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Opinion: Cultural appropriation is over-hyped at Foothill

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Opinion: Cultural appropriation is over-hyped at Foothill

Emma Kolesnik

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Our country has a bad history of racism. We have been racist against African-Americans, or blacks. Even after slavery was outlawed, black codes and Jim Crow laws continued. We have been racist against Native Americans, pushing them from their land and mocking them.

Every non-white race could probably find some sign of discrimination in America’s history. Even certain white groups like the Irish have experienced discrimination. I would be stupid to deny this, and to deny that many minority groups still experience discrimination.

For hundreds of years in America, every race’s goal has been to gain equality, and integrate themselves into American culture. In our modern world, when there are fewer and fewer signs of apparent racism, people are now focusing on things like “cultural appropriation.” Cultural appropriation is when people adapt or “appropriate” parts of another culture to suit their own needs.

In my opinion, it is offensive to be constantly yelling “cultural appropriation.” I see this in particular at Foothill. My school is predominantly white, yet people love to talk about cultural appropriation which has no effect on them. Even for our own Foothill Dragon Press, the majority of the articles written on the topic were not written by people of color.

By saying that all of these random things are cultural appropriation we are showing how ignorant we are of other people’s cultures. An example from our own school would be the backlash for the Arabian Nights Prom theme. People associated with Arabic culture didn’t seem to find it offensive, yet many people at our school who aren’t Arabic did.

Arabian Nights is a book of folk tales. It has no part of Arabic culture in the truest sense, and the majority of the people in the Middle East would probably say that their cultural identity has no relation to a book of short stories. It isn’t a part of their culture.

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Some have claimed that Bova offensively wore “blackface” at Air Guitar. Photo Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press.

Many things that are called cultural appropriation are, at least, part of the culture of a group. Braiding your hair in a certain way is clearly a part of certain people’s African-American identity. Wearing certain “tribal” prints is clearly a part of Native American culture.

My problem with calling this cultural appropriation is that (to me) it implies that people are wearing these cultural things in mocking. I think it would better be defined as appreciation.

If we are truly fighting for equality of the races, and we want to all be part of the same America, then I would hope that all cultures can become part of what we consider American. Girls wearing braids or cornrows in their hair are doing so out of admiration and envy of black culture, and I don’t see what is wrong with that.

Everyone realizes, I hope, which culture is being appreciated with braids and certain fashion coming into the mainstream. It’s not about who is “doing it better”, but integrating things into one larger culture. It is not the same as members of the KKK wearing blackface in order to mock and humiliate African-Americans.

We saw an example of this at our school at air guitar last Friday. Mr. Bova dressed up as Prince and put a slightly darker color on his face. Some saw it as just a beard, or fake scruff, and others viewed it as “blackface.” Many found this to be cultural appropriation and disrespectful.

Yet, his only intention was to be respectful from what I saw. The teachers all did a tribute to Prince and his music. It had no mocking or disrespect. I think we should have more faith in our teachers and administrators and their values. The makeup maybe could have been more thought out, but his actions are being blown out of proportion. It was not mocking, or intended to humiliate, if it even was what people are calling “blackface” at all. 

If, on the other hand, certain things are done in mocking, then obviously it would be racist, and “appropriation.” Certain Halloween costumes clearly have more of this tone to it than a tone of respect. However, I would like to bring up one point when considering the Halloween costume “horror” we see at Foothill.

I would ask the people complaining to think about their privilege. Many of the people calling out cultural appropriation at school the day after Halloween had been at nice houses partying it up and drinking on Halloween. As far as I heard, nobody said anything to the people they saw dressing up as a certain race.

I don’t understand why it is okay to not stand up against cultural appropriation when you see it, yet complain about how it affected you a few days later. I don’t think we have the right, as privileged (mostly white) people living in a liberal area, to complain about cultural appropriation affecting our lives.

Ultimately, cultural appropriation is often over hyped. For many, it is very easy to spot when people borrow from other cultures, and this makes it easy to target. Yet, by targeting this we make it seem like a bigger issue than it often is. African-Americans and other racial minorities face true discrimination every day, particularly in many other places in the country outside of California. Many face job discrimination, and unfair discrimination by police in certain areas.

It might not be as fun to talk about, or as apparent to us living in Ventura, but these issues are ultimately far more important than people wearing clothing that is associated with a disenfranchised groups’ culture.

 

Photo Credit: Grace Carey / The Foothill Dragon Press

What do you think?
90 Comments

90 Responses to “Opinion: Cultural appropriation is over-hyped at Foothill”

  1. Charlotte on May 23rd, 2016 12:53 pm

    I don’t understand how Bova’s actions did not intend any “mocking or disrespect.” The same day, Ventura’s principal, Mr. Cohen, also dressed as Prince but he did not feel the need to wear black face, as “many” people are calling it. It doesn’t matter if there is a consensus about whether or not his make up qualifies as blackface. As a principal and therefore a leader in our community, he should not be toeing the line between problematic and politically correct. Bova (as well as the rest of the performance) was meant to be amusing- why else would Mr. Unchango be dancing around in a crop top? “Humor” is not what I would classify as respectful. A culture is not a joke. Essentially, I feel as though his actions were misguided and there were a multitude of ways that he could have paid tribute to Prince that would not have the same potential for offending or appropriating.

     
  2. Charlotte on May 23rd, 2016 12:55 pm

    *Mr. Unchangco

     
  3. Ryan Bova on May 23rd, 2016 9:46 pm

    *Comment removed by Dragon Press Advisor

     
  4. Charlotte on May 24th, 2016 11:30 am

    As I’m sure you’re aware, Bova is Captain’s superior. He could have very easily vetoed the make up, as he has vetoed plenty of Captain’s ideas/suggestions previously. I think it’s “bad” because, by definition, blackface is offensive. It is Bova’s responsibility, as principal, to not ostracize or potentially offend any group of people. Addressing one of your different points- that I “make this world a terrible place [by] overreacting just for the sake of it”: 1) People speaking out against injustices make the world a better place, not worse. Do you think we would have been better off if the Civil Rights Movement had never happened? 2) I do not feel I am overreacting (but only an objective third party could really say for sure) by simply pointing out flaws I see in the actions taken by people in charge of my education. We should not blindly accept everything authority does or says, as seen by the institution of Japanese internment camps here in the US. 3) My reaction is not “just for the sake of it.” I am using the tools at my disposal in the hopes of making Foothill, and therefore our community, a nicer, more respectful environment. Moving on, there are bigger problems. However, that does not mean the smaller ones should go ignored. I am not wasting my time. I am dedicating it to bettering the world around me.

