Speak out, don’t tolerate racism

When the Daily Kent Stater ran two articles Friday discussing an emergency Black United Students meeting and the 13 complaints of police brutality filed with the Kent Police Department, many comments were posted on StaterOnline.com about the stories. Some of the comments discussed the Kent Police Department in general and what it’s like to live in College Towers.

But the worst comments revealed that racism is still around at Kent State, no matter how liberal and open-minded we may think Kent State (or society in general) is.

The comments were blatantly racist and demeaning toward black people. Stater editors chose to remove them from the site because they were so offensive. Some of the comments that remained on the site are published below in the “Your View” comment box.

The following are excerpts of comments that were posted anonymously and removed from StaterOnline.com:

“If Blacks don’t like Kent they can go back to the Jungles of Africa. We don’t need them. That’s the answer.”

“I used to live in College Towers and I can tell you that the Blacks were the biggest problem there … I believe in separation of the races. I am an advocate of bringing back segregation, like what existed in the South before the 1960’s. Then all races could live in peace in this country. Segregation would stop Black crime and protect White people and White neighborhoods. White people could live in peace then.”

“From my own experience I’ve found that Blacks in America are lazy, refuse to work, they have bad manners, they are rude, loud, crude, and many of them are criminals. Many are taking drugs. They are dirty and carry diseases like AIDS. They have no respect for others. Black men chase after Asian girls and treat them like dirt and abuse them. Blacks have no respect for other people and other cultures … I have come to the conclusion that I do not like Blacks and prefer not to live with them.”

We thought — perhaps naively — that we were beyond that.

This editorial board chose to publish the comments in this editorial because the issue cannot be understood without reading them. We are not publishing these views for shock value, but rather to give a bit of a wake-up call because too many of us think racism isn’t so blatant or that it is an insignificant issue. It is alive and well, even on such a supposedly open-minded college campus. We also hope you take these comments and speak out against them.

The issue of this editorial isn’t the party and whether the KPD was right or not. The comments are more alarming than anything the KPD may have done. The issue is that such blatant racism still exists.

We live in a society where you have a right to free speech, but people also have a moral responsibility. Those comments were immature and ignorant. Haven’t we, as a society, risen above such bigotry?

This editorial board feels that communication is key in order to make positive strides in racial equality. People’s perceptions and ignorance will stay the same if you do not work to educate those who believe in, promote or start such stereotypes. Speak out. Don’t tolerate it.

Educate yourself as well. Take the time to learn about another culture, another point of view. Anyone can take drugs. Anyone can be lazy. Anyone can be ignorant to other cultures. Stereotypes that spark racism need to change to better the lives of blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics — anyone.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.