Discourse / Editorials / February 28, 2008

Racism, alive and well

There has been a lot of talk about racism on the campus of Knox College, which needs to be addressed. According to Webster’s dictionary racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits, capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Hate against African-Americans has more spotlight within media, education, and everyday life, but what about racism toward Africans, Asian-Americans, Middle-Eastern Americans, and others? If one race is hated then we all should stand because when it all boils down, we are human.

Recently, there was a column written about the theory that states people of African decent have more genetic attributes to perform in sport admirably. There are many theories that one could believe but if one believes in a theory, he or she must be sensitive to his or her audience. If one believes African-Africans are better at sports because of genetics he or she must state their case without using words that isolate their independent variables from others. Words such as “these people”, “those people”, and “you people”, have a strong impact that says, “I’m not a part of them”. Just being human makes all of us part of the same species.

Stereotypes are looked upon as not being racist comments but these comments make race the primary determinant of human traits and capacities. The fact that we as a people can perpetuate stereotypes evolve into racism says that we do not want to face the truth. We have to face this truth that racism is alive in well and we must discuss this topic.

D’Angelo Smith

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