Embrace: don’t hate

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Srishti Sinha, Columnist

I wasn’t there when it happened, but I came across Facebook post that struck me, and all it took were the words “Read this” ensued by a story that incited rage and a moment to question my surroundings. The post referred to a racial slur chalked in front of our new fountain, Aspiration.

The incident was reiterated in all of my classes and by all of my friends and I couldn’t help but wonder who on our campus would ever think of writing such a thing. I have struggled with diversity issues as an Indian studying abroad in the United States, but never have I observed such audacity paired with ignorance and a lack of a heart.

There was speculation in one of my classes with regards to the race of the person who wrote this word. In one of my classes, right before the words could come out of my own mouth, one of my colleagues said, “I know that it wasn’t a person of color who wrote that because of the spelling. See, ‘nigga’ is a term of endearment unlike ‘nigger’…which is a derogatory term”.

He could not have structured my thoughts more eloquently. Regardless of who was culpable, the pettiness of such an act is incomprehensible to me. There is enough hatred in this world already and I was embarrassed to discover that I was immersed in an environment that appeared to have a horse tack on.  What happened to fairness and equality? As much as I would encourage you to think about the impacts that it has on our IWU community, I would question where you stand as a global respectable citizen on this earth where 7 billion people experienced this day a different way.

I can only hope that there will never ever be such an occurrence at our school because I see the good that people can show. I do so confidently having encountered thousands of people of different ages and backgrounds as a world traveler; I do so because it’s easier to embrace diversity than it is to curse it. The negativity requires so much energy, while getting to know one another is synonymous with learning.

Lowering your head as your professor speaks of injustice is not enough of a sign that you crave change. Diversity goes hand in hand with being able to understand the difference in race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and socioeconomic status.

Whether you’re white, black, brown, red – whatever color, you have a right to your integrity, a right to your dignity and a right to be respected on this campus and everywhere you go.