Brave decision moves history along nicely

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slowly, sometimes almost at a snail’s pace, our country is putting a check mark next to all of the little boxes of “firsts” based on race.

In 2008, the country elected its first black president, and a huge “first” fell by the wayside. In Natchez, it was 2004 before a mayor who was black was elected to lead the city.

More of those firsts happen each year, but thankfully they’re becoming less and less frequent, not because the country is becoming more divided, but because we’re becoming more diverse.

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One of those small but important historical “firsts” happened on Monday at Alcorn State University.

This week the historically black university did something once unheard of. ASU named a head football coach who is white.

Jay Hopson, a native of Southwest Mississippi was named coach. ASU doesn’t appear to have hired him because he was white, but because they felt he was among the best candidates to lead the Braves’ football team to excellence.

Racial subdivides don’t matter when it comes down to teamwork. ASU needs a good coach, and we trust Hopson will be welcomed with open arms at ASU.

Hopson made headlines this week because of the tiny bit of history he made, and while it’s of interest, his skin color doesn’t define him.

We trust the next headlines he makes will be when the Braves football program turns around and starts producing wins and well-educated athletes.