     
  5. John on May 24th, 2016 10:35 pm

    First of all, Cohen is basically already black thats why he didnt need to wear makeup. By the way, at some point you have to accept that people simply just have a different skin tone than others. Just because someone wears makeup in an attempt to make them self look more like someone else does not imply that they are mocking that other race. In assuming this, all of you are being very degrading to African Americans by implying that merely mimicking the color of their skin is insulting to them. Do you believe that African Americans are ashamed of the color of their skin?

     
  6. Stacy Heavican on May 26th, 2016 12:16 pm

    Many African Americans have been very clear that black face is offensive and not okay in any circumstances. Period. This is in part due to the history of black face. Please educate yourself.

     
  7. May alumni on May 23rd, 2016 4:08 pm

    I just looked at the picture and only see ‘orange face’. Where are people getting the ‘black face’ from? Are there other pictures that somehow show a different colored skin? I think this is an example of young people stretching their wings to think independently, but without the maturity to really think it through.

     
  8. Organ on May 25th, 2016 7:26 am

    anyways, ive been called a chimp and the n word all my life because of my skin color but unlike you people i cant take it off. black face is rooted in centuries of racism and the duhumanization of black people, you know this. dont play dumb because you are seriously embarrassing yourself.

     
  9. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:37 pm

    So if you say that you only see “orange face”, then you have to at least recognize that there was an attempt to change the color of Bova’s skin. (I have looked at recent photos of Bova and can verify that he is not, in fact, orange.) Since we also know that he was dressing up as Prince, who also doesn’t have orange skin, then we can assume that this was an attempt to change Bova’s skin tone to that of an African American. Thus, we have reached the problematic area of blackface. There is no such thing as “Orange-face”.

     
  10. jenifer hurt on May 23rd, 2016 5:35 pm

    what happened to just having fun. looks to me like someone didn’t know how to put on makeup! Prince was known to wear makeup onstage (and probably off). I see women have the same type of look when they try to do their own makeup and grab the wrong shade…. it is time to put our adult pants on and stop looking at every action someone makes as raciest or mocking.

     
  11. alumni on May 23rd, 2016 9:13 pm

    I find it hard to believe that this is just an innocent mistake of mismatched foundation. Clearly Mr. Bova’s intent was to alter his skin color, which is blackface, which is a highly offensive act of racism. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior, especially from a school principal, who should be setting an example for his students.

     
  12. Kudortah on May 23rd, 2016 9:49 pm

    Oh please. There are so many things you can be wasting your dumb ideas on.

     
  13. Jenifer hurt on May 26th, 2016 8:46 pm

    That’s a bit rude kudortah…. I don’t see you giving any brilliant ideas

     
  14. Ken Kaneki on May 23rd, 2016 10:12 pm

    Exactly they are just trying to critize him just because.

     
  15. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:45 pm

    Nope. Not trying to criticize him “just because”. Pointing out that this should not have ever happened on a school campus. This is not ok. If you do not understand why, do a little bit of research.

     
  16. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:43 pm

    Please do not minimize the offensiveness of blackface. This is not an appropriate practice, and does not belong in our schools. Telling people to “put our adult pants on” demonstrates an unwillingness to try to understand why this is considered offensive and should not even be considered. I would say that you should be an adult, do some research, open your mind up to the idea that there are valid opinions regarding this topic to which you have been ignorant. Educate yourself.

     
  17. Cydney Boll on May 23rd, 2016 8:09 pm

    I think what Bova did was very disrespectful. As the principal at your school, he needs to be a leader, not being racist.

     
  18. Kudortah on May 23rd, 2016 9:47 pm

    How is that being racist? You guys overreacting is the problem.

     
  19. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:51 pm

    If you think this is overreacting, then I would say that you do not understand the very racist history of blackface. A high school principal should not be appearing at a school function wearing makeup that even remotely appears to be blackface. Adults involved should have known better, and this makeup should have been removed before he got up on stage. At the very least this should have been address when students began to raise their voices in concern. As of today, there seems to be no willingness on the part of the school or the school district to address this. The right thing for the school to do would be to turn this into a teaching moment so that students graduating from this school do not go out into the world thinking that this is ok. Do we really need to see Foothill graduates in some blackface frat party scandal? If that happens, I would have to say that it might be in part due to the fact that they witnessed their principal perform in blackface, and those who stood up were basically shouted down.

    PLEASE FOOTHILL FACULTY AND STAFF- DO NOT LET THIS YEAR’S GRADUATING SENIORS GO OUT INTO THE WORLD THINKING THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR IS OK. DO THE RIGHT THING, MAKE THIS A TEACHING MOMENT. STAND UP AND MAKE THIS RIGHT!!!

     
  20. Saya Otonashi on May 23rd, 2016 10:00 pm

    Seriously? You’re disrespectful to your principal and the world *Comment removed by Dragon Press Advisor. Why don’t you show some respect for a guy who was trying to put on a funny act for the students and this is how you repay him. I feel ashamed that it’s CHILDREN like you on Journalism. Your overreactions make me sick.

     
  21. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:55 pm

    This is NOT an overreactions. Your desire to sweep this under the rug without addressing the seriousness makes me sick. There are many ways that the faculty and staff can put on a great entertaining show without coming close to the despicable act of blackface. This has been done many times in years before. I really think that you must not understand how bad this looks on the school to have a principal do this, and then not bother to come out an try to make it right.

     
  22. Stacy Heavican on June 1st, 2016 1:55 pm

    *overreaction

     
  23. Ashley on May 23rd, 2016 8:14 pm

    Thanks for a thought provoking article. Emma, I agree with you in some aspects, however I feel like other aspects of cultural appropriation are vastly understated and brushed off as people simply being sensitive. I appreciate that you ask people to check their privilege and examine whether actions are meant to harm or offend. I agree that racial issues are still unfortunately common. I disagree, though, with the idea that people’s appropriation causes minimal harm. Although I do not represent the entire POC community by any means, I can speak for my culture as a person of color and explain how I feel it has been appropriated. Henna, which is often tied to special occasions and events in my culture, has been diminished to a trendy temporary tattoo. It’s great that culture is being shared, but when the meaning of certain rituals or traditions or whatever it may be is disregarded, then I believe that it’s appropriation. I’m not going to shame people for having henna tattoos or whatever, but I feel like it’s important to bring this into awareness, especially since certain aspects of Indian culture, such as henna, is glamorized while other aspects such as the actual people belonging to the culture, are ridiculed. This is especially true in the controversy over African American hairstyles. Maybe the intention of non-black people getting dreadlocks or cornrows is simply out of admiration, but when those hairstyles are looked down upon in the workplace, and when black schoolchildren are sent home for having dreadlocks or even their natural hair, there’s an issue. It’s about more than a hairstyle or a trend. This is something that has happened for a long time– the most stylish (dare I say marketable) aspects of cultures have been popularized, while the people belonging to those cultures are still discriminated against, often for those very same things. Meanwhile, people not belonging to that culture are unscathed. Political correctness isn’t necessarily bad, and while it may spark unrest, it’s important to examine why people are offended and see whether there is something bigger at play.

