Racial ignorance hurts students, adults nationwide

By Pranathi Chitta
Staff Writer

Recently, I went to a Business Professionals of America (BPA) competition and I was quite surprised during the awards ceremony. When I was called onto the stage, the announcer failed to correctly pronounce my last name. She soon asked me to correct her and tell her how to pronounce it, which made me feel better, and she made an effort to pronounce my name properly.

It was not just my name which was mispronounced; this occurred to other Indian people from our school. I wish that people would take their time and go out of their comfort zone to learn something that does not pertain to them.

School is a significant example of racial injustice. Many students judge others right when they look at them, without even talking to them. Students stereotype and let other opinions cloud their judgment.

There are many cliques in high school, and students refuse to go out of their circle to befriend others due to their own judgements. I have seen many circumstances in which people I know have been judged for what they wear, what they eat or how they dress. I do not expect everyone to understand different races and cultures, but I do expect them to respect the differences.

According to Business Day Live, a group of students from the University of Johannesburg were arrested claiming that a member from the university’s protection services was being racist and said an inappropriate word. There has to be another reason to why the students got arrested, and not just because of student activism. However, the university is still investigating for the truth and then take action. The students should have every right to speak up and voice their opinions when they are not satisfied.

Specifically in Texas, the Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas, Jerry Patterson spoke out about judging, specifically, Hispanic immigrants who live here saying, “…all you are doing is slamming immigrants whether they are legal or illegal, who primarily are Hispanic, then they only hear part of the story.”

Patterson often hits this point in many of his debates and interviews, trying to get the point across and not judge.

There are many judgments and insults about other races, but that does not mean they have to be used. Many people are racist, just to make them feel better about themselves, with no justification. Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”

The announcer at the BPA competition did make an effort to properly pronounce the names of the participants and even though she still did not succeed, she made no disappointment when she proudly smiled at all the winners for the accomplishment.