Sunday, March 7, 2010

What is Happening to our Younger Generation? Are We Moving Forward or Backward?

This post was originally a response to a comment that one of my faithful readers, Heather had left on the "UCSD Compton Party" story.  As I was responding I realized it needed to be a post instead of a comment because with every word I typed I got a little more sad and a lot more perplexed.  Heather had listed a link http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/02/26/cotton-balls-scattered-front-mus-black-culture-center/ to a recent racist act at their local University in Missouri.  Cotton balls were thrown in front of the Black Student Cultural Center during Black History Month. I had just responded on another post about the noose that was found in the library at UCSD. http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/Noose-Found-Inside-UCSDs-Geisel-Library---85479767.html  What is happening on our campuses? Isn't it just the saddest thing to see this generation act like this? I don't get it. Kids are taught these things, they are not born this way. These are kids that are clearly either living in homes that condone racism or they are hanging with friends that have taught them this is the way to think. I will never ever, ever, ever understand how someone can hate based on skin color. EVER!! Hate is such a horrible useless emotion to bear, and to bear it based on nothing but skin color is really stupidity when you get right down to it! They might have most loving, beautiful, kind hearted person in the world standing in front of them but because they don't "like" their skin color they automatically hate them? Really? Where is the common sense? This is happening on campuses of "educated" young adults? I feel so sorry for them. There is a chunk of life they are missing out on. Being diverse isn't just politically correct it's a beautiful way to live. There are so many people from so many different cultures in each and every city, and on each and every campus in our country. We can all teach each other something. Why wouldn't we want to know more? Isn't that the point of going to college? It's not just about what is in the textbook you buy at the bookstore, it is about life and learning more and more about it each day. Racism is just a sheltered ignorant way of thinking. Wouldn't someone just stay home, in the same place they were born and raised if they didn't want to know more?  Why go to college if you don't want to open your mind?  So to all of the students on all of the campuses throughout our country, open your minds, open your hearts, and really truly learn.  Life is about moving forward not backward.

6 comments:

The Exception said...

I truly agree. I always go back to this but with my father in the military, I KNOW it opened my eyes to new cultures because of the different backgrounds of men and women who made up the US Army. I think that if I lived in Troy, Alabama (my hometown) all my life that I would not be as well rounded a person in thought that I am today. When I went to college, it further opened my outlook on life and the human thought. I know of some people in my hometown who still see black and white - and that is on both sides of the racial spectrum. You cannot expect to succeed in life if you are not willing to work and live with others that are not like you. For those who think in that manner, I hate to say, I hope they run into a situation that they need (personally or professionally)interact with a person from that group they "hate" so damn much and realize how that way of thinking and living will get them nowhere. It is wishful thinking.

Amy said...

Daryl,

So true...my Dad was in the Air Force for many years and moved a million times. This forced me to make friends on a dime and I was always meeting new people from all over. In college I went to school overseas in Paris for a semester and then traveled part of Europe and the UK after I was done. I went to school in Paris with people from ALL over the world. My "dorm" was filled with people from every country you can imagine. It truly opened my eyes to the wonders of all the different types of people and cultures from around our amazing world. After that I traveled back to Europe a couple of times with my parents because my Dad was a member of NATO and I got to attend the NATO meetings at the embassy and meet dignitaries from all over the world. Talk about eye opening...amazing! The world is small if we let it be and I wouldn't want it any other way!!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Thanks for taking your comment and making it a new post to your blog. I really hope UCSD and MU are two exceptions among universities, and not the rule. I really believe cultural comptence/unity/diversity ought to be taught in school while children are in elementary. The Southern Poverty Law Center has materials they call "Teaching Tolerance" that are available FREE to teachers and schools. I wish more people were aware of this and would make use of it. I am looking into seeing what we can't get going in my community with that. The Cultural Competence Council where I work is involved with the entire community in addition to hospital staff on certain projects, not just the Celia Commemoration. We do a "Global Expo" every year that allows the staff and community to learn about other cultures different from their own. We invite people to have a booth, bring a food dish native to their culture, or any other thing of interest that is unique to their culture. It's a collegiate atmosphere and a great learning experience for all. That's why I have such high hopes for the annual Loving Day celebration. I want it to be a yearly thing that just gets bigger and better every year. These are fun ways to open people's minds. The Teaching Tolerance kit or something like it, is something we need to see in all of our schools. To me, educating children on how to not just tolerate, but embrace those who are different from them, is a very integral part of education for life. How are you going to make it anywhere if you can't understand and get along with others? The best degree from the best school in the world won't do much for you if you don't have the character to go with it.

-Heather

Amy said...

Heather,

You are so very welcome! Sadly there have been more incidents at schools in L.A. lately as well. I'm not sure where all of this is coming from and why our current generation even has these feelings, especially at our universities which are supposed to be havens, so to speak against such thought processes. It baffles me. I love the idea of the teaching tolerance kits, the Celia day, and the Global Expo day. In whatever way shape or form we can teach tolerance I'm all for it! It goes right back to again and again....we are not born racists, racism is taught, so tolerance can be taught too! I am continually proud of the work you are doing in your community! It is wonderful. Keep it up and don't ever stop teaching tolerance. As a dear friend of mine pointed out, when you change the mind of one, they then change all the minds they are surrounded by and so on, and so on, so really with one comes many!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Hey sis - on our campus we have just passed a new requirement of all degrees - each student must complete a multicultural/diversity awareness class. It's not much and probably many other colleges have this but for us it is a big deal. Also, this year the emphasis for faculty inservice / professional development has been diversity - of all types (race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, poverty). We are trying to develop an environment that is not tolerant of racism, bigotry, or a lack of appreciation for diversity. [I gotta live up to my little sis! :) ]

Amy said...

Lori,

I LOVE that your campus has this program in place and for every student.....that is awesome!! Every school needs this awareness and acceptance. It is mind blowing to me that it is necessary in 2010, but whatever it takes to open minds and teach about all races, cultures, orientations, and backgrounds. Thank you for sharing about what your school is doing..it's fantastic!!! Live up to me? More like me live up to you....strongest woman ever! Love ya...A.