The disease of racism


When most people think of racism, they think black and white.  However, the boundaries of racism extend much further than those solid colors. While many would love to support the notion that racism is dead, this is not the case. Modern day bigots are usually frowned upon due to our societal standards and eclectic cultural climate, therefore, those who spread hate tend to do so in a manner that will not deem their acts as “unconstitutional.”

One way in which hate is spread is through tradition. The discrimination disease is one that is passed down through each generation and embeds itself within the mentality of the sick. The disease does not have to be passed through verbal resentment. It can be spread through subtleties, such as disassociating oneself from particular races.

Segregation is among the worst kinds of discrimination because those who were initially free subconsciously become introduced to the virus. The side effects do not seem prevalent, yet after infected, one begins to justify the separation and view it as natural behavior.

There is a subconscious spirit of segregation here in Tallahassee in where the color lines are literally drawn by railroad tracks. As one stands downtown – which is known as Florida State University’s side – and says “the other side of the tracks,” it is a reference to Florida A&M.

As homecoming neared, many FSU students prepared their vacation so that it would coincide with escaping Tallahassee for “urban week.”

“I know a lot of people jumping at the chance to leave during FAMU’s homecoming,” said Ariadna Castillo, an  engineering student at FSU. “It’s not so much about racism. I’ve just heard my friends complain about getting ‘hit on’ a little more than they would like.”

Racism is not confined to regular situations. Just look at the disparity in the number of whites and minorities behind bars. Yes, criminals should be punished, but at what cost? Although minorities make up 33 percent of the U.S. population, more than 60 percent of those incarcerated are minorities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Constitutional rights are continually denied as minority children are funneled out of public schools and into juvenile and criminal justice systems. In many cases, children are penalized for minor school infractions such as dress code violations. This type of injustice may not strike one as racist, but it does force one to re-evaluate the policies of judges and law enforment officials.

It is imperative to remain impartial. We do not live in the colonial era. Times are changing. Apartheid has ended. Vagrancy laws are not in effect. Jim Crow is history. American slavery is dead, but racism is still alive, and the discrimination disease continues to infect too many minds.