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Posted on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 8:50 a.m.

UM-OSU Rivalry fueling King School's Silent Auction: #325 The Karr Jersey - what colors will the principal wear?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sometimes those in the majority take their position for granted. Sometimes minorities have to really struggle to make their voices and perspectives heard. Occasionally, when a minority group organizes, they grow in strength, power, confidence, much to the chagrin of the majority group who has to adjust their heretofore unquestioned way of thinking. Race and culture are pretty charged topics in America, but we can see how some of these same themes play out in other, more gentle, less-charged territory. For example, in Ann Arbor, we are so used to seeing “our” colors, maize and blue, that we sometimes take it for granted that anyone else might prefer other colors, say scarlet and gray.

Oops, did I just call the U-M-OSU rivalry gentle and less-charged?

One of the auction items at this Friday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School’s Silent Auction is #325 The Karr Jersey, or the chance to make Principal Kevin Karr, who wears only maize and blue, wear another team’s colors.

Parents from Ohio State University have been organizing for months to collect enough pledges to ensure the winning bid to force Principal Karr into scarlet and gray for one day. They have reached out to each other and organized, they have grown in size and confidence, they have even contacted an elementary school in Columbus, Ohio, to help collect pledges to help their cause. Apparently the cause has gone viral. Excitement over this movement has even given young OSU fans the courage to wear their colors proudly to the school’s Friday Wear Maize and Blue Day.

Principal Karr continues to send humorous pleas through his blog and school Web site for U-M fans to rescue him, but at the time of this writing, it is too early to tell if U-M fans will rally to the cause as fiercely as their OSU counterparts. Of course, all the posturing and posing is all in good fun (or is it?) and to support enrichment activities for King School students.

Check out the King School Web site for up-to-the-minute news and for your chance to join into the (friendly) competition (including the photo of the smiling scarlet-clad elementary school principal in Columbus, Ohio putting the checks in the mail) for our Ann Arbor school.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her Web site at, her blog at, and she can be reached at


Kevin Karr

Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 10:49 a.m.

Thanks for the fun story, Frances!

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 9:54 p.m.

Breaking News from King School: UM Beats OSU in great Karr Jersey Race at King School's Silent Auction