Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Intolerance of the Tolerant

Chicago eighth grader gives politics a chance.

Chicago Tribune: Catherine Vogt, 14, conducted an experiment in political tolerance at her Oak Park middle school and learned some valuable lessons. (Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo / November 12, 2008)

Catherine Vogt, a 14-year-old Chicago student, tested the reaction of fellow classmates by wearing "McCain Girl" and "Obama Girl" shirts to school. She recorded her results as an extra-credit project for history class. Here she shares them with Chicago Tribune reporter John Kass.

So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker: "McCain Girl."

"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters ..."

"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said. ... "One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.

"In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain," Catherine said.

The next day, in part 2 of The Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment, she wore another T-shirt, this one with "Obama Girl" written in blue. And an amazing thing happened.

Catherine wasn't very stupid anymore. She grew brains.

The new majority: conformists committed to non-conformity — in the name of fitting in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That little girl is my hero

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