     
  24. Vineta on May 25th, 2016 4:10 pm

    Great comment, Ashley, I completely agree.

     
  25. That Guy on May 24th, 2016 9:11 am

    What the hell is wrong with you people he was honoring prince, not trying to be racist with a “black face” this is honestly the dumbest article the dragon press has ever wrote. Once again the dragon press has made a fool out of our school. First they call Coach Reeves a sexist, then they started in with the Arabian Nights, now this. This is seriously ridiculous, they have nothing better to write about so they attack our own school. *Comment removed by Dragon Press Adviser

     
  26. John Eberle on May 24th, 2016 9:21 am

    Bless. Someone with an actual brain.

     
  27. Ashley on May 24th, 2016 9:24 am

    Hello, friend! I’m not quite sure you read and/or understood Emma’s article! The FDP has done an excellent job at reporting and sharing the various opinions of the student body, all while using proper grammar and syntax– I can’t say the same about your comment.

     
  28. karinacole1 on May 24th, 2016 9:42 am

    This is so funny, you’re criticizing something you didn’t even read… She actually was saying that cultural appropriating is overhyped- which you would’ve understood by just looking at the title but clearly you didn’t even take the time to do that Lol.

     
  29. That Other Guy on May 24th, 2016 11:18 am

    The Guy nailed it. That’s spot on. The Dragon Press needs to stop attacking our school and focus on things that actually matter. C’mon Dragon Press, I expect next years class to pick it up and fix what was broken about the program this year.

     
  30. Ashley on May 24th, 2016 11:40 am

    That Other Guy, what do you feel the FDP is lacking on? If you’d like to read articles about superficial things that don’t make you uncomfortable, perhaps you should stick to tabloids, maybe even picture books.

     
  31. Some girl on May 25th, 2016 5:04 pm

    I think more of “attacking our school” is bringing up social issues that are very relevant. How is racism something not one of the things that “actually matter”?

     
  32. That Girl on May 24th, 2016 9:34 am

    Roasted

     
  33. Riley Bangs on May 24th, 2016 9:42 am

    I don’t know if people understand the connotations that follow an opinion piece, but allow me to lay it out. On opinion piece is where one shares their opinion, nothing more. When people resort to insults and aggressive comments, they are enforcing the type of discrimination and hatred that everyone (I hope) strives to extinguish. Biased hate comments, in a well thought out opinion duscussion, is childish. So share your opinions, but don’t force your opinions on anyone. Thanks much.

     
  34. Olivia Karluk on May 24th, 2016 9:47 am

    I understand that some people may believe that this situation can be seen as a racist issue, however I believe otherwise. When I think of the situation of “black face”, I see a white male panting their face deep black to make fun of the African American society. With Mr. Bova’s situation I believe that it was done out of respect. He applied a deeper skin tone of makeup that was representative of Prince’s complexion and he did it out of respect for a legendary artist. Our principal was honoring Prince not attacking his, or any African American culture. Please, If my opinion on this issue offends you in anyway refrain from any negative comment against to my opinion.
    Thank you. 🙂

     
  35. Olivia Karluk on May 24th, 2016 4:49 pm

    Please excuse any typos I made. I wrote this very very fast.

     
  36. Emily Marostica on May 24th, 2016 10:00 am

    You guys are being so disrespectful to the teachers and staff that participated in this act. this was a TRIBUTE act.. All you guys are doing is making it so the teachers do not want to do another act, you’re targeting Bova when he took time out of his busy schedule and purchased the outfit himself. Stop taking harmless situations and turning them into problematic arguments just so you have something to complain about.

     
  37. Alum on May 24th, 2016 1:37 pm

    Emily, as an alum who was in ASB, I know how difficult these events are to put on and how incredibly lucky Foothill is to have the staff and teachers it does that are willing to work with ASB to cheer on and support their students. I enjoyed my relationships with my teachers and the staff and still have a great deal of respect for them, and I remember being occasionally annoyed during my time at Foothill when people wouldn’t ‘respect’ ASB or Bova. It definitely could seem like people were just complaining to complain, and I’m sure some of those voices were just bored, didn’t respect the staff, and didn’t care about the conversation.

    With that said, I would hope that those with the perspective that this conversation is meaningless would also be able to realize that there is a conversation for a reason, and it can be incredibly harmful and problematic to silence a dialogue just because the dialogue is an inconvenience to some. We can respect our staff and thank them for their sacrifices while also wanting to understand why people are upset. This may be too optimistic, but I do believe that many adults that work for Foothill care enough about their students to want to understand too, even if they went into the tribute act with no racist intentions, which I don’t doubt at all! Again, I have a great deal of respect for the Foothill staff and truly enjoyed these relationships. But I also truly believe that this respect goes both ways, and would hope they, and ASB, could respect their community and students enough to not shut down a conversation about an event that was only held with good intentions, but had ramifications they somehow did not foresee.

     
  38. Jenifer on May 26th, 2016 8:48 pm

    Very true! There is very little respect for authority anymore

     
  39. Khaila Hartung-Dallas on May 24th, 2016 11:00 am

    Pro-tip for future reference: Arabic is a language, not a group of people.

     
  40. Summer Al-Saleh on May 24th, 2016 11:08 am

    I am deeply disgusted and disturbed by Bova’s decision to wear black-face and this analysis that dismisses the severity of his actions. Honestly, when I first saw this, and in writing a response, I feel sick to my stomach—like throwing up. This article completely erases the fact that there are students that are deeply affected by such racist, careless behavior by those in power. Just because these students are not visible to white students that aren’t “affected by cultural appropriation,” just because they do not have positions on the Foothill Dragon Press where they can express what they think whenever they want, these students exist. It is so isolating and devastating to have to navigate a school that constantly prides itself on being open minded and experimental, while it condones such behavior like the principal performing on stage in black face, or the prom being themed “Arabian nights.” Administration is down to protest a couch sit in but cannot even respond to or hold themselves accountable for such decisions. As a brown person, I experienced/constantly observed racism at Foothill and have friends who have experiences with racist admin/faculty/students there. These experiences largely reflect the liberal racism this article perpetuates and the liberal racism which Foothill embodies. Hence, Bova’s actions, ASB’s prom etc. are not isolated incidents. Racism at Foothill is pervasive and something which has existed ever since I can remember. My point is that foothill is not some safe haven like so many like to imagine.

    However, this isn’t just about identity or experience. I do not have the time nor the energy to lay down every single reason why this situation and article is messed up, but, something that is incredibly upsetting to see, is how white students who recognize this as racism are being shamed and told that they cannot call out cultural appropriation since they are white. Emma and CJ (who are both white) both wrote articles on cultural appropriation and in them say that white people need to stop having opinions on appropriation. What they really mean, is that anti-racist white people need to stop having opinions. Honestly, all power to the white students who are able to see how Bova’s blackface is deeply disgusting. I hope that more people oppose and reject such statements that attempt to silence anti-racist white students by relegating this conversation to identity when it best suits a desperate argument to defend racist ideology.

