| 03.19.2018

Racism is on the rise


Recent cases reveal the prevalence of racism

On Aug. 9, in Ferguson, Missouri, Darren Wilson, a Caucasian police officer, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, an African American man, after a physical dispute. There is also the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who was choked to death by a white police officer. The Garner case has caught the attention of many and even spurred protests throughout New York City. Both the Brown and Garner cases have blown up around the country and everyone seems to have different opinions on what occurred that day. 

Jessy Forsmo-Shadid

Jessy Forsmo-Shadid

When it comes to choosing which story to believe, there are those who bring up evidence and what it points to. Others say there isn’t enough evidence to say much of anything. Some people chose to believe that fault for the Ferguson case lies strictly with Brown or Wilson. There are also people who don’t quite know what’s going on and choose to not have anything to do with conversations about these cases.

One side of this situation that people haven’t paid as much attention to is how racism has become more prevalent.

Honestly, racism never went away to begin with. Many people claim America isn’t as racist because Barack Obama, our first black president, sits in office. However, nothing has fully changed. Racism has simply put on a different face over the years.

Everyone has read the history books that contain pictures of local stores and public bathrooms that say “White Only” or “Colored Only”. Luckily, the thought of putting such a sign above any door is ludicrous in modern times. Our country no longer completely accepts the concept of segregation with paper signs and poster boards. We have other tools to help with that.

Since the Ferguson case, the Garner case and the case of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American male who was shot and killed by a Hispanic neighborhood watchman, more remarks about race have come to light.

All of these tragic cases in the news have made our country think more about race. People are still afraid to directly own up to their own personal racism, though. Instead, people tend to use social media as a tool to let out their inner, subconscious racism.

Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are some of the sites people use to vent about how disgusting a certain race is. Fade and Yik Yak, apps geared specifically toward college students, have also had some racist subjects posted.

This serves to remind the public that yes, indeed there are racists among us.

The things people decide to say behind their keyboards and cell phones are astounding. Some of the posts on these sites and apps have compared African Americans to animals. For example, there has been a picture of a Caucasian hand shaking a gorilla’s hand with a caption saying, “Stop Racism” posted on Fade.

Yik Yak users have also posted racist comments. Some comments vary from calling someone a “mudshark” to going completely old school on their racism and stating how much all black people love fried chicken.

Our country is having a hard time. Many racially charged situations have happened recently in which people have lost their lives. Instead of pointing out each other’s pigmentation, how about we start to think of a solution where we see each other as people and not just as our skin color.

Jessy Forsmo-Shadid can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu 

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