Students found themselves divided between wearing black and wearing white. Photo by Jane Gormley
Today, Mercer Island High School has found itself in the unfortunate situation of holding a white-out spirit day on the Friday concluding a week-long demonstration in honor of the Black Lives Matter Movement within the Seattle Public School District.
According to several MIHS leadership students, the white-out was planned weeks ago solely as a spirit day, without the knowledge of Seattle’s “consciousness-raising event.” The purpose of both the spirit day and the demonstrations were to unify. Ironically, they seem to have done just the opposite.
Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and participation in a school spirit event are not mutually exclusive. Whether you have chosen to wear black, white, or any other color today is a personal choice and not something that should be politicized or criticized.
Our leadership students find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation. Their role is not to make political statements. It is to unify and represent the student body. No matter what color you wore today, we are all Islanders. The fact that we are even having this discussion indicates how racially charged our society is and as Islanders, it is important to remember that we can support our school while also taking part in this national discussion.