Rally against racism needs changed

Jessie Hellmann

For the second year in a row, the YWCA and USI’s Center for Social Justice Education will hold a Stand Against Racism Rally Friday.

For the second year in a row, I’m dismayed that we’re having this rally.

Let me explain.

While I support and understand the purpose behind the rally, which was described as being a way to stand behind underrepresented students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, I’m wondering who stands behind other groups of students who are discriminated against: gays and lesbians, those who are transgendered and those who experience sexism.

Instead of holding a rally against racism, we should hold a rally against any and all types of discrimination.
Every day students are discriminated against and prejudged and this isn’t an issue that affects only those of difference races and ethnicities.

A rally against discrimination would allow the student body to bond in a way that wouldn’t alienate students who can’t empathize with what it’s like to experience racism.

Instead, we would all be able to bond together and understand what it was like for groups of people who have experienced discrimination – we could learn from each other and learn how the ways we act, although maybe unintentional, could hurt our fellow classmates. We would be able to find ways we are similar, even through our differences, which is a good strategy for eliminating any kind of discrimination.

Changing this rally to be against any type of discrimination would be a teachable moment and would allow us to all celebrate our differences – not just one group of people.