Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Monday, October 15, 2007

From Faith Action Newsletter: Chapel Hill vs. East Chapel Hill Soccer Game

The growing xenophobia in our society was clearly evident at a high school soccer game last week in Chapel Hill. When Chapel Hill High played arch rival East Chapel Hill, one of the players was a young man who immigrated to the United States from El Salvador. He is a legal, permanent resident of the USA on his way to becoming a US Citizen. Yet, everytime he had possession of the ball, fans in the stands would shout over and over again: "Give him a green card. Give him a green card." This was upsetting to the young man, but not nearly so upsetting as the actions of the referee. The referee consistently called the young Latino man "out of bounds" everytime he had the ball, even when it was clear to everyone that he was not out of bounds. When the boy's mother spoke to the referee about his bad calls, the referee shouted at her that she "should go back to Mexico and take all those Hispanics with you!" He then stuck a yellow card in her face.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Chapel Hill Schools have determined that this particular referee will never serve as a sports official ever again for city schools. However, the feelings of fear and intimidation that this young student and his family have experienced cannot be erased by this decision alone. This hard working family already had to fight an unjust deportation order in the past, and now it seems they are facing vocal slurs and discrimination at every turn. This is the legacy of hate filled politicians and "civic leaders" who have used acusation and fear to polarize a confused public for political gain.

People of faith must reclaim the high ground and begin to do everything possible to restore a society of harmony and trust where EVERY person is valued as a child of God, fully deserving of respect and fair treatment.

I agree.


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