Together we stand: We cannot hope to achieve greatness divided as a school


Graphic courtesy of Griffin Jones ’18

Editorial Board

We cannot let ourselves slip up and make national headlines again with some irresponsible acts committed by students. This goes for both sides, as students we should lose with grace and win with dignity. Don’t kick someone while they’re down, instead extend a hand to help them up and recognize them as equals.

We should not ignore our victories just because they were accomplished by someone with whom we disagree. We should celebrate in the forwarding of all of our tenants, even if it was achieved by “the opposition”.

There is no reason to even use the word “opposition” because we all want the same for South. We all want to push forward together in academics, athletics and extracurriculars. We would not be the eighth best high school in the state of Michigan if we push people aside based on their beliefs.

We can continue to improve, as there are seven schools in front of us that we could exceed, and we cannot do that divided. The only way to see ourselves succeed in our goals is to unify and During this time of the year where strange traditions like coming together in celebration of eating a 20 pound turkey and exchanging small tchotchkes which are placed under a tree kept in our house covered in little glass globes all while coming together with friends and family, we feel it is appropriate to talk about unity.

Unity at South is an enigma. It is an enigma fed by the fact that we have a Unity day, but also the necessity for our principal to come over the PA to refresh our sense of unification. It is the yin and the yang. We are able to come together with our hatred of North, but when socially-charged issues come up we are a house of cards, blown away by the wind of politics.

We should not accept that divisiveness.

We would continue to forward ourselves as students if we reject the ideals of party lines defining people. Just because someone is any particular political alignment it does not define their worth as a human being.

We are not saying ‘surrender your ideals to the idea of unity’, but instead be willing to respect other’s opinions just as you would have them accept your’s.. Do not let a roadblock in your mind hinder your ability to see someone’s true value.

There were 867 hate crimes in the 10 days following the election according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. At South, we are no strangers to the wrath of such heinous acts at our school.

We are well versed in controversy and inspection. We are under a microscope at South which forces us to hold our own expectations even higher than other schools. This is a bittersweet duty that we cannot be vitriolic about– it pushes us to behave to the best of our abilities and separates us from the pack. The exceptional at other schools is the normal at South, leading us to hit even higher levels of achievement.

Put our differences aside.

Chants of “build a wall” were spoken at Royal Oak Middle School. A man in Chicago was beaten while someone watching said “You voted for Trump!”. Neither side is exempt, neither side is innocent.

President-Elect Trump said “stop it” to 60 Minutes when speaking about the crimes. We are one country and one school, we should act like it. Political arguments should not be disrupting the days of students or be putting other students down. If another student has a differing opinion, it does not make them a bad person, instead it ingrains them in the fabric of American diversity, something we take for granted.

A person’s political beliefs is not a testament of their life. It does not rehash all that they have been through, what dreams they have had, where their mountains and valleys are. Political beliefs are just one of the presents under the Christmas tree.

What we are trying to inspire is the allowance of a sense of value even in contrastive sentiments. Have that open mind that cliches always talk about. Fight against the fires of generalization. Come together with your fellow students over the common enemy of abstraction (or North).

We need to extend our hands down to those who need help picking themselves up. The famous military creed of “No man left behind” should come into our psyche. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.