So earlier today my first article came out in my student newspaper The Houghton Star. I’ve received a fair amount of negative backlash but I still think it’s important.
Firstly, I want to make it known that I realize that I personally do not have to deal with thinking about my race constantly. In America, whiteness is viewed as the default. Since I’m white, I don’t have to deal with any sort of discrimination or racism. Therefore, I may not be the best authority in this matter, but I have the opportunity to present the problems inherent in the phrase “reverse racism.”
Let me be blunt: reverse racism does not exist. It may help to begin by defining what racism is. When a race has the position of power over minority races and, purposefully or not, uses this power in a way that negatively affects these minorities — that is racism. When anything is said or done that affects a minority race as a whole negatively — that is racism. Racism is negative comments that further negative and harmful stereotypes about minorities. Racism is refusing to hire someone because of their race. Racism is the high incarceration rates and low graduation rates among people of color. Sometimes, sadly, racism is violence and hate crimes.
These things are undeniable examples of racism, but comments, such as “white people can’t dance” aren’t racist . Hating someone because they are white is not racism. These things are better understood as “racial prejudice.” Racial prejudice exists purely on an individual level, unlike racism, which also operates on institutional and cultural levels. While saying “white people don’t like spicy food” might hurt an individual’s feelings, it can’t really do any cultural or institutional harm. There is no power behind statements like that.
Neither racism nor racial prejudice is acceptable. As Christians, we are called to love one another and embrace our unity in Christ. This is why the apostle Paul wrote that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) We should therefore criticize any kind of prejudice that is grounded in race. While on this earth, it is perfectly great for people to celebrate their racial background — however, in Christ we are the same.
White Americans must realize that we do not face racism on an institutional scale. Perhaps we occasionally face racial prejudice or insensitive jokes, but our racial background does not seriously limit our opportunities for success or impair our lives in any meaningful way. The problem with calling out “reverse racism” is that it silences and devalues those who face true racism. So please, don’t buy into the myth of “reverse racism” when what you’re actually speaking about is racial prejudice.
If you want to read it on the official site or leave a comment you can go to the online Houghton Star.
This is extremely misleading and it saddens me that the original poster was so misinformed or had the intent to purposefully twist the numbers and day.
Nov. 13th, Paris – 129
Nov. 13th, Japan – Does not seem to have any casualties.
Nov. 12th, Beirut – 43
Nov. 13th, Baghdad – 26
Oct. 23rd, Mexico – 6 (I’m not 100% sure on what this post is trying to refer to with Mexico so I did some digging.)
The last hashtag is a completely different matter. Lebanon is the country of which Beirut is the capital of. So yes we should pray for Lebanon, but it almost seems like the original poster was trying to make more incidents than there were?
Anyways these numbers do not equal anywhere close to 115,200. I feel like it’s a sad thing when numbers get twisted and messed with because it belittles the mourning that have truthfully been taken.
That being said, warn your friends who have been sharing this around. This is why fact checking is important.
So my college has recently implemented a new training on what to do if you see someone being harassed or if you yourself are being harassed. Because it was new it was up to my college’s newspaper (The Houghton Star) to get the college’s view on it. However when my friend brought me the newspaper on Friday afternoon I was pissed.
To me this was so offensive because does it matter? Does it matter if it’s 1 or 100? In addition some of these people who said these comments knew people on campus who had been sexually harassed or assaulted at the college. The other comments on here (some of them) I was also super pissed about…so I decided to write a letter to the editor.
While maybe this is not what a letter to the editor is usually about, I still wanted to address those on the Word on the Street section who disagreed with the sexual assault survey.
To those who found it annoying or thought that it came at the wrong time: I understand. I agree that the timing was poorly placed. I won’t lie, when I saw it I knew that the training would be viewed as another stressor. But I’ll also tell the hard truth, as someone who has dealt with sexual assault both on and off campus – I was ecstatic.
Was it annoying? I’m sure. Was it something to make the campus safer? Yessir. Would I take making the campus safer of not having something that I viewed as annoying? Most definitely.
To those who find that this training won’t change anything: I need you to hear that sometimes it’s not just a matter of the heart. Sometimes it’s a lack of education on the topic. I know of several instances that could have been prevented if only the perpetrator was more educated. So maybe this wasn’t the best implementation of educating Houghton, but people do need to be educated.
To those who questioned its usefulness: was it as effective as it should be? No. But it was a step in the right direction. I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you don’t hear about what goes on within the Houghton Bubble. I hear about a lot of stories, but maybe you’ve heard of none to one. However if you’ve heard of just one, that shouldn’t matter. Whether it’s one instance or ten, shouldn’t we be doing something to stop and prevent it? As someone who has dealt with sexual assault at the college I feel like asking if the campus needed to be educated devalued any singular instance. Does it need to be a multitude? Isn’t one instance enough? Shouldn’t we stop and prevent it before that happens?
Houghton is safer than most campuses – but it is not safe. No matter what there’s always room for improvement so I commend Houghton for taking a step in the right direction.
Bethany Schoonover ‘18
Since writing this I’ve had several girls come up to me and thank me for being so brave and also because they’ve been harassed themselves on campus.
If you want to see the online version of my campus’ paper just click on this link.