Opinion: Rejecting hatred is not difficult

Maddie Newingham

We cannot be silent to oppression and discrimination.

I am saddened to start the year off sharing a column so sullen, but I feel that it’s necessary. 

Standing on the right side of history will always and forever be the side of justice and equality. There is undoubtedly a moral high ground in the pursuit of racial justice.

What we saw in Charlottesville — the Nazis and white supremacists, the alt-right, the All Lives Matter or White Lives Matter — is a return to separate-but-equal without the nominative.

As a university, we must focus on our campus climate to ensure inclusion at our home.

We must reject the hate that stems from fear. We must denounce those who cannot unequivocally disavow hatred in any form. We must stand with our diverse community to get through these times.

We cannot erase the struggle hundreds of thousands of people went though barely half a century ago. To suggest a movement proclaiming black lives are important is unworthy or invalid, undermines the brutal violence we have yet to talk about as a nation.

Black Lives Matter says, “Hey, black people are dying in the streets at the hands of those under oath to protect us at disproportionate numbers. We should stop doing that.”

White Lives Matter or All Lives Matter are not the same because they are claiming that white people are facing ethnic cleansing. White Lives Matter says, “Hey, I am a racist, and I do not like black people.”

You simply cannot equate a group being prejudiced against with the group doing it, and I encourage our student body to re-evaluate its fears.

Diversity makes us stronger, smarter and bolder. I encourage our student body to move past our comfort zones and to stand with each other, rather than against.

We cannot afford the racial war to divide our community. Under Brown v. Board, the court affirmed, “Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn.”

We still have not seen this completely rolled out in our communities. Our courts ruled on racial injustice in 1954, and it seems as if we have made very nominal progress.

White supremacists are emboldened by a president who cannot denounce hatred and racial discrimination in its purest form, but they are also afraid of our progression.

Take the time to extend a hand and meet new people this year. If our president cannot encourage unity, then we must set the example.

Maddie Newingham is a columnist, contact him at [email protected]