MLK’s dream in a new perspective


Kiana Wilson

2012 Wenatchee High School graduate Crash Ketcham explains how negative words spread by students at school follow a process similar to the greenhouse effect during the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly on Jan. 17 in the auditorium.

Several speakers shared their own personal experiences with racism, the Ku Klux Klan and hateful words in front of the student body along with videos and a choir performance during the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly on Jan. 17 in Wenatchee High School’s auditorium.

Made possible by Diversity Club and ASB, namely junior assembly coordinator, Bryce Newberry, the assembly was an attempt to show students how harmful discrimination can be.

“Discrimination still exists,” Diversity Club adviser Danielle Schafer-Cloke said. “People are finding ways new ways to use it against one another. People have discovered more ways to be subversive and less overt, more subtle in our society.”

Seniors Guadalupe Garnica and Natalia Esquivel had a video to represent their personal discrimination situation along with speeches. “[Racism] only happened to me on one occasion, but it’s important for people to know that it does still happen,” Esquivel said. “[I hoped to] shock them. I hope they listened to our story and changed the way they act and are to others.”

The video was also was to show students how to deal with racism.“I want to show how to take care of a situation you’re in: show respect, don’t pick a fight, get them to stop,” Garnica said. “I think there’s still discrimination going on. I mean, it happened to me.”

Special education teacher Danielle Ouellette took the mic as well to speak of a past with her grandfather, a member of the Klu Klux Klan, and how being raised in the deep South had influenced her childhood but not who she is today.

“What was it Martin Luther King, Jr. said? ‘The beginning of the end of your life is when you stop fighting for what’s important’? We have to live our lives to the fullest with our hearts wide open,” Ouellete said. “Where you look is where you go, so if I look at what’s wrong I’ll eventually go there. Try to bring out the best in others – it’ll bring out the best in you, too.”

WHS graduate Crash Ketcham came back to share his own personal experiences with discrimination. He spoke of being bullied in high school and as an exchange student overseas. He also explained a theory of how what people say can be more damaging than they think. “I was learning in college about the greenhouse effect – it clicked in my brain how our words are very similar to that,” Ketcham said. “I used this in a metaphor in hopes to bring more understanding of how much words can hurt.”
According to freshman Bryce Peters, the assembly discussed topics relevant today. “[The assembly] covered a lot of the stereotypes that actually happen in real life,” Peters said. “It gave me more background on the scenarios and background of [discrimination] and the people who got hurt. I know people who are gay, I’m friends with people who are gay, and I guess I got more of an understanding of where that plays a part. My thinking got more expanded.”