    I would also like to acknowledge part of this article that argues, “It is not the same as members of the KKK wearing blackface in order to mock and humiliate African-Americans.” It doesn’t matter what the “intention” is when this is clearly blackface, and people are clearly hurt by it. Haven’t we all heard of the white fraternities and sororities at UCLA that were dressing up in black face, apparently “appreciating” black people? The intentions behind actions like this does not alleviate the pain or anger people feel in response. Can we instead look at racist practice as something that adapts and changes throughout time? Why does it have to be identical to past modes of racial violence in order to be considered racist? It is not useful or sensical to operate from this sort of linear position where we look at racial relations as simply getting better over time. Much hasn’t changed at all, really. It is just adapting to the newer notions of what is acceptable.

    And just to respond to some comments above mine, it really doesn’t matter whose “idea” it was to have Bova wear blackface. I don’t really care if it was Captain, Bova, or some random person who has no affiliation with Foothill. The fact is that as an administration which ostensibly exists to employ “safety,” they’re actually doing the exact opposite. I cannot imagine how unsafe and unwelcome and sick and hopeless and exhausted and disturbed this makes the black and brown students who currently have to go to this school, feel. Having to deal with this stuff and having your reactions delegitimized is so draining and depressing. I obviously don’t go here anymore, but seeing an image of Joe Bova with his face painted, dressing up as a dead black man, makes my stomach churn. Bova, the admin, and anyone involved in this needs to be held accountable.

    People need to stop holding foothill up as some bastion of progressivism and safety and begin looking at the ways that it is actually really unsafe for folks who cannot smile and laugh when a white man puts brown paint all over his face and their peers flock to defend and mystify it as appreciation.

     
  41. Sidney Lopp on May 24th, 2016 11:29 am

    “actually really unsafe for folks who cannot smile and laugh when a white man puts brown paint all over his face and their peers flock to defend and mystify it as appreciation.” Summer, read the article, please. And what picture are you talking about? I see no blackface.

     
  42. Riley Bangs on May 24th, 2016 3:50 pm

    Providing your opinion through the voice of one who may or may not be offended is offensive in its own right. If something like Unchangco in a crop top was considered sexist, yet I tell everyone, “It’s okay, ladies. I’ll express your opinions for you because I’m a male and my voice can actually be heard.” That is extremely sexist to me. I have just placed the women in the same spot that they were already in by calling the authority that they have worthless. What’s more, I can assume from your article that not one black person you’ve spoken to was actually offended by this. If so, you should have mentioned them. Trey, whom I had spoken with about the article, and who I believe has posted on it as well, believes that the “black face” was not intended to offend him, nor did it. Please remember you cannot feel what a black person feels, and you should not pretend to.

     
  43. Riley Bangs on May 24th, 2016 3:55 pm

    *Comment removed by Dragon Press Advisor

     
  44. alum on May 25th, 2016 12:12 am

    Thank you for saying this so much better than I could have. I was absolutely disgusted to learn from my sister that such a blatant act of racism occurred at Foothill, and even worse, no one was doing anything about it. Reading this article and the comments that go with it honestly made me feel like I was going to throw up. As a UCLA student, I was outraged at the use of blackface at a frat party this year, but at least students and faculty here have enough common sense to realize that an act of racism was committed, and it should not be allowed to fly under the radar. I had many meaningful discussions with both students and teachers about racial dynamics on campus and was relieved to find much consensus around the idea that the party was highly offensive. Not to minimize what happened at UCLA, but I find the situation at Foothill so much worse. Racism is absolutely unacceptable in all situations, but it’s even worse coming from the supposedly highly educated and respectable school principal. It is Mr. Bova’s duty to make Foothill a safe space for all students and to set an example for them as someone they can look up to, and he has failed. I don’t understand how he thought this was acceptable behavior as the head of the school, or that no other faculty member felt it was worth mentioning that maybe using blackface in a school event, or ever, isn’t the best idea. It is disgusting to me that so many people fail to see why his actions were wrong. The sheer number of comments in support of Bova’s actions are a good indicator of the ignorance towards racial issues on our campus. While I would never deny racism occurred at Foothill, I never realized the extent to which it permeated our student body. Students should be demanding an apology from Mr. Bova, rather than dismissing his actions because he didn’t have bad intentions. Mr. Bova’s intentions are irrelevant. Blackface can be traced throughout history as an act of racism, and should never be tolerated. This story should be making the news, just like UCLA’s frat party did. Until something is done, I can no longer say that I am a proud dragon.

     
  45. Family friend on June 7th, 2016 3:24 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful reply, Summer. As a black woman, it’s exhausting to have to even respond to these things that one would imagine educated adults with multitudes of letters behind their names signifying their level of academia should seemingly not need a workshop or a pamphlet to understand. You seem to get it!! You are wise beyond your years.

    And for those who simply hear the angst of others as an inconvenience, or ‘hype’, or turn themselves into the victim because they’re ‘so tired of hearing people complain’ should live a little longer and get to know more varieties of people. I feel sorry that this stellar school isn’t truly ‘educating’ on things that matter to ALL people and instead are proving that education alone does not make one ‘smart’. This was a very dumb move for someone ‘in charge’.

    Thanks again, Summer and I wish you love, light and much success on your journey!!

     
  46. Summer Al-Saleh on May 24th, 2016 11:12 am

    Also, it is very immature of Captain and other admin who are saying “oh well, I guess we are just not going to ever put on a show for the students since y’all are so ungrateful.” These people apparently value “free speech” and whatnot, but when their actions are put into questions, they want to immediately punish the student body by taking away an event that happens every year at Foothill. Not to mention, this kind of response also delegitimizes real pain, hurt, and anger, while silencing and discouraging students from speaking out. But honestly, if these events are going to continue in such a way, maybe they should be cancelled. Maybe, instead of punishing students for expressing their anger, disappointment, etc. the administration and faculty should look at themelsves critically and assess the ways in which their actions are racist, and also critically asses how their responses are repressive/authoritarian.

     
  47. Stacy Heavican on May 26th, 2016 12:36 pm

    I cannot tell you how much I agree with you. I was almost more dismayed by Captain’s response to this on Facebook than I was about the incident itself. A mature, thoughtful approach from school teachers and administrators would have gone very far in helping everyone involved to more fully understand the issues that were brought up, and demonstrate a respect for students of color at Foothill.

