Northwest Horizons

The racism that haunts modern society

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Racism is in the past. Some people say that racism is no longer a thing, that people envision tension where there is none.

There was a video released this weekend that shocked some students due to the gruesome language and racial slurs; it shocked them because some did not believe something like that could happen at Northwest. It could not happen in this era; it could not happen in the local community.

Racism and bigotry are so commonplace in modern society, it can become desensitizing to see it online. Posts and tweets of an elderly east Asian grandma being beaten on the street in the name of “white power,” another black child killed for no reason comprehensible by a heart, native american lands destroyed in the hopes of deeper pockets. Even so, no matter how crude the racist act, there is always someone on the internet intricately weaving a web of defense — a web filled with holes and laced with hate.

“It is just a joke.” At whose expense?

“It is free speech.” So is other people’s critique.

“But my spouse is a person of color.” One can harbor prejudice with the thought of some being an “exception.”

“They didn’t know any better.”

That is why communities need to educate.

Analyzing and refuting faulty logic is essential to uprooting racism before it creates more destruction and social decay.

However, racism takes more forms than slurs or hate crime; microaggressions can spiral into bigger racial issues. Issues such as mocking accents, bastardizing cultural traditions and talks of keeping “other” people out can empower closeted racists to commit hate crimes. These microaggressions can be heard on the bus, in the halls, in the bathrooms, and even in class as the recent incident was not an isolated incident. Addressing these issues that some may consider too small to be significant will help before they become catastrophic over time.

Racism has been ingrained in society, and it takes purposeful action over generations to solve. Laws have been put in place to keep people of color down within this century. That is not enough time for a society to heal, and that is why you can still see the oppression and divisions today.

People of color have been barred from voting until the late 1900s; this lack of voice in building a government that makes dehumanizing court rulings, exclusion acts and permits a society to vehemently hate has created issues that have definitely not been solved in one generation. People of color are being slaughtered today, especially African Americans, for reasons which have no merit; jobs discriminate on the basis if a name sounds Caucasian enough; more opportunities are given, subconsciously or consciously, to those with lighter skin. There is a systematic oppression that needs to be addressed; a society can not claim to have fixed a broken vase that they merely swept out of sight.

Racism is not of the past. As a community, people must be willing to have conversations about issues that cause tension. People need to listen to people of color, but not take the word of one as the word of all. Understand that one does not need to be blind to color and differences to reach equality, but rather accept differences in all their beauty. A greater understanding of how certain issues evolved will lead to more productive dialogue. Do research, speak up and care, for removing stereotypes start by addressing the roots of the issue, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Racism has always been a part of the past; do not allow racism to be our future.

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The racism that haunts modern society