Racism is still prevalent in the United States (U.S.). It reared its ugly head Sunday afternoon when a video of members of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon from the University of Oklahoma charter were caught on video spewing racial comments. The video was leaked to OU Unheard, a black student group located on campus.
The disturbing comments alluded to lynching, and stated that blacks would not be allowed into the fraternity. Ironically, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon creed is “True Gentlemen”. That creed was not demonstrated by the behavior of these young men.
While the chapter at the University of Oklahoma has been disbanded, the members of the fraternity have been suspended, and the university reacted immediately and appropriately, the fact that racism is still so prevalent in the U.S. is disturbing.
Actor Will Smith used the word “responsibility” in reference to racism in an interview in February. Responsibility is the keyword when it comes to the issue of racism in America. The words fault and justification are often applied but they are excuses. Each individual on the planet has a responsibility to make racism extinct.
Racism has been prevalent in the U.S. since the first African was brought over as a slave. There have been many steps forward to equal rights for blacks; however, there has been no shortage of racism past and present.
Of course, racism does not solely affect blacks in America, but the trend of racism towards blacks is growing, not declining. It is an ugly fact that just cannot be justified. Human is human, no matter what their race is, what language they speak, or what religion they practice. Each human being has the right to be treated fairly and with dignity.
One might wonder who is responsible for racism. The answer would be as easy as them looking deep within themselves. Most people may not think that they are racist, but almost everyone who is honest with themselves would admit that they have had a racist thought, said a racist comment or profiled another person based on their race.
Every American has the responsibility to help eliminate racism in their homes, workplaces and lives. Every parent has the responsibility to teach their children to be tolerant of others, to love their peers, not only despite their differences, but because of them. Every teacher has the responsibility to teach open-mindedness. Every law enforcement official has the responsibility to practice tolerance and fairness.
America is known as the melting pot of the world. Tolerance should be ingrained in every person who lives in the world’s greatest country, yet it just is not. Racism is a plague in the U.S. that needs to be obliterated.
There is no good reason for racism to still be so prevalent in this country. That is not to say that every person should not be responsible for their actions. It just means that it should be the actions of a person that are addressed, and they should not be judged by their race. The unacceptable behavior that occurred with the University of Oklahoma students is just one example of the prevalence of racism in America.
Opinion By Jennifer Barclay
Photo by RWDownes Flickr License