The issue of the yearbook photo at Wesson Attendance Center is getting a little out of hand. While it is not one that I personally care to deal with head on, the Courier has been thrust into by virtue of our position as the community’s newspaper. We’ve had calls from around the country and even from overseas about it–angry folks looking for fodder, mostly, and some of whom we couldn’t understand.
I told someone earlier this week that just hearing it being discussed made me squirm. Of course, the usual media suspects are sensationalizing the issue and all over it like green on a tractor. I’ve done as much as I can to tune it out–even in typing this column my palms are perspiring–and with very little success.
But, it must be dealt with. So, here goes. . .
• I fail to see where anyone has been discriminated against and, therefore, must receive special treatment as a remedy. In no way shape, form or fashion does this equate with the civil rights movement–a true struggle to gain equal rights that were purely denied based on untrue assumptions and fanatically false beliefs–as some have said on the record. That some have made the analogy between the yearbook photo and the civil rights movement is absolutely mind-boggling and is a slap to the face of the martyrs of the civil rights struggle.
• A senior yearbook photo is not a place to make political or social–or even a religious–statement. It is formal and has constraints so as to maintain a streamlined production. I’m sure that many of the students are uncomfortable wearing the required attire, regardless of personal beliefs. The policy of guys in tuxes and young ladies in dresses or drapes is applied across the board and fairly.
• Many have said that this entire ordeal has been nothing more than a grab for attention, a chance to put oneself in a spotlight. Whether or not the former is true, the latter has certainly occurred–and on an international scale.
Has the matter been resolved? The WAC yearbook has reportedly gone to press, less at least one senior’s portrait. Either way, once again common sense has been booted in the name of special treatment, and America as we once knew it has died a little more. The fact is, this whole fiasco matters very little in the grand scheme of things, yet it has shamefully been glorified.
Joe Buck Coates