By Sarah Taddei ’20
“It’s 2017. Race shouldn’t matter,” answered every Ridley High School student when asked what they thought about the current racial issues in our country. Racism has been around since the 17th century and although it has decreased by a great amount, it has not gone away.
High school students make racial jokes every day and most times don’t even realize that what they are saying is wrong. Recently Coatesville High School students carved “KKK” and swastikas into pumpkins just before Halloween and a black doll was hung in a student’s locker. In Wyoming, Delaware, the school mascot of Caesar Rodney School District was found holding a sign with a racial slur on it and the two students involved were suspended.
“It’s painful. I am no longer shocked, I just hope for the best,”said Dr. Whitehead. “We have to be proactive. These issues have been around for a long time and we just need to engage people in conversation and in an accurate manner. Give them real stories. Don’t handle it lightly or ignore it.”
Teachers have an obligation to be role models when it comes to issues about race.
Mrs. Calamita, who teaches Human Geography, said that we need to pay more attention to it and make decent solutions. “Instead of standing up to it, think of what we are going to do to change it.”
Giving people a voice and an opportunity to share their story is important in the fight against racism.
“Racism shouldn’t have to be as prevalent as it is now,” said senior Xavier Norman. One time he dated a girl but they had to break up because her dad wasn’t okay with his daughter dating an African-American.
Racism can isolate people, make them feel bad about themselves, and illustrate ignorance. A student at Ridley shared that in fourth or fifth grade, three kids came up to him and one of them called him the N word. Another student shared that a girl broke up with him because her dad was racist. “People don’t realize that it doesn’t matter what the color your skin is,” Kamal Richardson, another senior said.
In order for racism to stop, we need not only teachers to speak up but we also need students to speak up.
“Racism should be talked about more. People tend to shut the issue out because they think it’s easier,” said sophomore Kayla Boamah. Another sophomore, Vinny Taddei, said “It’s disgusting. They have to be more considerate of other people. Students should be suspended for racist acts like these.”
Racism is never acceptable and although talking about it is important, people must take action to stop it too.