Officials at Haddonfield High School announced Friday they are canceling the remainder of the season for their lacrosse team.

There was an investigation into an incident that allegedly happened on May t on the track and athletic field. An athlete from Sterling High School alleged that one of the members on the boys lacrosse team called her the N-word, and told her to move out of the way. No one actually heard the slur, but others noted her reaction after the exchange and the change in her demeanor the rest of the day.

Let me just say there is no excuse for that word to be used, and insulting a young girl like that deserves a smack in the head with a lacrosse stick, no helmet. There is no room for hatred anywhere in the world, now or ever, but there is plenty of it all around us, from ALL directions.

But there is one word coming from one group of people that carries the power and devastation of a nuclear blast. Other hurtful words can be said to any number of individuals of other groups, even physical violence can be perpetrated from one to another, but nothing short of murder carries the weight of that word. It's an ugly word and has an ugly past. But we keep weaponizing the word with more power, the more we overreact to what it is — a word.

You can argue all day about its history, and the country's history. You can make the point that a more personal insult would have more impact on an individual than an ignorant, cowardly slur, but none of that matters.

What matters here is perception — the perception that a town like Haddonfield and Haddonfield High, where the elite live and work, would never be so coarse and crude to use or accept such behavior. They look at "minorities" as less fortunate, somehow inferior creatures that need their help and support. They would never accept such boorish behavior. Even to try to find out if the allegation is actually accurate might give the impression of acceptance or compliance.

Many incidents of hate speech and racial bias have been fabricated in the last year and a half to gain political ground. Little coverage is given to these stories once they're debunked. You may recall another famous case involving a lacrosse team and an African-American woman, the Duke case, that turned out to be a lie. The truth came out long after lives and reputations were in tatters.

I'm not saying this episode in Haddonfield didn't happen, but if it did, take appropriate measures. Suspend the kid from the team, until he completes a month of volunteering at a black church in Camden. Or perhaps make him tutor minority kids all summer in Paterson or Trenton. Make him apologize to the girl in front of her parents and her teammates. Make him take her out for lunch. If one kid did this, give this kid the kind of exposure to people he apparently doesn't like and teach him a real life lesson. Change his hate into understanding and compassion.

But why destroy the hard work, dedication and possible future of all the kids on the team? Why? I'll tell you why. CYA. Cover your ass! These people don't want their reputation tarnished in any way. Overreaction is the best reaction. They're already receiving kudos from the usual race-hustling outfits that typically hold organizations hostage for any alleged racial indiscretion, real or imagined. Then, of course if one of these groups feels enough wasn't done, people start demanding resignations and oh no — there goes your well-paid, cushy administrative position and yes maybe even your pension! The ultimate sword to the heart that these people fear. They have about as much compassion for diverse groups as anyone else, maybe less, but they don't want to lose that 25-year vacation that was promised to them. So rather than do the right thing and get to the kid that may have said this, you look a whole lot cleaner if you just blow the whole thing up and disrupt the lives of a few privileged kids on some dumb sports team. Then you still get to retire at 55 to your nice shore house in Stone Harbor where the most commonly used N-word is nanny.

Racism is horrible in all forms. Knee-jerk, politically correct, self interest motivated, overreaction is worse!

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