By: Jubilee DelGado/Staff Artist
“It’s okay to be white.”
“Bring back slavery.”
Reading those words, you may think that they were signs used in support of racist rhetoric over one hundred years ago, or maybe you would think, “those words certainly would have no relevance in modern-day society.” I really wish that were true, but alas, it isn’t. Those words were written and put on display within schools in Susquehanna County, including our very own school, Blue Ridge.
Racism has always been a problem, and it clearly is still an issue today. Unfortunately, many people are blind to what is going on around them. They walk through life, totally oblivious to how much others suffer due to the color of their skin.
When asked about the topic of racism in our school, a student, who wishes to remain anonymous, responded:
“I don’t think our school is racist, but that’s only because I don’t see it”
As one of the few students in Blue Ridge High School who is part of the minority, I can say without a doubt that it is impossible for me not to notice the racism in our school. That is because it affects me constantly. Whether it be simply overhearing a conversation, someone “accidentally” letting something slip out, or when people say things straight to my face, racism in our school is unavoidable.
Students like myself do not have the privilege of being blind to the hateful rhetoric, like the graffiti in the Mountain View High School that read:
“Bring Back Slavery”
Some people who view it may not think anything of it, some students may find it funny, but some students look at that and see nothing but hurt and pain for the ethnically diverse people that it affects.
Racism should not only affect those who it is directed towards. Racism should affect everyone who sees it. People need to stop being blind to what is happening in the world around them. In the Blue Ridge high school, there was a sign removed by a faculty member from a student’s locker that read:
“It’s okay to be white”
The majority of the Blue Ridge population are not the ones being targeted. Minorities are the ones who are being targeted. To act as though you are a victim when you are not the one going through real struggles does nothing to help your cause, but it does everything to belittle the struggles that real people are going through every day.
Because of nothing but the color of their skin, people are mocked, people are threatened, people are feared, people are shot. These are real issues that real people go through on the daily. People need to stop acting like these struggles are not real. People need to stop being so oblivious.
That sign was removed. No one will ever see that sign again. No one would know if not for this article that it ever even existed. They would continue to be blind about what goes on in their school — not anymore. That sign was just one example of countless times when racism was alive and well in Blue Ridge. These events will only become more frequent if we don’t act.
We can’t be oblivious. We must be the change.