So you don’t like the snake…
So you don’t like the snake, or the Viper as it will be called. Neither do I. Athletic Director Joe Sharrow and I were talking about the snake several days ago. One of the biggest things he and I seem to have in common is our desire for a society without snakes. I hate them to the point that I have blocked the posts of friends because pictures of snakes cause me to have nightmares.
But you know what; I think I can handle a cartoon drawing of a green viper that doesn’t even look like he was based on a real creature.`Still, I can understand people not liking the name, the logo or the colors. That’s why the kids voted. We live in a nation of diversity and that doesn’t only apply to skin color. It also applies to ideas, beliefs and opinions. But I think there’s something else going on here.
I made a comment this morning on Remember When, and there may be some backlash from it by the time you read this. The comment, which is something I’ve told people in private before, is that the biggest problem I have with the group is the utter contempt some adults have towards young people. Adults are all too quick to criticize children as being disrespectful while being totally oblivious to their own childish demeanor. It’s to the point where I believe that if a teenager publicly referred to Jesus Christ as his Savior, there would be an adult standing there to argue with him. If I may be so bold as to hand you a mirror, the only person you’re making look like a fool is yourself.
The other thing going on, and again it is with some adults (not all), is the resistance to change. I just don’t get that, and I guess that’s just me. I go through hundreds of pictures a day and the memories are overwhelming sometimes. But they’re just that: memories. It really wasn’t that great back then. Sure, we could play in street, shoot BB guns, walk to school, watch TV shows that were fit to watch…all good. But I remember some other things about the “good ol’ days”. I had black friends who were not allowed to go to the same school I attended. There was no such thing as asthma medicine; if a person had COPD like I have now, he died. Almost all cancer was a death sentence and government corruption on the local level alone would embarrass the hell out of the people in Washington today. Y’all can go back if you want to, but I’ll stay right here where I’m at.
But what is the reason for dragging the kids into our own shortcomings? If you’re addicted to the past, handle it. Don’t force the young people to go there with you. They weren’t even born then. Henderson High (or Vance High) was not their school; it was yours. I miss Vance High too. I also miss my childhood pet and the ability to play basketball, but it is what it is.
Some arguments against the mascot have somewhat of a legitimate foundation, I guess. But if you think about it, they aren’t true either. Some have said that gang colors are being used, but there is no color which isn’t being used by some gang, including pink. Some say it looks like a gang symbol. No, it doesn’t. I live in a neighborhood rampant with gangs; this isn’t even close.
And some say it’s anti-Christian because it’s a snake. To a certain degree, I’ll go along with that…IF that is really your argument. But if you’re only judging Henderson, that isn’t really your argument.
Maiden, Mooresville and South Lenoir are the remaining schools of 16 NC high schools to use Blue Devils, in addition to 2 teams of Blue Demons. That’s in addition to the RL Fike and RJ Reynolds Golden Demons, LeJeune Devilpups, the Swain Maroon Devils, and the Newton-Conover Red Devils. In recent years, there have been at least 17 more teams of Red Devils, including Oxford Orphanage. Isn’t a devil more anti-God than a snake is?
Then there’s the South Mecklenburg Sabers (that’s a snake), or would you prefer Concord’s Spiders? I know how some of you feel about spiders, but I don’t hear you raisin’ cain about Concord High.
Colleges are no exception. One of the best rivalries on the east coast is the Richmond Spiders and Chattanoga Moccasins. Not to mention our own Duke Blue Devils and Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Local legend Jake Gaither coached the Florida A&M Rattlers…guess what a rattler is. Even in Major League Baseball there’s the Arizona Diamondbacks.
No, I don’t like the snake either. But it ain’t my school. I saw the choice of finalists and it basically came down to being the Vipers or having a very unfair tribute team to schools long gone. The latter would serve no purpose and no value except to massage a few egos. It would only devalue the history of Henderson High and Henderson Institute by mocking them.
Besides, it ain’t your school either.