    I also really feel that this incident highlights the need for more diversity among teachers and administrators at Foothill. Perhaps if there was an African American teacher/adult who was involved in this event, they would have been able to tactfully say “Hey, you might want to rethink that makeup- whether intentional or not, that shade appears as if you might be trying to darken your skin, and that comes dangerously close to black face, which is considered deeply offensive by the African American population within this country. Just sayin'” Also, then there would also be some adults on the side of the students who are concerned about this possible portrayal of black face, so others couldn’t just write it off as whining students. And that, my friends, is why diversity is important across all walks of life. If you go to predominantly white schools (or at least schools where the majority of people look, think, and act like you), you are missing out on the multiple crucial viewpoints that increase understanding of the world around you.

    What is really upsetting to me is that the teachers and administrators who seem to be involved here are completely lacking in their understanding of why this is a sensitive issue, and do not seem to be interested in trying to understand.

     
  48. You guys need to seriously reconsider your stance on this! on May 24th, 2016 11:26 am

    You people in this comments section are completely straying from our culture here at Foothill! How immature! The staff may not want to provide another entertaining performance for us at next year’s Air Guitar! Ok, so for you people that are going to hate on this, you need to seriously reconsider who you’re going to be at Foothill to influence incoming students and keep the same Foothill that has been highly acclaimed across the country for several years! Dragon Press made an article which, if you actually read it, you would understand that it is intended not to demean Bova, but to discuss appropriation at a larger scope! I don’t think Emma meant any disrespect to Bova, and I think she believes what Bova did was not to disrepect Prince either! Think about the Foothill we want, people!

     
  49. Dylan on May 24th, 2016 11:37 am

    *Comment removed by Dragon Press Advisor

     
  50. Canela Lopez on May 24th, 2016 1:40 pm

    The shock of reading this article on a publication that I was once proud to call my own is more intense than I can describe. Although I agree that opinion pieces are meant to provide a space for students to be heard and views to be voiced regardless of their content, there comes a line that must be drawn between that which is controversial, and that which is hurtful and unacceptable.

    This article essentially tells people of color to shut up, and settle down about their experiences with microaggressions, racism and prejudice on Foothill’s campus. To say that us students of color are “too sensitive” is a direct result of white privilege. It essentially says “I don’t experience or see racism in cultural appropriation, therefor it is not an issue.” And to that I say you are deeply mistaken. Though it may not seem like an issue because white people do not experience this type of institutional racism on a daily basis, are not told by their society that they are ugly, dark, and undesirable, that does not mean this is not an issue or those of us who do experience it. As a woman of color who has experienced racism on Foothill’s campus, I was left speechless upon first glance of this article.

    By darkening his skin in order to “entertain” students, Bova essentially participated in a modern day minstrel show, dancing around in blackface for a few laughs from Foothill’s predominantly white student body. With Foothill’s reputation for academic prowess, I am surprised at the amount of comments from students defending his actions, seeming to forget their basic US history courses about blackface and its connection to the Jim Crow South and white supremacy. However, for clarity’s sake, I will jog their memories. Black face is offensive because it makes an entire race a costume to be made fun of. It tells people of color that on top of facing racism and institutional oppression everyday in their society, being subjected to white standards telling them to lighten their skin, straighten their hair and reduce their bodies to fit a slim white standard of beauty, that their cultures and very skin tone is something to be worn by white people and mocked. That is why this isn’t just something students are “too sensitive about”. And on top of it, for this display to occur on a campus where students of color are called “monkey,” “ghetto” and “too dark” everyday, how is it surprising that students would be hurt.

    However, the greater issue at and is not this isolated opinion piece of the views of the writer. It is the fact that this type of article and support for an act of racism like Bova’s blackface performance was allowed to run in the first place.

    Gone is the publication that defended their sister publication, the Playwickian, when they decided to stop using the racial slur “Redskin.” Gone is the publication that fought against racism, started a social media campaign #FreethePlaywickian to defend and stand in solidarity with a paper that had the courage to rise against their administration and say “Enough” to white supremacy. What is left in place of this once brave paper is a shell. I am truly appalled. Someone should revoke this publication’s Edmund J. Sullivan award, because the “extraordinary idealism, resilience and pragmatism while trying to serve students in their audiences” that is needed to receive this award is nowhere to be found. As journalists, we have an obligation to not only expose the truth, but to defend those with no voice by giving them a voice. In recent events, The Foothill Dragon Press has failed.

    Instead of standing with the students hurt by this disgusting display of white privilege, the FDP said nothing, wrote nothing, and failed to mention it was even a problem.

    Today, I am not proud to call myself a Dragon, or an ex Editor-in-Chief of the Foothill Dragon Press. Racism is something a publication should never condone, especially when we as student journalists have the power to influence change on our campuses. 

    I am deeply disappointed that this was allowed to run, and even more disappointed in the lack of student and administrative concern. By allowing this to article to remain on the front page and by supporting Principal Bova in his use of black face, Foothill supports white supremacy and silences its students of color. Disappointed does not begin to summarize my feelings on this issue.

    I know that if this same incident occurred on my college campus Tulane University, which is a Southern school, our president would probably be resigning. The fact that there isn’t so much of an apology from the administration of a school like Foothill, which claims to be so progressive, is a disgrace.

    Normally, I am overwhelmingly proud of my ex publication and my high school. Today, I am ashamed to claim either as my own.

     
  51. You have opened my eyes on May 24th, 2016 3:33 pm

    I didn’t realize that the function of the Dragon Press editors was to silence any opposing view to the general consensus. But I see your point now. Quality writing and strong argumentation mean nothing if you hold an opposing view. I will also apologize on behalf of Foothill Technology High School. In the future the staff will be sure to follow and promote the single political ideological mold which your school certainly does. Someday I’m sure our students will be brainwashed into this same mode of thinking and someday we can hope that controversial articles won’t be posted on the Dragon Press because our students will know better. I hope that every teacher at Foothill is reading this because I couldn’t have given better advice myself. Indoctrinate every student by being a progressive example.

    Aside from my disappointment in your imprudent critique, I will say that I respect you for actually having read the article, unlike many of your fellow discontent. I also am glad to see that you have comprehended most of the article. Your reading and comprehension skills reflect highly on Tulane and on the alumnus publication which you are so quick to reject

     
  52. David on May 24th, 2016 5:29 pm

    “you have opened my eyes” Despite your obvious attempt to use irony for humorous effect, I see you fail to realize the situational irony of your flippant dismissal of Canela’s response.
    “Quality writing and strong argumentation mean nothing if you hold an opposing view”??? Does the original article really have such quality writing and strong argumentation that no one should ever disagree with it?
    I was originally in a agreement with the article, as I am a person who tends to feel deeply uncomfortable in debate over such ideological matters, and doesn’t really appreciate when people who aren’t actually affected by certain issues complain about them (ex: white people complaining about cultural appropriation).
    However, upon reading Canela’s response, I realized I was falling into the trap of being so concerned with avoiding conflict that I was ready to dismiss the feelings of people who are actually hurt by such things, even if they’re not actually the ones speaking up about it. As well as the fact that the writer of this article herself doesn’t really have the right to tell white people to shut up about issues of color any more than she has the right to tell colored people to shut up.
    Yes, I realize that the original intent of this performance was out of respect to a recently deceased legend, and the makeup itself wasn’t even intended to be dark, but it’s important to call out things like this just that same, so that they’re not overlooked and future events can be free of the issue altogether.

