Race should not be a barrier

Race should not be a barrier

Alec Santaularia, web editor

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.

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