Anyone in Charlotte who does not live under a rock knows about the controversy that has taken the place over the past week because of the fact that kids had to go to school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In fact, it took place in a lot more school districts across the Southeast than just Charlotte Metro, but it seems the Queen City is going to be the scapegoat, with certain “leaders” calling for boycotting the city. Local NAACP President Kojo Nantambu went so far as to call Charlotte “a racist bastion”.
One thing it seems no one is asking is how the kids feel about it. Those who have been asked said they would rather go in January than to have their summer vacation shortened. Another thing that has been swept under the carpet is that most schools did not have a regular school day on Monday, opting instead to have a special day of teaching about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Also overlooked when calling for boycotts of the city is the fact that the Queen City is a rather progressive Southern city, having a black mayor, a black police chief, a black mayor pro tem, a black NBA owner, a black county manager, and plenty of other African Americans in leadership positions.
MLK himself knew the importance of a good education. He would not support the idea of boycotting a progressive city such as Charlotte simply because they failed to excuse children from school on a day to honor him – especially if the schools were using the day to teach the history of the civil rights movement. Moreover, it is not as though any events to Honor Dr. King were canceled for the day. There were even some, such as a parade, held earlier on the weekend.
Other African American leaders are not in agreement with Mr. Nantambu, realizing that such action would hurt the city, which in turn will hurt the progressiveness of any African Americans in the city. Senator Malcolm Graham (D. NC) called the proposal “an over-reaction.” The Charlotte Observer quotes Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon as saying, “Boycotting is not the thing to do.”
Those who are calling for boycott, especially those who don’t even live here and know nothing of the way of life in Charlotte (“Reverend” Al Sharpton), are not setting good examples for the next generation of leaders. Dr. King set an example of peaceful protest about real issues – not riotous rhetoric and imagined racism at the drop of a hat. Like the riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict in 1992, these leaders are hurting their own community in their quest, and only puffing up themselves in the process.
The Bible calls on adults to act like adults, not unruly children on a playground. Time and again, people were reminded the importance of teaching their children the right way, such as this passage in Joshua 4: “6 This may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off…”
Another example is found in Deuteronomy and is practiced among the Jewish peoples to this day: Deut. 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
One last example is the proverb found in Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”