Ignorance Towards Racism Most Certainly Not Bliss

By Loren Trapanese

Making headlines over the last week was the expulsion of two students who sang a “racist chant” during a fraternity party at the University of Oklahoma. Racism has been taken to a whole new level over the duration of the last few months. Young adults take a good chunk of the blame for this escalating racism issue.

It began with the incident in Ferguson, then Eric Garner, and now this—a menacing song directed at African-Americans. What’s next? And why is this okay?

Racism on college campuses is an issue that I do not believe students are capable of handling properly. Clearly demonstrated at Oklahoma University, the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, thought there was no harm in singing a song about lynching, “hang em’ from a tree,” directed toward African-Americans at their school.

They even went as far as declaring that there would be no African-Americans accepted into their fraternity. Some students gathered on campus and held protests expressing their outrage.

The fraternity was shut down after the first video was released. There were 70 members in the fraternity and disciplinary actions were taken. Students Parker Rice and Levi Pettit were the, “leaders” in the chant.

Some outsiders felt that the two students should not have been expelled because it was “freedom of speech.” However, academic freedom of speech under the first amendment is not considered protected. As in, universities do not acknowledge the first amendment because they establish their own rules and limitations. What happened at the University of Oklahoma is not tolerated, therefore, necessary action was taken.

While I understand and fully support freedom of speech, certain language is uncalled for. Especially when it involves ignorant people dishing it out and thinking that it is acceptable. The incident involving the two fraternity students is one that has silently been happening at campuses across the country. Students verbalize their views, thoughts, and opinions without having an in depth knowledge of what they’re talking about.

An ignorant person vocalizing ignorant thoughts is not the way to rectify this rising issue of racism. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, that’s an obvious statement. However, if you do not properly educate yourself on a matter, you’re not preaching accurate information.

I do not agree with what happened in Oklahoma, however, my views on Ferguson and the Eric Garner cases are different.

A majority of college students, the ones who led protests on these cases, seemed too focused on the racist factor without properly looking into details.

Today, everything turns into an issue of race. It is ridiculous. Racism is not strictly against African-Americans; it is also against white people too. We need to seriously leap over this “black and white” vision.

The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson spiraled into absolute mayhem. Immediately, it turned into a race issue. It became the catalyst for racism and has not slowed down. When you look at the facts and do legitimate research, you will learn something.

Seriously. Go on and research all that you can on Michael Brown and what caused his life to be taken.

Then, go and research Eric Garner. Absorb every bit of information that you can, without being biased. Ignore skin color because, it doesn’t matter.

The color of someone’s skin does not have anything to do with his or her actions. Why people think that it does is stupefying.

To be so quick to point a finger and say, “it’s because they’re white” or “it’s because they’re black,” or “hispanic,” sounds actually really stupid. Like, guys, you literally sound dumb.

Don’t be a person who insists that skin color is significant. It isn’t. We are all the same.

Racism hasn’t been this big of an issue for the longest time. Of course, it was always an issue, but not like it has been recently. Protests in the street damning the NYPD? Are you for real?

These are people who risk their lives for us every single day. I’m not saying every cop is a good cop with good intentions, but you cannot act malicious toward the NYPD as a whole.

College students in particular: Don’t expect to be respected if your speech is crude and one-sided. To be educated does not simply mean “to have attended school”—it goes beyond that.

Get involved, watch the news, and consistently want to obtain knowledge. Strive to be well-rounded. When you only listen to hearsay and then formulate your opinion, you’re doomed for stupidity.

Henry Rollins once said: “Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia, desperation, cruelty, brutality, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.”


Categories: Opinion

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