     
  53. David on May 24th, 2016 5:42 pm

    I’m sorry, but your comment is ridden with logical fallacies.
    For one thing, I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of people who would have a problem with a black person painting themselves white.
    But would they even do it in the first place?
    And has there been systematic oppression of white people in the past, including the use of makeup to blatantly mock their features while they were also enslaved, pushed to the outskirts of society, and lynched?
    I understand completely that Bova had no intention of causing a problem with this performance, and even that his makeup came from a white person who just happened to be slightly more tan than him, and that he doesn’t want to take any steps back to the oppression of the past, or the oppression that’s still happening elsewhere. But I’m only bringing it up in the hopes that you can see why some people might be a little sensitive about it!
    No one is saying Bova had the intention of being racist, and even if they did get that impression, it doesn’t make them the “true racists.” Recognizing a problematic behavior doesn’t somehow make you the perpetrator of that behavior, I would think that’s just common sense.

     
  54. A Reader on May 24th, 2016 6:02 pm

    “Although I agree that opinion pieces are meant to provide a space for students to be heard and views to be voiced regardless of their content, there comes a line that must be drawn between that which is controversial, and that which is hurtful and unacceptable.”
    -There is NO line when it comes to freedom of speech. There are no butts, it’s an opinion piece and she can write what she wants.

    “This article essentially tells people of color to shut up, and settle down about their experiences with microaggressions, racism and prejudice on Foothill’s campus.”

    -There was nothing I found in that article that told me to ‘shut up’. If anything, your entire comment is one big “shut up”

    “With Foothill’s reputation for academic prowess, I am surprised at the amount of comments from students defending his actions, seeming to forget their basic US history courses about blackface and its connection to the Jim Crow South and white supremacy.”

    -Honestly, making a tribute to a great musician such as Prince by dressing up as him and applying a barely noticable shade of foundation is not the same as white supremacists painting their faces black to mock black people.

    “By allowing this to article to remain on the front page and by supporting Principal Bova in his use of black face, Foothill supports white supremacy and silences its students of color. Disappointed does not begin to summarize my feelings on this issue.”

    -Well that’s too darn bad. Removing this article because you or anyone else doesn’t agree with it is illiberal and a violation of free speech. People can write their own article saying how racist Bova is for this act. People are entitled to their opinions and just because you find it disagreeable doesn’t mean it should be removed. You say about how POC are silenced yet you would love to silence people who disagree with your SJW/Identity politics rhetoric.

    “I know that if this same incident occurred on my college campus Tulane University, which is a Southern school, our president would probably be resigning. The fact that there isn’t so much of an apology from the administration of a school like Foothill, which claims to be so progressive, is a disgrace.”

    -Oh, like Mizzou? Where people were freaking out over a poop swastika prank, where a crazed professor named Melissa click violated a journalist’s right to free speech by preventing him from filming the protest aka ‘safe space’ and calling her students for some ‘muscle’ to remove him from the area?
    Also where these students made a ridiculous list of demands, and had their dean resign from the university.
    Foothill isn’t progressive enough for you because you are a regressive leftist (a term coined by a MUSLIM man named Maajid Nawaz). You are so wrapped in your ideology of social justice that you believe people should shut up if they don’t agree with you. That students shouldn’t publish articles that you disagree with. Wow. How illiberal.

    This is coming from someone who is Latina so don’t go all ‘you have white privilege’ on me.
    You’ll probably call me an ‘internalized racist’ though. -shrugs-

    That’s just your opinion though.

     
  55. Josh Pace on May 24th, 2016 8:01 pm

    Wow. How terrible you would say something like that. It’s called free speech. And free to have your own opinion. Don’t shame the writer and the Dragon Press. Say your opinion but don’t get all mad at someone else’s opinion. That’s what’s wrong here. People like you are one sided. I’m glad to see the direction the Dragon Press is going! Finally! Some opinions that matter! Opinions that bring up controversy! Opinions people want to hear! It probably wasn’t like that when you were the editor-in-chief. That’s why people are appreciating these articles more now! Great job dragon press! Don’t let hateful comments like this stop you! You will find me viewing your website a lot more now!! 🙂

     
  56. Canela Lopez on May 24th, 2016 11:55 pm

    To be completely clear Josh, I have no problem with posting differing opinions. Never did I bar opinion pieces from being posted when I was EIC. My point is against hateful opinions that hurt people. There is an innate difference between that which is controversial and that which is harmful. I feel that as a publication, their is a responsibility that is held to not only act as an outlet for student voices, but also to know when an opinion is harmful to your audience.

     
  57. Emily Marostica on May 24th, 2016 1:46 pm

    so for some of you who still don’t understand that Mr. Bova wasn’t wearing blackface let me just break it down for you a little more. Bova was wearing my make-up, make-up that I brought from my house, that I use on my face everyday. I was asked to bring my make-up to school so I did and gave it to another student so she could do his make-up. The make-up he was wearing was not bought for the occasion it was make-up of mine that I use, and for those of you who don’t know me, I’m white, so therefore what Mr. Bova was wearing was not blackface, and in no way was intended to be blackface.

     
  58. Alum on May 24th, 2016 2:23 pm

    But even though you’re white, your makeup was darker than Mr. Bova’s natural skin tone in such an obvious way that people are upset about it. Whoever purchased the makeup is irrelevant to the fact that he made a conscious decision to include it in his ‘costume’. I’m not saying that Mr. Bova is a violent racist in any way, but just that he is a grown man who decided that darker makeup (whatever the shade of brown) would improve his performance. I don’t believe at all that he did this with the intention of harming students, and remember how fun the performances could be to watch, but what transpired evidently did some degree of harm. No, he did not burn a cross on a lawn or wear the darkest shade of brown available, but it was an active choice that caused harm which is why this conversation is happening.

     
  59. Confused on May 24th, 2016 4:25 pm

    If it was not intended to change the color of his skin why was he wearing the make up?

