Your Honor

All men have the opportunity to be Honorable, but of those who do achieve the status, only a few are noticed.  It has been said, “A man has no honor in his own house”,  but I believe it to be his own fault.  Today is Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  When I was teaching  elementary music, we would perform a special choral tribute to him, but I always wondered just how much it meant to the youngsters. I also wondered if it meant much at all.  There seems to be less emphasis today and that’s a shame – or is it?  Is it disgraceful to not participate in the honoring of any man?  Is it acceptable to not be impressed?  Just because someone says, do we have to agree?  I have a very unpleasant memory of my last MLK day at Fitzgerald  Elementary in Las Vegas.  During the rehearsal of the upcoming program, I mentioned that fact that there were some slaves who chose not to be free.  Never would I have thought it would cause such a furor. After the program, I was summoned to the office.  Around the table was our ‘temporary’ Principal, Assistant Principal and a very large man with tattoos. a scowl and clinched fists.  “This is Mr.(I can’t recall his name), Mr. Austin. He has brought to our attention that you told his daughter and her entire class that the slaves didn’t want to be freed.  If you did so, you owe this man and our student body an apology and you will be placed on report.” (Talk about a minority experience).  I was speechless for a minute, but recovered before the father did something I would regret.  I said, “I do apologize if what I said was misconstrued….”. and was abruptly asked by the Principal, “Did you do that?”  I then made the mistake of asking why the student or members of the class could not  be present to tell what I said?  That did it! Mr—— jumped up and said, “You will not involve my daughter!” Then he turned to the administrators and demanded that I be placed on probation, “Better than that, FIRE HIM!” I knew the powers that be didn’t want to got there, but I couldn’t refrain from looking at the man and saying, “Mr.——–, racial bigotry is present in this room, but it is not me. Excuse me gentlemen”., and I walked out.  That was my last year to teach elementary music at Fitzgerald Elementary.  If there was disciplinary report in my file, I never knew it.  It is shameful to dishonor the honoree by demanding that every living person agree, but worse than that is the fact so the majority of people living today, live in such a way to dishonor mankind’s Greatest HERO.  That’s what I get in My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN



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