17 comments for “The Best and the Worst

  1. January 21, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    That is both the most beautiful, and most ugly, article I’ve read in quite some time. Thanks, Jill.

  2. January 21, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Wow. I’m kind of stunned. Thanks for posting that.

  3. January 21, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Jill, thanks for the link. I see the same sentiments in the town that I am studying for my dissertation, the belief that “they” are coming to take over (they being Latin@ immigrants) and “we” (long-time residents) must do something to stop it.

    What bothers me most is that in my town, conflicts are usually between black and Latin@ residents. Both groups are overwhelmingly poor, underemployed, dealing with a poor school system, and life in an area used to a white/black hierarchy, but they are not very willing to work together.

  4. Regina
    January 21, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    But I think that goes to the heart of the discomfort/problem, elle: most of the time it comes down to either fear that there isn’t enough to go around, or fear of something one has being taken away.

  5. Betsy
    January 21, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    What a fantastic human being that coach is! And those kids sound so amazing.

  6. everstar
    January 21, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    I’m bookmarking their page so I can kick some money their way when my next paycheck comes. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hawise
    January 21, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    That woman is one heck of a lady and those boys are lucky to have found her.

  8. January 21, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    An excellent, excellent piece — I read it earlier today.

  9. Laurie
    January 21, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    That coach is *amazing* and her kids are FUCKING amazing. I am continually amazed by the resilience (sp?) of the folks who end up here, thousands of miles from where they were born, because it was their best chance of survival.

    What irritates me no end is that so many “long time residents” of places forget that their ancestors came here under much the same circumstances — fleeing war, famine, disease, and poverty. And that they were greeted in much the same way by the “long term residents” already here (with the exception, I believe, of the very first Europeans to arrive here in the 17th century), what with working long hours for crappy pay, living crammed into tenements that were extreme hazards at best, and being discriminated against simply for being “other”. I am thinking specifically of the “No Irish Need Apply” signs…. (Oh, Lord! What fools these mortals be!) Makes me want to give ’em all a crash course in Real American History ™, or at least whap them upside their heads with THIER “pedigrees”. And the sad thing is that the history doesn’t seem to make any difference when you rub their noses in it. They just snort and grumble about how things are “different” now.

    Anyway, reading about how so many kids from so many countries pull together to accomplish stuff, and who bond so strongly even though their backgrounds are so different, THAT gives me some sort of hope for the human race. Now if we can just educate (or get rid of?) idiots like that mayor….

  10. January 21, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    What everstar said. Where can we contribute to this team?

    I bet Mr. Mayor is going to have the worst week of his elected life starting Monday.

  11. everstar
    January 21, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Mythago, there’s a link to their site in the article, I think. The donation page is http://www.fugeesfamily.org/getinvolved.html

    I can’t believe people would begrudge these kids space and equipment. Honestly.

  12. Caro
    January 21, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    That is a really amazing story! You’d like to think that people weren’t so blatantly racist and xenophobic in today’s America, but the fact of the matter is that they are… even to children.

    I just wonder how long it will take someone to option the film rights to that story though… it’s like it was made to be an inspirational sports movie!

  13. prairielily
    January 22, 2007 at 1:27 am

    I cried, too. I wish I still lived in Atlanta so I could help out with tutoring.

  14. Charlotte Smith
    January 22, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Wow. It was so hard not to cry, but very easy to donate to such a worthy cause!

  15. January 22, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me at how closeminded folks are. “Soccer people?” The idea of “Think Globally, Act Locally” is totally lost on the mayor of that town (and his cronies/followers).

    What the mayor must view as a burden having the “Soccer People” infiltrate and threaten to change the status quo in his little berg, other folks in other towns would gladly embrace those kids (and other refugees) as an asset.

    I know after seeing the newsfootage of the South East Asian Tsunami, the quakes in India and Pakistan, let alone our own national shame “Katrina,” I felt so useless in whatever endeavors or charities I donated time or money towards. I know if the shoe were on the other foot, and those refugees were placed in my own community, I’d do my best for them, no matter how small.

    Sometimes KINDNESS goes a long way. This article is a fine example of it.

  16. Susan
    January 23, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    If you read the entire article, the Mayor doesn’t come off as so bad, and there have been many townspeople who offered help; I found it more hopeful than depressing, and that coach is absolutely inspiring. Thanks!

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