“Five years prior to today there was media coverage of at least 15 black face parties, 24 neo KKK incidents, and over 200 racist emails or graffiti acts at American Universities,” said Nathan Sorber, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at West Virginia University.
On April 4, Tim Wise, an anti-racist activist and writer, came to West Virginia University to talk about racism. He brought up the fact that it was not that long ago when African Americans were fighting for equal rights.
We tend to tell people of color that they need to get over the history but we should be learning from our past and not running from it. White people do not and cannot understand fully the history of what African Americans went through. With Donald Trump making the statement “Make America Great Again,” we forget that America was not great for all people.
“Some folks tell you they want their country back; back is a historical reference,” said Wise. “…They have hats that say ‘Make America Great Again,’ because the assumption is that its not great now…like 1958 great, and for anyone who wasn’t white, anyone who wasn’t straight, anyone who wasn’t Christian, (America) wasn’t such a hot-ass place to live.”
Racism happens everyday and everywhere. Those of color face some challenges that whites do not, and that is wrong.
It is up to those that are able to be educated to educate others that we need to become one in order for this country to truly become great again. West Virginia University wants to change the identity of not just the people but the campus. We may be diverse but we still lack equity and inclusion.
During the question and answer session at the end of the lecture a female engineer stood up to question how to feel more included. I remember this lady because she seemed like a strong individual. We need to fix the problem with color in some cases.
“How do you talk to old white guys like me about my racism? I’m a racist,” said an older white male during the lecture.
An extreme example, but one that I think needs to be talked about. There are still some people who feel this way, and these are the people that we need to target and educate.
We need to change.