The unsettling incident of the too-quiet Native teens

We’ve heard of cops being called for a number of reasons, but never because teenage boys were too quiet at college, in this case, Colorado State University. The incident took place last week in Fort Collins when two Santa Cruz teenagers — using money they had saved — drove themselves to visit the university. Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, wanted to attend college together. Thomas is a student at Northern New Mexico College, while his brother is a senior at the Santa Fe Indian School. The brothers are from the Mohawk tribe.

They had taken a day off from school for that most American of rites, the college visit. They never completed their tour. Campus police interrupted; someone on the tour with the teens had called in a complaint. The brothers made a woman in the group “nervous” because she decided they were too quiet. They wore dark T-shirts. They joined the tour a bit late and declined to answer her nosy questions. They simply did not belong on a college tour, the woman believed. (The tour guide, by the way, said the boys’ behavior was nothing out of the ordinary.)

…It is not OK.

Yet here we are, in 2018. About the only bright spot we can see is that maybe, if people become more open about such widespread prejudices, society can confront and overcome them.

Overcome them we must, or the United States of America and its promise of liberty and justice for all will be lost.

The unsettling incident of the too-quiet Native teens | Editorials |



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