     
  60. May alumni on May 24th, 2016 2:08 pm

    Had to jump back on the bandwagon here. IF Bova had worn blackface (a.k.a. black make-up) then I would think there is something worth talking about here. All that this article does is undermine and question the integrity of the principal and other Foothill leadership-including fellow elected students. Again, if there is something in question, then this is the place to address it. However, we must beware that our words can have damaging effects and in this digital age, they can be far reaching and impossible to retract. I recently read a news story about a father in Australia whose reputation was irreversibly damaged because a woman misread what she saw, and posted a picture of him on social media accusing him of being inappropriate toward children. She now realizes the error of her ways and declares that she wishes “One thousand times over I wish I could just take it back.” You are laying claim to being victims of ‘blackface’ WITHOUT any evidence. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. I look at the picture and I see make-up. Regular ol’ make-up. So unless the lighting in the pictures somehow distorts the blackness and makes it look orange, the only issue I see here is that Mr. Bova needs to have his colors redone, because that shade isn’t flattering.

     
  61. Florida Man on May 25th, 2016 10:11 pm

    You stated that the everything that the article does was to “undermine and question the integrity of the principal and other Foothill leadership”; however, the article had no criticism of Mr. Bova’s alleged display of “blackface”. The article, in fact, stated that “his only intention was to be respectful”. Personally, I agree with you that Mr. Bova was not being racist in any way.

     
  62. I STAND WITH BOVA on May 24th, 2016 2:55 pm

    Great article Emma! I actually read the article and not just the comments like some of these people commenting like “that guy” who obviously didn’t read it because he is agreeing with you but acting like you are wrong… Interesting. I’ve noticed the Dragon Press is censoring comments so I hope this doesn’t get deleted like countless others. It sure is nice to see a well thought out article like this coming from someone in the Dragon Press. They are finally pulling away from their left wing articles that I quite frankly am tired of. This article is not “racist.” It is showing the complete opposite! It is showing what equality really is. You people who argue that Bova was being racist are people who want to complain about everything. What he was doing was a tribute to the great Prince. Stop being politically correct and grow up a little. Reading some of these comments makes me remember how fooled democrats really are. I STAND WITH BOVA! Stop disrespecting our school and start going about your life without complains about everything. Once again, great article!

     
  63. Pinecone on May 24th, 2016 2:56 pm

    Wow! I really must say that all of you get offended too easily. I do not think that Bova’s use of a PRINCE MASK was in any way offensive, considering that Prince himself is African American (thats why the mask was black!). Its only realistic. I really like how the FDP is taking this stance. Since Bova apparently offended a lot of you, for whatever reason, we can all agree that this was not his intention. If anyone has actually talked to Mr Bova, you would know that he is nothing but a very humbling, respectful man. I myself am not white, and I do not take any offence to this. Why am I even commenting? You all are going to think I’m racist because I am taking Bova’s side.

     
  64. I also stand with Bova! on May 24th, 2016 3:10 pm

    Took me almost a minute to scroll to the bottom to type this after reading.
    I sure bet that if an african american teacher painted his face white nobody would have a problem. The people who think he was being racist are the true racists. Come on Foothill… We are better than that!

     
  65. Stacy Heavican on May 26th, 2016 12:43 pm

    OK, but there is not a history of African American entertainers painting their faces white and portraying white people as bumbling fools. Black face is offensive because of the offensive history of black face. If you educate yourself on the history of black face, and try to see it from the perspective of a group that has been systematically oppressed throughout history, then maybe you might begin to understand why black face is considered extremely offensive while white face has not.

     
  66. I ALSO stand with Bova! on May 24th, 2016 3:35 pm

    I ALSO stand with Bova! I think people like to make false accusations about people and make things out be as bad as possible. The article said nothing about Bova being racist, so why in these 40 some comments are some of you accusing him of being racist though the picture shows nothing of that sort. The makeup was just normal makeup. I mean, cmon Foothill Tech, you guys gotta stop overreacting to stuff like this. This comments section is cancer! Cmon!

     
  67. Justin Frazier on May 24th, 2016 4:09 pm

    Can we please talk about the real issue here? This is an article in which there are references to the teacher acts at Air Guitar and not once, not anywhere in the article, nor in the comments is there even one mention of my stellar performance as Freddie Mercury. Granted I didn’t actually read the article or any of the comments, but I did control F it, and as I said before there was nothing. I find it reprehensible that this generation can be so self-absorbed that they cannot recognize true talent. This is the true problem. This is what needs to be addressed. PS (I’m not sure if you can use “PS” in a comment section but I’m going for it) In the Fall I dressed as Sadness from Inside Out and when I saw the picture I was like “Oh man, I totally looked like I was in blackface.” My original point to this was something about good intent and that sort of stuff ,but now that I think about it where was the outrage from my blatant racism? Once again I was ignored by The Dragon Press and the students of Foothill. PPS I’m sorry. I’m not trying to make light of the seriousness of Mr. Bova putting on fake tanner so that he looks more like Prince and less like Howard Stern…oh wait I totally am.

     
  68. Melissa on May 29th, 2016 11:15 pm

    Friends don’t let friends Black-face.

     
  69. Anon on May 24th, 2016 4:47 pm

    PSA: You do not need to be a POC to point out cultural appropriation. It was unnecessary and wrong to bash white students for standing against racism.

     
  70. Anon on May 24th, 2016 9:44 pm

    While it’s true that this situation could be seen in a negative light and offensive to some because of historical context, I would like to point out that Mr. Bova has shown nothing but integrity in his role as a leader and administrator at Foothill and it is difficult to wrap my head around how someone who has displayed such integrity would do anything that would either be offensive to or hurt students in anyway. We are human and sometimes we do things that have unintended consequences. Maybe it wasn’t the best judgment but I think we should all give the man a break. Forgiving someone for something doesn’t mean you’re condoning it, it just means you’re doing what we would all want done for us if we found ourselves in the same situation.

     
  71. Stacy Heavican on May 26th, 2016 12:49 pm

    I have never had a problem with Principal Bova in the past, and I am not interested in seeing this as a ugly “witch hunt”. I also understand that this action might have just been a single demonstration of some very poor judgement, or maybe ignorance of this particular sensitive issue. That being said, I would have much more respect if the school teachers and administrators tried to understand that point of view of people who took issue with the makeup choice, issued a statement demonstrating that they now more fully understand why this wasn’t the best choice of makeup, and turned this situation into a learning experience for the whole school. When certain teachers respond on Facebook essentially saying “You are stupid and annoying for feeling this way, and maybe now we have to cancel all future entertainment activities because of you” (my summarization) that not only deepens the wounds, but creates an atmosphere that is not conducive for the expression of opposing view points, particularly those of students of color.

     
  72. Christian Philosopher on June 1st, 2016 10:37 am

    Excellent idea. So many people these days are much to harsh on everyone and everything. Our world requires mercy and understanding.

     
  73. Common Sense on May 24th, 2016 11:39 pm

    I think everyone in this comment section can agree that this is a controversial subject, seeing that it has generated 50 responses thus far.

