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The Blue & Gray Press | April 19, 2018

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Racism Rears Its Ugly Head

By SHANITA MITCHELL

If you thought that overt racism was a concept from the past, then recent events at Michigan State University would prove you wrong. Detroit News reported that not only were several racial slurs written on minority students’ dry erase boards and dorm walls but in the university science lab, there was a black doll symbolically hanged for the entire world to see.

In response to the incidents, the University moved several students across campus who felt that they were being deliberately targeted. The University is not aware of the identity of the culprit for these offensive acts but there can be one sure conclusion drawn. They are cowards.

One might think that if someone were audacious enough to make such a declarative statement, they would want to take full credit. The nature of a racist is always to be a coward. The nature of the racist is always to offend without having to defend themselves logically. The nature of a racist is to conveniently fashion rationale for something beyond the rational. That is why they cower in the shadows with their dry erase markers and lynched black barber dolls waiting to catch the world unaware.

But are we truly unaware? I certainly am not. As a minority, there is nothing shocking about the reality that our world still has racism. Neither is it shocking that such an event would happen on a college campus. This is the reality that I am confronted with weekly, if not daily.

There is such a thing as an educated moron and college is a breeding ground for them.

There are times when I wish that I could just passively ignore stories and events like this; times I wish that I could read and say that is just one unfortunate incident. Unfortunately, there is no convenient veil of indifference that I can hide behind. It has happened, is happening, and will happen repeatedly.

When I try to hide, that’s when they bring it right into my dorm and write it on my door. While I certainly agree that the safest and most comfortable route is simply to move the students out of the space, the culprits are still not punished. In fact, having the minority students removed would seem more like a reward for their disrespectful acts.

This recent story is just a powerful reminder of the presence of a thing that is sometimes easy to dismiss but ultimately impossible to ignore. Racism is there in the overt and the covert. It lives. It hasn’t died and may never die as long as humanity lives. I agree this is a sad fact. Fact because it’s true and if you think it isn’t, then you need to check your reality.

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