Earlier on the week of Halloween, I was reminded again that racism still exists on our fair campus. I have never understood why someone’s beliefs or skin color would make them a better or worse person than someone else.
Most of what I’ve witnessed has been some mild social prejudice, and I have never witnessed anything violent against someone because of race or beliefs. For this, I’m incredibly thankful. I know it still happens, and far too often.
So once more, as we go into this lovely holiday season (which I keep mentioning affectionately because I love fall and winter), let’s try to remember that across all religions and races, kindness is really a great equalizer.
When one enters a room and proclaims something racist loud enough so that an entire study area in the library stops to take notice of one’s ignorance, one might be asking for attention in the wrong way. I was proud that at least the small amount of “out of the blue” prejudice I did experience didn’t garner much reaction. Most nearby seemed to look up just long enough to give the offender a strange look, communicating that it was not approved of by the general populace.
Nobody seemed particularly rattled by it, so it is unclear who it was really aimed at (aside from the obvious group of people the person was attempting to address and rile up).
I was proud of the way everyone seemed to just give the man a look like, “What are you talking about?” The person seemed to become uncomfortable enough to shift in his seat the rest of his study session.
When I first started writing my column as a guest writer, I wrote about not judging a book by its cover. Basically, just because someone has something nice (like an iPhone) but uses food stamps, doesn’t mean that you have any right to judge them for being a lesser person or that they are a person with their priorities out of line. Nobody but them can tell you exactly how they came by certain items and lifestyle type, other than themselves.
I would like to continue the trend in my column in that everyone deserves to be treated as all humans should be: equally.
There is no excuse for racism, especially in the 21st century. We are at a point as a society where there shouldn’t be any reason for people to judge one another on color or religious preference. As the holidays approach, separate holidays are celebrated (not everyone celebrates Christmas, you may be surprised to know).
This season, let’s celebrate our differences instead of putting each other down because of them. As an American, we are a people of different backgrounds seeking freedoms. As a college campus, we are all different walks of life coming together on a singular campus to seek knowledge.
If we concentrated on the things that bond us before we focus on the things that set us apart, we might be able to appreciate each other for a lot more.
“I challenge you to be kind, and to seek things about others that are similar to you. Judging someone solely on differences will surely alienate you instead of endear others to you.”
What a difference that might make in so many lives.