I had the pleasure of attending the Sunnyside-Southridge varsity basketball game (Jan. 30) at Southridge High School and watched an exciting game between two quality teams.
Before the game, the announcer advocated good sportsmanship between players and fans. I have rarely seen that thought run through a student body as readily as it did that night, affecting the Southridge students.
Even though they were losing a tight contest, they applauded the diversity of our team and student body by chanting "U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A." It is encouraging to hear students from a school, whose reputation is white, upper middle class, uphold the American tradition of welcoming a more culturally diverse group.
As embodied by the broken chain wrapped around the Statue of Liberty's feet, the chains of bigotry are broken by acceptance. As we welcome the Latin American groups that comprise much of the American citizenry of Sunnyside, let us not forget the links that have been broken in the past.
These links have at one time included African, Puerto Rican, Italian, Japanese and German during World War II, Irish, Vietnamese, Russian and countless other ethnic and religious groups, initially persecuted, but now welcomed as part of the grand experiment.
The citizenry of Southridge is remembering their own struggles as they accept and promote the great American ideal that all men are created equal.
As a citizen of Irish descent, I echo the call from the social documentary "Blazing Saddles" when they tried to ban the Irish, accept them all!
Three cheers for Southridge.
/s/ Scott Abbott, Sunnyside