Shortly after an Amarillo High School pep rally raised questions about appropriate conduct, a student cheerleader who helped coordinate the event says there is more to the rally that was not made clear to the public. She sent the following message to NewsChannel 10 via Twitter Saturday morning and gave her permission for it to be published.
Hello, I am a cheerleader at Amarillo High. I am in no way trying to make excuses for the prior incident, but I would like to let y'all know of the facts.
Our pep rally themes are chosen in June (sometimes July) before we even have game schedules. We simply know how many games we will have so we can plan pep rallies accordingly. Amarillo High had done fiesta-themed pep rallies in the past and everyone enjoyed them, so we thought it would be fun to do a fiesta pep rally during Hispanic Heritage month this year.
We thought nothing "racist" of it because we simply wanted to recognize the Hispanic culture. On another note, if any of you at News Channel 10 have been to a pep rally, you would know that our pep rallies are not like most other schools. Our pep rallies are never directed at others schools, and in fact the only time we even mention the other school's name is when we make the announcement of who our football team will be playing that night.
I understand that other schools have themes like "Destroy the ____" etc., but Amarillo High does not do that. With this being said, I hope you see how we never intended anything "racist" behind this pep rally, mainly because the pep rallies celebrate Amarillo High School, not degrade the opposing school.
You could say that I am just saying this to make excuses, but I simply wanted to make some facts known to the public. Also, tortillas were never thrown at our pep rally nor during the game. During our pep rally, there was a competition between the classes of who could eat the most tortillas. We chose tortillas mainly because they are inexpensive and easy to eat, and because they originated in Mexico. Quite frankly, I see nothing racist about tortillas.
Finally, I would like to address the misuse of the term, "racist". The direct definition of racism is the belief that all members of a certain race are inferior to another race. Nothing about this pep rally made people of Mexican descent appear inferior. It hurts my heart to see Amarillo High school so blatantly misrepresented by the media. Not just News Channel 10, but most media outlets in Amarillo. The misuse of information is only fanning the flame, and I hope that this information will fix that.
This has turned into a nightmare for me since being called racist is against everything I stand for and represent. I very much urge you to update your information regarding the conflict and to stop portraying Amarillo High as the antagonists.
Cat Heinrich, A Proud Sandie