Student sit-in at Lewis & Clark College, Amy Rosenheim By Karissa Tom Last fall, racist slurs targeting black students at my school rocked my school community. Though black students make up a small minority of the school’s demographic, the hate-filled graffiti and the overheard jokes about “white power” left the whole student body feeling scared and threatened. The initial reaction was shock and disbelief. At my seemingly accepting school in a politically liberal state, most people who heard about the incidents responded with, “This could never happen here!” Yet the sad truth remains that it did happen and that, when it did, my college as an institution and a community was unprepared for the consequences.
not on our campus
I’m a 20-year-old half-Chinese, half-Japanese fourth-generation American. And until three years ago, I didn’t know that I was a minority. Growing up in San Francisco, CA, my home life reflected the city’s culture of diversity and acceptance: I was raised in an extended family network of Chinese babysitters with half-Filipino grandchildren; Jewish aunts and black uncles; half-Japanese cousins that spoke Spanish. At school, a majority of my peers were also Asian-American, so I never had to question my place based on race. Yet despite San Francisco’s public “mixing pot” mentality, I discovered how easy it is to assimilate. For various reasons—I speak English at home, I had never been to Chinatown, I listened to “white people music,” and I had inherited my mom’s love of cowboy boots—I became, to my friends and to myself, the stereotypical “white-washed” Asian.
University of North Dakota students protest offensive T-shirts American Indian students at the University of North Dakota came together in mid-May to protest offensive T-shirts worn by their peers, according to the Native Sun News. Students photographed themselves wearing T-shirts that depict an American Indian drinking from a beer bong with the words “Siouxper Drunk” emblazoned on the front. The “Fighting Sioux” logo was retired in 2012 due to impending NCAA sanctions over its controversial depiction of American Indian, according to ESPN. “The ‘drunken Indian’ caricature is one of the worst stereotypes about Native people that there is,” said Ruth Hopkins, a writer for LastRealIndians.com.
Video: Oak Ridge Paints Over Pain The community in Oak Ridge, TN, recently came together to use art to speak up against bullying. The activity, called Paint Over Pain, brought in community members ranging from young children to recent high school graduates to paint powerful messages of hope in the face of bullying. The video features many art pieces created during the activity as well as messages such as, “Be yourself,” “Silence is acceptance” and “You are not alone.” Valerie Hughes launched Not In Our Town in Oak Ridge after her daughter was assaulted in a classroom. Her efforts with Not In Our Town promote a safe and welcoming community for people of all backgrounds. Hughes coordinated this event in Oak Ridge, will be leading a Paint Over Pain activity at the Not In Our Town National Leadership Gathering later this month. Watch the entire video here.
Bowling Green Community Stands Together Against Racist Tweets, Again
Here you will find a Not On Our Campus Proclamation from Scottsdale Community College, in Scottsdale, AZ. The proclamation opposes hate violence and promotes safety, inclusion, and acceptance on the Scottsdale Communty College campus. This proclamation also designates a Not In Our Town Day. Download and adapt for your campus.
Upstander Spotlight: NFL player writes beautiful essay about acceptance
This month, students at Miami University are making the distinction between humor and discrimination. A student-created Twitter account called "Oxford Asians" attracted nearly 1,000 followers using language that some called "benign humor," while others found it a "form of cyber racial bullying." In response, the university's Asian American Association turned the hurtful incident into an opportunity for learning by launching "The Real Oxford Asians," which rewrites offensive tweets, transforms them into positive messages and defies stereotypes. In this guest post, graduate student Suey Park discusses the impact of this atmosphere of intolerance and the need to speak up.