The World Cup series: Part 1 of 4
"Get Up, Stand Up!"
Only one professor glanced over long enough to reveal her slanted smile. The rest of the faculty filed past in velveteen caps & satin hooded gowns without acknowledging anything, save their tams' golden, dangling tassels tickling against their tightly clenched lips.
"Stand Up For Your Rights!"
For today's dignified procession was honoring the university regents' annual meeting, a staid rite of passage to uphold the trustees' traditional rights to forever withhold the passage of time at this small, private, liberal arts college in the east...
"Don't Give Up The Fight!"
Lining just half of the short sidewalk leading to the assembly hall, ours was a paltry protest, a smattering of undergraduate rabble-rousers futilely trying to infuse sixties-style enthusiasm into tired, decades-old chants: "What do we want?" DIVESTMENT! "When do we want it?" NOW! We held up hand-scrawled, slogan-filled signs to an audience of silent onlookers who mocked our sincerity from across the green. (Yup, nobody there at all besides some exasperatingly unresponsive trees, pruned to remain rigidly neutral & unperswayeded by the blowin' winds of change.)
"It's not all that glitters is gold; Half the story has never been told"
By the time our lil' dedicated core of agitators reconvened -- coincidentally enough, in the school's newspaper offices -- journalistic integrity rallied the cause with unbiased, factual reporting of glorious, indomitable dissidence. (Following a quick, unanimous decision to omit superfluous details, such as the one about an as-yet-unidentified sophomore who panicked and unplugged Bob Marley & Peter Tosh's First Amendment rights -- emanating from a
hifi defiant 12" dual-cassette boombox -- mere moments before the college president's impending advance.) The editor-in-chief made the additionally daring decision to run "Out of South Africa" as the week's lead story, front page & topped with a photo taken at the precise angle to appear jam-packed with no less than 20 laudably heroic students, 18 of whom also happened to be news staffers.
"We sick an' tired of your ism-schism"
Cogent testimony to these overwhelming pressure tactics, the board members did, most likely, put the item on their agenda. Just long enough for it to be formally dismissed as irrelevant. Apartheid had no place here, in our harmoniously homogeneous community. Clearly, this was a black ~or~ white issue.
(Really, arguing with that type of logic is of no hues... sometimes it's simply a matter of Caucasian & effect.)
"You can fool some people sometimes, But you can't fool all the people all the time"
The finance committee could find absolutely no reason to alter course on their winning investment policies. Well, maybe with one exception... regarding accrued interest in a certain puny(tive), out-of-state investment. That's okay, at the end of freshman year, I packed up my scholarship & went home. Quite successfully divested, I might
"Whoa yoi, whoa yoi, whoa yo, yo, yo, yoi!"
*For 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned, Nelson Mandela lived in this cell on Robben Island. While there, he earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London & encouraged other inmates to pursue their studies. The jail guards, as well as those he inspired, referred to his cell block as "Mandela University."
See Part 2 The World Cup: United We Play