    No matter what opinion Mr. Bova, ASB, and faculty have about cultural appropriation and other sensitive racial issues, as leaders in a community dedicated to learning and social progress, they should never have toed this seemingly blurry line. I honestly do not believe that it never occurred in Mr. Bova’s mind before he put on blackface or ASB’s mind before they themed their prom “Arab Nights” that they were COMPLETELY in the right, especially considering how much coverage other incidents of appropriation have received in mainstream media lately. The fact that any notion of that this was offensive to POC was completely disregarded DOES signify the lack of respect in the opinions and cultural identities of the minority communities at Foothill.

    Finally, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs no matter how problematic those beliefs are, but broadcasting them to the entire school and blaming POC for being “too sensitive” in THEIR morals just shows childishness and a lack of global understanding (reminder: not everyone shares the same opinions as you). There is a clear solution here; I just don’t know why it’s taking Foothill “leaders” so long to see it.

     
  74. Martin on May 25th, 2016 7:42 am

    As the father of a Foothill student with non-white skin (we don’t like the term POC), I have to ask if anyone who was there has spoken to Mr. Bova about their concerns? I teach my children to handle their problems face-to-face when possible, as a mature person should handle issues. We as a family spoke about this issue and I asked my child if there was an offense taken. The answer was there was no offense. This is not to say we have never experienced issues related to race on campus (and elsewhere), but this was certainly not one of them. I am bringing my children up to not think or behave like victims, because they are not. We are all entitled to free speech, our opinions, safety, health, etc. My child was at the event and did not feel that there was any issue until it was brought up here by this article. My older 2 children also attended Foothill and said they have seen Mr. Bova wear makeup before but never black makeup. I first think that if someone is offended they should talk to Mr. Bova. If that has not happened, I would not let my child talk bad about him or anyone else without doing that first. And I don’t think you should either.

     
  75. Debbie on May 30th, 2016 10:50 am

    Dear Martin,
    You and your family are certainly entitled to not be offended. However, your family’s opinion cannot dictate how other people should or do feel.
    Plenty of women are not offended by misogyny, sexism, and inequality. This does not mean it doesn’t exist, nor does it mean that all women should not take issue.
    To insinuate that people who are offended are immature and making themselves victims isn’t the kindest response to those who do feel wounded.
    Furthermore, people are writing about it here because that is what people (just like you) do when an article like this is written. That does not mean that the people who have expressed their views here have not had or tried to have direct conversations.
    I definitely do not believe for a moment that Mr Bova did this with any bad intent. I am sorry for the pain it has caused not only those who are offended by the event, but I am also sorry for any pain it has caused him and his family.
    I hope that we will come together as a community to work to understand one another.
    It is disheartening, however, when we see adults trying to shame kids who are saying they are offended. (This has happened to my child.)
    I believe that my job as a human being, when I see I have wounded or hurt another, is to ask why and how in order to understand and heal the hurt. I don’t think that my job as a human being, when I see I have wounded or hurt another, is to mock, make fun, ridicule, or cause further harm. I am not implying that I see your comment that way, but I have read plenty of comments that feel just like that. I am trying my best to understand these comments, but I cannot wrap my head around them. It makes me so incredibly sad.

     
  76. Cisco L. on May 25th, 2016 3:26 pm

    Mr. Bova’s decision was not well thought out. But with that being said, I believe intention is extremely important, and Mr. Bova did not put on the so called “blackface” to offend anyone.

     
  77. Concerned on May 26th, 2016 8:44 pm

    I agree intention is important, but if you do something that is perceived as blackface, it is probably a good idea to recognize and face that (by the way cultural appropriation and black face are not the same thing). The administration would not have to do much to address this. Simply acknowledging that the makeup was not intended to change the color of Bova’s skin, apologizing for the lack of judgement here, and acknowledging how this upset the foothill community would be a good first step.

     
  78. Headaches on May 25th, 2016 4:14 pm

    Reading all of this nonsense gives me a headache.

     
  79. Concerned on May 25th, 2016 4:21 pm

    hmm

     
  80. Dragon on May 25th, 2016 5:26 pm

    Dear Fellow Dragons and Readers,

    I think we should value one another’s opinions but we should still be respectful to one another and to this amazing school that unites many people of different opinions together to learn and to become unique leaders in society. That is what everyone can learn from this article and these comments that people put their time and effort into voicing. Have a wonderful day everyone who reads this!

     
  81. Upset on May 27th, 2016 6:10 pm

    “Comment removed by Dragon Press Advisor” really? First, the FTHS Dragon Press sensors everything that they do not want to hear. This press does NOT support free speech. Everyone is suppose to get free speech… not just certain people. I guess you follow the motto from Animal Farm “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Second, what are the “comment policies”? I see no easy way to find it! Please provide it! Maybe a hyperlink?! Thanks

     
  82. A not offended black guy on May 27th, 2016 7:45 pm

    All these white girls being offended for a race they’re not a part of.

     
  83. Natalie on May 27th, 2016 9:46 pm

    I think for all of us that know Mr. Bova on a somewhat personal level know that in no way is he racist. I believe that he is a very good man. Some could argue that he made a bad call, but it was not with the intent to harm or offend anyone. He is such a good man that does so much for his school & his students. It’s sad to see so many people being awful to him for trying to put on a fun show for the students.

     
  84. Stupid on May 31st, 2016 9:14 am

    Why these hours writing responses on something that doesn’t matter, when you could be studying for finals. Seriously guys really! Who has time to write a 821 word response to this, do you have a life!

     
  85. Stupid on May 31st, 2016 9:14 am

    Waste*

     
  86. Calm Down Stupid on June 1st, 2016 9:52 pm

    calm down, sometimes people stand up for what they believe

     
  87. Why on May 31st, 2016 12:05 pm

    Life is meaningless

     
  88. Henry Ashworth on June 4th, 2016 6:26 pm

    It is in the face of meaninglessness that we find meaning. I would like to applaud all of those who have had the courage to voice their viewpoints. For better or for worse this incident has incited a necessary and important conversation that we, as a community, need to have.

    Here is the only point I would like to add. As this conversation continues it is important to try and take the higher road. At the end of the day we are a community, and the only way forward is to work towards a greater understanding. Do not be afraid to speak your personal truth, but have the courage to accept when you come to understand that you are wrong.

     
  89. Caleb Ragan on June 5th, 2016 5:43 pm

    I’m just wondering why you guys don’t use AP style… Any reason in particular?

     
  90. Mr. Tubs on October 25th, 2018 9:33 pm

    So if a kid puts a pillow case on her head to be a ghost is she racist? Just because black coloring might have been used in the past to make fun out of an entire race of people does not mean dressing up like Prince and changing the color of your skin to more match his appearance is disrespecting the race maybe making fun of Prince but not the race obviously it must be okay for a black person to put on white paint on dressing up as Donald Trump? I think we need a be very careful with this road as it could be trampling on Free Speech. You will never be able to not offend anyone especially when there is power in claiming that offense.

     

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Opinion: Cultural appropriation is over-hyped at Foothill