I think it is my name, Elhajj.
I used to have this certain kind of experience in school. I went to the City University of New York in the early 90s. I also worked at the school’s administrative offices. I remember Betty Shabazz taught at Medgar Evers College and was basically treated like royalty. My name tends to stand out, especially in an organization with a huge focus on multiculturalism, which was at its height in the early 90s. Occasionally I would come to a meeting with university people and I would find someone in a big dashiki and would introduce myself and their face would fall with disappointment and they would be like, “YOU. YOU’RE ELHAJJ?!”
So this middle school thing just made me laugh.
This is his first year at the school. I imagine they are not looking too closely at the people they select. But, who knows? Here in the Pacific Northwest every one is very PC and there are just are not that many black people.
I went to a school function a few years back and was looking for one of the fathers, but I didn’t realize he was a black man. I kept asking the other parents (who I didn’t know all that well) if they knew where I could find this man and nobody would tell me he was black, which would have greatly simplified spotting him. Instead people got all nervous and were like, Ohhh, he’s about 6’4″, ah… humm.