By Matthew Zacher ’18
At the conclusion of the first week of school, Brophy students gathered for the first time of the year in prayer.
Brophy Big Brothers were grouped with their freshmen counterparts, as freshmen were anxious to participate in their first all-school service at Brophy.
The assembly began with a video of Maya Angelou beautifully reciting a poignant poem about how people too often put on “masks” to conceal their true selves.
This is a perfectly germane reminder to often nervous freshmen not to cave in to the forces of groupthink and “fitting in.”
This tribute to Angelou was followed by a video regarding the 2016 Election and race.
Student testaments provided by Nelson Martinez ’18 and Axell Komlan ’18 recounted events of racial insensitivity on campus following the 2016 Election.
Martinez told stories of students asking their Hispanic classmates if they were “ready to go home” following President Trump’s election win.
Komlan shared that a student in his Spanish class read the Spanish word for black as the insensitive racial classification “negro,” rather than the proper Spanish pronunciation.
After having spent years at this school, which I consider the most loving and welcoming place in Phoenix, hearing these accounts struck a chord of rage inside me.
I couldn’t imagine any of my classmates and friends uttering such hateful words: a despicable result from the arrogant euphoria that an election victory provides.
These stories must be told to the Brophy community, and freshmen must be encouraged to be welcoming and loving toward their classmates.
However, the timing of this race-centric assembly was simply miscalculated.
Incoming freshmen should not be initially exposed to the minute amounts of racism that exists on campus, rather they should witness the many ways in which Brophy students lift each other up, and break down barriers of color and creed.
Brophy is not a racist school, and by illuminating the hateful corners of our campus instead of showcasing the victories of inclusion, freshmen may feel inclined to carefully tip-toe the boundaries of race, instead of diving in and making friends with people of different backgrounds.