Racism on campus disappointing
November 13, 2006 —
I did not know that racism was a problem at SVSU. Call me naive and you would be right. I honestly did not think that people could be so blatantly prejudice in our ever-expanding world. America has become more diverse than ever, and I assumed that people were aware of and accepting of this fact. However, the other day I witnessed such obvious racism that it truly shook my belief in many things I believed were facts of the past.
I covered the "Battle of the Valleys'" Cardinal Idol competition for the Vanguard. While I was there, I observed a disappointing series of events. For those of you who do not know, the event was held in the Cardinal Cage, where there are two big screen TVs and a small stage. The singing competition was held on the stage and the TV situated closest to it was turned off in anticipation of the event. The other TV was at the opposite end of the room but was still easily heard throughout the area. A group of students sat watching the screen before and during the singing competition.
At first it was only slightly annoying that the sound from the television was distracting from the vocals of those on the stage. As the competition continued, students began to wonder if there was a pattern to the seemingly random volume changes from the TV. The students surrounding this television were all black, and I noticed that whenever there was a black performer on stage, the sound would be immediately lowered on the TV. However, when there was a white performer on stage, the sound coming from the television increased. I immediately dismissed this trend as purely coincidental. That is, until the girl beside me decided to take action.
She had had enough of the sound interfering with the vocal competition. I will admit that this girl was quite bold but in no way rude or demanding. She walked over to the group situated around the screen and asked them to please turn the TV down as many others were attempting to listen to the school sponsored event. The reply she received was appalling:
"Not for a white girl like you I won't."
The girl giving this reply was black and certainly not joking around. Furious and insulted, the other girl returned to her seat. Why is it, she asked me, that racism towards black people is wrong, but some black students are allowed to get away with comments like that? I do not know the answer, so this column is my reply.
Racism towards any person has no place in society, let alone on a college campus. College is a time when young adults are attempting to not only expand their minds and prepare for a career but to also find their identity and place in society. Many students choose SVSU as it is a safe and welcoming place for students to do just that. However, attitudes of racism and prejudice severely deter students' comfort and freedom on campus. Racism does not belong at a student function, on campus, or in a society composed of many cultures.