As some of you already know, a beating occurred a little over a week ago at Guilford College in North Carolina, where three students, all of them Palestinian, were punched, kicked, and given concussions by some or all of a group of 15 members of the football team, who allegedly used slurs like “sandnigger” at the time.
I don’t think I have anything particularly deep to say about it, having never gone to Guilford and not knowing what exactly went on. But I’m beginning to think ethnicity and racism are important issues for Friends to be thinking about, so I wanted to post something.
I would like to share two things the incident has made reflect on, however. (Neither directly relates to race, but I’ll have more to say about that after next weekend’s “Slavery Among Friends” workshop.)
How “Quaker” is Guilford anyway?
But only about 10 percent of the students, faculty and staff are Quakers. And I don’t know, but I suspect that, like most colleges, instead of operating according to Quaker business practices, they run things by votes and the decisions of executives.
Calling it a “historically Quaker college,” or “Quaker-founded,” therefore seem much more truthful.
Football doesn’t force anyone to commit violent acts, for sure. But I think it’s a legitimate question whether competitive sports in general, and football in particular, encourage macho and ego-centered attitudes, which are among the seeds of violent behavior – and undesirable in themselves even when they don’t bear fruit in actual, physical violence.
How can a school with a strong commitment to equality have a serious football team?
(That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really asking what people think.)