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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Race tensions just a bit out of control

America needs to chill the f*ck out. Not everything can have racist undertones. Yes, horrible crimes have been committed against black people recently. But we somehow got so far down the racism tunnel that we lost track of the light on the other side and everything is in utter pandemonium now.

In a Blue Sky Kick-Off panel discussion among graduates of Ithaca College, a young black woman commented that she had a “savage hunger” for success and that this was what had gotten her to where she was. A few minutes later, one of the other people on the panel referred to her as a “savage.”

He merely repeated what she had already said about herself. It was blatantly clear that he had absolutely zero racial implications with that comment, even taking a moment to tell her that it was a compliment and he was impressed with her accomplishments. He literally just reiterated what she called herself and now he is somehow being called a racist.

Not only that, but students at the college then used this video to proclaim that the entirety of Ithaca College is racist and they are demanding the resignation of the school’s president. The two other events that students are claiming warrant the resignation of the president were a campus cop warning students in a public safety training session against carrying BB guns, and a fraternity that is entirely unaffiliated with the university theming a party “preps and crooks.” In the former situation, one officer allegedly commented that if he saw someone threatening someone else with a BB gun, he would shoot them.

This alleged comment was then somehow construed as a direct attack on Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was tragically shot in 2014 and thus as a direct attack on all black people.

Regardless of race, you treat people with respect if you want to be respected. It’s a concept we all learned in kindergarten and it is bizarre that society is suddenly encouraging young black people to flout this “golden rule.”

This has simply gone too far. The junior class president of Claremont McKenna College was forced to resign after there was an uproar due to a photo she posted on Halloween of her with two friends wearing sombreros, fake mustaches and ponchos.

Yale students are starting to refuse to call the heads of the individual colleges on campus “masters,” as they have decided this title references slavery (despite the fact that it 100 percent does not).

Students from Mizzou were tweeting and complaining that the terrorist attacks in Paris were wrongfully taking attention away from the situation at Mizzou, saying things such as “now people are desensitizing #blacklivesmatter & #mizzou for what’s happening in Paris, have you no common decency?”

No common decency? Over a hundred people were brutally executed across Paris on Friday and someone has the audacity to say that there shouldn’t be news coverage and national sympathy for this? No one has “desensitized” the situation at Mizzou; people are merely responding empathetically to the unfathomable mass murders of tons of innocent people—is that an “indecent” thing to do?

The plethora of recent police brutality incidents across the country were rightfully protested, but those horrific situations need to be separated from these non-existent, over-dramatized little events that are happening at schools. Humans aren’t perfect; we say and do things we shouldn’t all the time. But you have to take intentions into consideration.

When a cop attacks and chokes a black man to death on the street for selling cigarettes, there is clearly malicious intent behind that act. But these university happenings are getting ridiculously blown out of proportion and all that is resulting is heightened tensions on both “sides.”

We have work to do before we can say there are truly equal rights in this country. But this work is not going to be accomplished by disrespect, over-dramatization and unreasonable, immature attacks on the wrong people. Let’s take a step back, reevaluate what we are fighting for and unify for that cause rather than claiming disrespect is somehow a necessary and just way for people to handle the situation.

Follow Talya Jaffe on Twitter.

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