intentions? Very doubtful. A little digging into the back story may have prevented another round of getting people on both sides riled up.

Tom Bauerle said it was a big “f u” to the “taxpayers” of Lancaster. Not so fast, I guess, since “taxpayers” aren’t the intended audience for a yearbook, and because it was simply a tongue-in-cheek continuation of the publication’s “menu” meme.

The bottom line is this. The people in Lancaster who supported keeping the racist mascot name denounced their opponents for being overly sensitive, politically correct, or worse. Yet they have a full-blown local media hissy fit over the use of the phrase, “that’s how the cookie crumbles”? You can’t have it both ways and denounce what you consider to be others’ hypersensitivity while being hypersensitive yourself. But as one of Lancaster’s new school board members says,

Some nominal adults in Lancaster – and at the local “newsradio” station – have some growing up to do.

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