Pride and Prejudice and Racism

By: Nick DePietro

There are actually college students who believe they need “safe zones” where they can be “sheltered” from the ideas of people who don’t agree with them.


These are the same college students who are paying, or not paying,  to have their ideas challenged and their minds stimulated by venturing outside of their comfort zones. Many colleges now require students to get approval for speakers and for teachers to be respectful of feelings or face possible expulsion when exercising freedom of speech.  This is both outrageous and morally reprehensible, if not illegal. Somewhere along the line, today’s generation seems to have forgotten the first amendment–how else can one explain this Pew release?


It appears that the Left loves the first amendment…As long as you agree with them and they are expressing their discontent with Republicans.


If you disagree, it’s more often than not labeled racist, homophobic, sexist, or any other hate speech they can come up with. Surely, it can’t be just a difference of opinion.


Keep in mind the first Amendment is the very amendment that empowered Martin Luther King Jr to be the most influential civil rights leader of our time — and the left should note — his opinion was not the most popular one when he chose to speak out.


King’s dream that “one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood,” did not suggest blacks and whites should separate themselves to reflect. They should be together, hold hands, talk, sing, live, and, perhaps boldly, disagree.


Unfortunately, today’s youth have become accustomed to racial tensions fueled by the media’s agenda which has spiraled even further out of control over the past several years. The second there is a white-on-black conflict, media pundits collectively lick their lips and prepare for the feast of headlines they are about to create. Black-on-white conflict takes a distant back seat, and black-on-black conflict is virtually swept under the rug completely.


However, thanks to modern science, the enlightenment, and a few fearless leaders in America, racism is virtually nonexistent.


“Blasphemy!” you say.


Hear me out though. Racism is the belief in a superior race based on innate qualities that have no scientific backing. Surely in the 21st century, the vast majority of people understand that the homo-sapien has no subspecies, and race is largely a social construct.


Prejudice, however, occurs every year, every day, every second. Prejudice is your own personal bias and is consistently confused for racism.  Other times, words like ‘microaggression’ are used to describe events that just make people feel offended — people went out of there way to invent a new word for when people are rude to them because they are unable to believe that rudeness can result from anything other than racism or prejudice. If you deny that prejudice is the cause, they will tell you that implicit bias prevents you from understanding. After all, you are not part of that group, so how could you know?


Now unless one is illegally discriminated against, whether in a store, workplace, school, etc, the growing racial tension in modern America is not a problem of racism like most people are led to believe, but the omnipresent alternative: prejudice.


Before jumping to erroneous conclusions about racism, remember, science once “proved” Africans were the missing link between humans and monkeys. Science evolves, prejudice evolves, and racism is, thankfully, going extinct. If you don’t believe me, ask Will Smith.


Prejudice today is a societal problem. For this, we look towards our leaders. We reflect on our congressmen and women and the policies they put forth. We look at the president and his cabinet, and the administration’s actions towards other countries as well as to our fellow citizens. We must reflect on our courts and weigh the justices and injustices of their decisions. And lastly, we must reflect upon ourselves and our character, as MLK wisely advised.


We must end the constant cries of “wolf!” before the legitimate cries of prejudice fall on deaf ears or the prejudice itself is embraced. Maybe the best place to find answers to the origins of one’s prejudice is not in your “safe zone,” but within your heart and during an uncomfortable conversation with those that disagree. Maybe the best way to solve the problems of prejudice begins with a challenging discussion with yourself, your peers, and your enemies. And, if you cannot find the means to agree during your talks — when all else fails, let your actions prove the bias wrong.


All are prejudicial — but all can overcome it too.


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