We live in a day and age where racist images, views, stereotypes and blatant injustices are constantly reoccurring.
It seems every week in the news there are new indications of how far we have not come when it comes to race relations in The United States.
Just last week the Collegian unknowingly – out of ignorance, not direct disrespect – ran a racist comic strip. Later in the week Columbia University also made headlines when a noose was hung from a professor’s door.
Racism is not dead! It is alive, well and breathing and gaining more strength daily. As the author of the poem, Black Gorilla, I believe we, as minorities, are headed toward the civil rights movement of our time. There is only so much people can stand by and take. The time for action is now!
Why is it that minorities, still live in a society where they are feared? It is said that you fear what you do not understand, and it is very apparent that the dominant white society does not understand minorities within the United States.
How could they? They live in a world where they don’t have to.
They can live their entire lives safely tucked away in the suburbs and small towns of America without ever coming in contact with persons of color. This causes problems and allows racism to occur out of ignorance.
Make no mistake. There are numerous individuals who are completely knowledgeable of many different cultures, but for those who are not, education should become a means for information.
Unfortunately, as many of us already know, the required curriculum is inadequate when it comes to culturing the uncultured.
So who should we rely on to handle the racism problem and to educate the uncultured of America? The time is upon us as human beings to take things upon ourselves. We cannot entrust the future of our lives to those who don’t even realize that our lives are threatened.
That is why members of the CSU community and I are going to try and make it a requirement for everyone to take six to nine credits of ethnic studies and culture awareness courses. I am proposing this so events like the printing of last week’s comic in the Collegian will be less likely to take place.
In the end, I would like to see things change for the better, not only now but for the future as well. This is why it is important the curriculum be changed – so that when future generations of CSU students arrive, they don’t make the same mistakes.
Everything has a beginning, and hopefully this will lead to something better for all of us.
Isaiah Kelley is a freshman performing arts major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.