At Clay County School, Concerns over Race and Cheerleading

The Anniston Star, May 15, 2012

Concerns over racial discrimination are surfacing in Clay County as two area schools prepare to merge into one.

The four black students who tried out the first cheer team at Central High School of Clay County didn’t make the cut. School officials say the girls didn’t score well enough to secure a place on the team. Members of the black community say that the selection process was unfair from the start.

“I don’t want to believe it was racially motivated,” said Tramaine Solomon, the local pastor of a black congregation. “I just think there was a lack of consideration.”

Some black community members recently asked the school board to add more black students to the squad. School officials declined the request, saying the process for selecting the cheer team shouldn’t be changed.

“The ones that do the best are the ones that are going to be cheerleaders,” said the new school’s principal, Bobby Vinson. “I think it’s extremely fair.”

Twenty-six girls and two male students tried out for the Clay County Central High School team. The 18-member squad, selected in March, includes 17 white students and one mixed-race student, two of whom are males.

Lineville and Clay County Schools will merge to form Clay County Central High School next year. Each school’s student population is majority white and between 25 and 30 percent black, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.


According to Solomon, pastor of Spring Hill Baptist Church in Lineville, black students who didn’t make the team were not strong tumblers. Since the system assessed students based on tumbling, a skill that’s often learned in after-school classes, it’s not fair to keep the black students from participating in cheering because they don’t fare well in that one area, Solomon said.

As a result, Solomon contends, black students are automatically at a disadvantage when they begin cheerleading tryouts.

“Most minorities do not have the money to pay for that,” Solomon said of tumbling classes.


Solomon said he and other community members have been meeting at area churches for about a month to talk about what they believe to be racial discrimination in the cheer-selection process for the new high school. They are asking the school system to designate at least two slots on the cheer team for black students.

According to Vinson, that would not be fair to make places for girls based on race. He said the students should be selected based on ability.

Maureen Costello heads up a tolerance education program for the Southern Poverty Law Center. She said there seems to be a troubling problem surfacing at the emerging Clay County school.

“This is a classic example of this notion that there is a level playing field when, in fact, there is not a level playing field,” Costello said. “It’s favored to the advantaged.”

She also said there is unequal racial representation in several high school activities.

She said some sports, such as basketball, include a disproportionate number of black students. Other activities, such as marching band, include a disproportionate number of white students, she said.


Vinson said the school conducted its cheer tryouts much in the same way other local county systems do. A check with county school systems in Calhoun and Talladega counties supported his statement.

The school gave each of the students what administrators call a cheer constitution. It outlines the skills that the stu-dents will have to master to contend for a place on the team, Vinson said.

The students learn that they will be judged based on their ability to jump, cheer, dance and tumble. They receive one three-hour training session to learn routines one week before tryouts and they have access to the gym for practice, Yates said.

Four judges from a national cheerleading organization judged students on the technical aspects of cheering. Two of the judges were white and two were black.


“Provisions were made for males and females, race was never a consideration,” Yates said.


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  • Solomon said he and other community members have been meeting at area
    churches for about a month to talk about what they believe to be racial
    discrimination in the cheer-selection process for the new high school.

    Seriously.  That’s their big complaint?  I guess the blacks of Clay County, Alabama must be the most prosperous and smartest and least criminal in America, such that racial beancounting of cheerleaders is their biggest concern.

    At the height of judicial arrogance over school desegregation, in the late 1970s, a Federal judge in Cleveland had quotas for the public school district’s sports teams, to make the basketball team whiter and the baseball team blacker than they would otherwise be.

    • I cannot even imagine the facepalms from all honest citizens, White and Black.
      “For real?”

      We have to find alliance with the facepalming Blacks here, many see the Marxist race netting tactics for what they are.

      • StivD

        You will have to keep digging deeper , very deep, to find blacks who will side with common sense or sanity if it is used against (to them) their race.

        When you dig too deep with that individual you will also find just how much on the surface their reasonable thinking is. It’s not usually phony but it doesn’t go very far. Whites are still indebted to them no matter what. That’s the deal breaker.

