More parades would be a good thing

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A parade is more than just floats, themes and some bands. It’s a chance for some civic and community pride as more than just abstract concepts. When pro sports arrived in places like Atlanta and New Orleans in the late 1960s, it became a place where people of different backgrounds and experiences got together and shared a common goal. They weren’t white or black, they were black and gold, black and red or whichever color scheme your team carries. For better or worse, sports stadiums are far less segregated on Sundays in the fall than churches. A team’s or city’s colors are ties that bind people together to the point where wallet size or skin color is of no real importance.

On social media, there’s been a mostly favorable conclusion from this past Saturday’s parade for Malcolm Butler. Out of some criticism (some of it better thought-out than others) over whether to honor an athlete at the exclusion of say, high-achieving students and scholars, have come a few ideas about a parade of scholars. We can see a float filled with happy, smiling children who achieved greatness in math, language arts and science. We can also see a float rolling down Washington Street with teachers who went the extra mile to help those students make the grade. Why not put the Educator of the Year on her own float, with crown, scepter and all?

Logistics such as timing, routes and other organizational points can be worked out in due time. We do hope the drumbeat for at least one more parade continues, though. Think of it — a tie that can only bind and not split and separate. Society needs those, don’t you think?

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