I always knew that my race would have a profound effect on how other people saw me. However, I never thought it would be justification for someone to call me a “spick,” which occurred to me while I was on a family vacation in Florida this past summer. Now, I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming, as I look pretty Latino. But at the same time, it astounded me that someone would be so quick to stereotype me based on my race.
Before the Florida incident, I had never really given a thought to racial stereotyping or the effect it had on me. But we attend a predominantly white school, and although there is nothing wrong with this, it has certainly led to racial divides between the students at our school.
Think about it: what race are the people you hang out with in the morning? What about the people with whom you eat lunch? Although this is not always the case, they’re likely the same race as you, aren’t you? Now I’m not saying we’re strictly segregated, for lack of a better word. I’m simply saying that we, as a society, have a tendency to associate with people who are the same race as us.
Yet this is where the issue originates. My question is simple: why? Why are we so willing to “segregate” ourselves when we were raised knowing it was wrong? What do we accomplish by doing so? What is the point of creating these unnecessary, and oftentimes unintentional racial divides?
There is nothing wrong with associating with people of a different race. We don’t live in the Deep South in the 1950s. But while you may think racial divides don’t exist anymore, they do. Although natural barriers still occur in our society today, it’s important to make a conscious effort to expand our social groups.
On the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 4, the boys and girls cross country teams hosted the annual Cat Classic meet, held at Shawnee Mission Park.
The boys team came in second in the 5K race to Shawnee Mission North. Senior Chris Gillespie led the team, finishing thirteenth with a time of 16:49.90. Boys head coach Mark Chipman was satisfied with second place.
”Shawnee Mission North has a good team, so finishing second to them is still a good finish for us,” Chipman said.
Freshman Ellie Wilson, who finished second, led the girls team in the 4K race with a time of 15:22.23. As a team, the girls came in third, trailing behind Olathe Northwest and Paola. Freshman Amber Akin said the team camaraderie led to their success.
“The girls team success is constantly improving,” said Akin. “Everybody continually pushes each other during practices, and it showed last meet when we placed third as a team.”
Both teams run again on Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Kaw Valley League meet, with the first race beginning at 4 p.m.
As the 2012 presidential election draws closer, candidates for the position have begun refining their platforms in order to gain the needed votes.
President Barack Obama will be running for the Democratic party and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be running for the Republican party.
Various ABC News reports say that Obama plans on continuing work started in his first term, improving the immigration policy and returning all troops home from Afghanistan. He also wishes to lower rates on student loans, a plan Romney agrees with.
According to his website, Romney plans to “rebuild foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work and innovation…increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility” if elected. Additionally, he plans to spend less than 20 percent of the gross domestic product, repeal Obamacare to save $95 billion and decrease the amount of money for foreign aid to save $100 million.
Coinciding with these financial ideas, junior Cole Clay is most concerned about the candidates’ fiscal policies.
“It will matter what they do about the debt more than anything else,” Clay said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Romney has spent $5 million on his campaign, while Obama has spent $20 million on his.
Romney was previously running against Republican Newt Gingrich, who recently called off his campaign to support Romney, knowing he would receive the nomination.
“I think you have to at some point be honest with what’s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you’d like to have happened,” Gingrich said in an article in the New York Times.
In mid-April, Republican Rick Santorum announced that he would no longer be running for office. According to McClatchy Newspapers, he did so knowing there was the possibility of losing the primary for his home state of Pennsylvania he had represented in Congress for 16 years. However, Santorum remains firm in his resolve to bring down Obama’s plans.
“This game is a long, long, long way from over,” Santorum said in McClatchy Newspapers when he announced the end of his campaign. “We are going to continue to…make sure that we defeat President Barack Obama.”
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is currently running for the Republicans as well. Paul hopes to lower U.S. spending by $1 trillion in his first year, get rid of the Transportation Security Administration, repeal Obamacare and make various tax cuts, according to his website. In his campaign speeches, he has promised to be a strict constitutionalist.
“I have personal beliefs,” Paul said in the New York Times. “I believe that individuals should have the right to their life, the right to their liberty and also the right to keep what they earn. Fortunately for me, the Constitution and my personal beliefs come together. Because the oath of office doesn’t say, ‘Well, I’m going to Washington and I’m going to fulfill my personal beliefs.’ It says that we go to office and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
However, when compared to Romney, Paul has had little success in winning votes.
Behavior that some might characterize as mudslinging has also begun between the candidates and their supporters. One such incident occurred when supporters of Obama stated beliefs that Romney would not have made the same decision as Obama to kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which was met with frustration by Romney.
“It’s totally inappropriate for the president to express to the American people the view that he has that he had an important role in taking out Osama bin Laden,” Romney said in an article in the Los Angeles Times. “I think politicizing it and trying to draw distinction between himself and myself was an innappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together…had I been President I would have made the same decision.”
The candidates can only hope that comments such as these do not cost them supporters. All they can do is continue spreading their message and wait until November finally arrives and the next President is elected.
Usually, I write a little about my own city experiences. This week, however, I think I will refer readers to coverage on the race for the mayor position. With the primary election for mayor coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 28, it is more important than ever to have an understanding of the candidates. The Shawnee Dispatch has covered the race in-depth this week.
The Dispatch wrote an overall story about the candidates.
The Dispatch also asked Jenkins reader generated questions on Thursday, Feb. 16. Readers can still submit questions for Segale, who will be interviewed tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 17 from 3:30-4 p.m. and for Meyers who will be interviewed on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 11:30 a.m.-noon.
I hope that readers will take some time to submit questions for the candidates. Any community involvement is good involvement. In the next issue of the JagWire, more election coverage will be published. I am excited that our publication will feature even more election information for students and the community in upcoming weeks. Next week, I will also be posting more of my own coverage of the election. This week though, I encourage the community to submit questions for upcoming interviews from the Dispatch.
Racing cars since 2005, junior Alex Owen turned a hobby into his passion. After spending an afternoon at Sadlers Indoor Racing in Olathe, Owen was hooked.
“[It’s] what I think I was born for, to be behind a race car and racing,” Owen said.
Owen spends about 30-40 hours per week during the March-October racing season.
“I put pretty much everything I can into racing,” Owen said. “I come home everyday from school and I do my homework and then come out to the garage to work on my car, get it ready for the weekend.”
Owen first began racing in a go-kart, but last year he decided to transition to a sprint car, which has a large motor and races on dirt tracks.
“I like racing because you can get away from things and just be by myself and do what I love to do and just enjoy the rush I get from the race,” Owen said.
Owen began driving his sprint car in 2010 and won his first race in October of 2011.
“When I first started, I had the jitters, but now I just kinda get butterflies,” Owen said. “It comes to me easily now that I have more experience.”
After high school and college, Owen hopes to continue racing cars.
“I want to make a career out of it. But my dad is putting all the money away for college, so I might wait until after college and see what happens,” Owen said.
Owen realizes the risks of racing, but that just adds to his excitement.
“You’re just going fast and you’re pushing the car to the limits and you’re pushing yourself to your limits. And any second you could crash and be seriously hurt,” Owen said. ” I just like being on that edge.”