        • Sherman_McCoy

          One cannot ally with those who are incapable of logical thought. This automatically excludes over 95% of blacks.

      • disqus2222

         Many?  I don’t think many Blacks see this BS for what it is.  Honest Blacks like Dr. Thomas Sowell do, but most Blacks base their decisions on race.

  • Natassia

    Self-righteous hypocrites. Rather than lower the standards, why don’t these race-obsessed activists take the money out of their own pockets to send black girls to tumbling class?

    • kievsky

      I was t

  • vladdy1

    Um…If it’s based on money for classes, shouldn’t the slots be reserved, IF AT ALL (which they should not be) for poor students, rather than just black students? And then, of course, you have to change the make-up of the basketball team, since culturally, whites don’t go to pick-up games as often as blacks, and then…oh, dear. This could get difficult. 

  • “As a result, Solomon contends, black students are automatically at a disadvantage when they begin cheerleading tryouts.

    “Most minorities do not have the money to pay for that,” Solomon said of tumbling classes.”

    This is a Marxist agitator, who judges people by the color of their skin.  He is a racist, and must shunned by the Black community.

    • Natassia

      I wonder if Solomon has ever paid for tumbling classes for any of these poor black girls.

      Like a modern day Pharisee, he preaches “righteousness” but does not live it.

    • IT rasist dat dey paid money for classes to get ahead. Deem tumbling classes cost half of my crack habit.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      There’s that “R” word again.  When are we going to learn that it is a GOOD word?  I wear the name with pride!  It means that I KNOW who many of my enemies are.  People who don’t become VICTIMS.

  • Church_of_Jed

    “Race is always a consideration in everything. When blacks see something that is still Whites Only, they see another opportunity to attack White privilege and win, because they say White privilege is racist privilege, and everybody says they want to defeat that, especially the White elites who benefit the most from it. Destroying White privilege is blacks’ mission to destroy White identity, which they call ‘unhealthy’ and requiring Diversity and multicultural sensitivity as the prescribed treatment. Whites who prefer other Whites are the same thing as Klu Klux Nazis and will be treated as such. Whites who refuse to say that minoritized White babies ‘is a good thing’ will be treated the same as anyone who doesn’t say ‘I support gay marriage’. ”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “The consequences of failing to display cross cultural competency,” 2009

  • crystal evans

    I got a suggestion for the blacks who did not make the cheerleading team. Practice your tumbling, learn your routine  before you try out again. 

  • Bob Johnson

    When I reflect upon my childhood and what I’ve done with my life since, I’m pretty sure one big reason I found a way to go to college and do something with my life was because I was “disadvantaged.” I’m white but my family was lower middle class. I remember accepting that I couldn’t have a car or a yearbook or a class ring but I also remember thinking, “I’m not going to settle for this. I’m going to find a way to have the things I want in life.” I think this is what a lot of well-meaning people miss about inequality: it can be an enormous motivator. Conversely, when people grow up having things done for them, or given them, they may feel that their destiny is not in their own hands. I think many poor people today think the only way to get anything is to complain and beg for sympathy. The angels of mercy out there have fostered this attitude. Instead of letting people struggle and then giving them a little help, they’ve decided to fix the outcome, and in doing so I think they’ve robbed a lot of people of their belief in their own ability and responsibility to help themselves.

  • TomIron361

    Of course, the black people want people put on the squad just because they’re black. Just more Affirmative Action.

    Years ago, I remember a situation when they told a black guy who took the NYPD seargent’s exam they were going to promote him to Sgt. because he was black, even though he’d failed the exam. He told them that he didn’t want to be promoted just because he was black. That there’d be another exam and he’d take that and hopefully pass it. A couple of years later, a small colunm in the NY Daily News appeared that said he had passed the most recent exam. That was many, many years ago and I’ve never heard of another black since ever doing such a thing like that man.

  • Ok only girls light enough to be carried by 4 other cheerleaders. Sorry Moomoo. Must have co ordination, you know deem olympics be rasist as they dont have blacks in  gymnastics, swimming or strength events

  • 1gravity

     Affirmative Action is a species of hate crime.

    • sarah stein

       Affirmative action is racist, it says blacks are inferior and need to have the bar lowered for them.

      • Sherman_McCoy

        But they are and do.

  • No doubt something Eric Holder will deem necessary for the DOJ to get involved in.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    Just curious.. how many whites are not on the cheerleading squad, either?  Or is every white in the school a cheerleader, leaving only the blacks out?

    And it’s not fair to keep blacks from being brain surgeons just because they don’t fare well in that area. Being rotten at doing something should have no bearing on whether you qualify or not. The gall!!

    • Sheila Dinehart

      “And it’s not fair to keep blacks from being brain surgeons just because they don’t fare well in that area.”

      That’s right, so med schools have lowered standards…again.  

  • Johnny Reb

    I just don’t think blacks understand the notion that you actually have to WORK HARD to beat the competition.  They’re so used to gibbsme now that the idea of actually having to compete escapes them.

    If the creature can’t tumble, she can’t tumble.  That means team-work (another things blacks don’t understand)  goes right out the window . . . which destroys team morale.  That also means she could be severely injured.

    The solution is to just tell the nappy-haired competitors a year in advance that IT’S THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN TUMBLING if they want to make the squad.

    But it’s too white of me to suggest that, I suppose . . .

    • crystal evans

       The only girls on a cheerleading squad that can get away with not tumbling are the small girls that are the ones that are lifted by the others in their routines. My niece was one of those girls that was not expected to tumble but was always the one lifted up in their routines.

  • Excuse me for axing, but why be it ok for der to b know whities on da track team? We shoulda file discrimination suits cuz whitey can’t afford classes on runnin faster.

  • Simple solution..factor in booty size, jive talk, and hip gyrations into the scoring criteria.  

    They’re on the SPLC’s radar now…may the lord be with them.  I’m sure they will be labeled a hate school soon enough.  

    • Sherman_McCoy

      What about extra points for being a single mother? With a bonus for multiple baby daddies?

  •  I think you’re correct when you say blacks hate Whites, but it’s not for the reasons you say.  blacks have wildly overinflated confidence in their own abilities.  blacks hate Whites because of the false history of slavery that they’ve been taught by the US education system and media.  And they think all Whites are rayyycist and that the “system” is looking to discriminate them at every opportunity.

  • rkeefe

    Always a hoot to hear Maureen Costello nattering on about “unequal racial representation.”

    Ms. Costello heads the SPLC’s laughably named “Teaching Tolerance” program, which purports to promote diversity in K-12 classrooms.

    Teaching Tolerance has been led by “whites only” for 20 of its 21 years, including its current director, the red-haired, blue-eyed Ms. Costello, who replaced the one non-white who held the post in an “interim” capacity several years ago.

    Teaching Tolerance comes by its “unequal racial representation” honestly, though, as NOT ONE of its parent organization’s top executives is a minority.

    In fact, despite being located LITERALLY in the back yard of Martin Luther King’s home church in Montgomery, the Southern Poverty Law Center has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of authority in its entire 41 year history.

    Montgomery has been a minority-majority city for decades and the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement but Morris Dees just couldn’t seem to locate and hire one, single black executive in 41 years?

    Ironic, ain’t it?

  • “This is a classic example of this notion that there is a level playing field when, in fact, there is not a level playing field,” Costello said. “It’s favored to the advantaged.”

    That’s the whole point!  That’s the very point of working to better one’s self, one’s group, one’s circumstances.

  • Put ’em in a dryer…they’ll learn to tumble real quick.

  • So now the blacks need some affirmative action tumble points? What will they whine about next? Life is NOT a level playing field and the nanny state government can’t always be there to level it out (cheat) for you. For a race supposedly equal to the others, they are capable of nothing without preferential treatment. Just TNB and monkeyshines from the local bootlipped pavement apes.

  • I bet Treyvon tumbled when GZ made him good.