While I am grateful that you used ‘The Snapper” to voice your concern about these supposed forms of “segregation,” there are a number of points to be made regarding your thoughts on the subject.
While you claim that we would like to “wish” segregation and racism no longer exist, the sad truth is it does. Walking around this campus and any community with this ideology only further promotes racism and ignores the issues at hand. Race is a social construct, not biological, and has been solely created by human beings as a form of identification and separation. It later causes slavery, segregation, and discrimination. The actions of civil rights activists have brought us closer to erasing the indistinct “color line,” but these actions and voices will not eradicate the years of race history that have accumulated in this country and many others. Student groups such as the BSU and the long-standing NAACP are other successful components which have allowed minority groups to prosper and establish their position in a community, with as much right to do so as any other interest group.
Your detailed observations of the Organizational Outbreak reveal a judgmental intellect and a lack of interest in dispelling this “segregation” and “racism” you have contended still exists in our community. The statements you have made about feeling as though you would be making a “mockery” of these groups are not backed by efforts to see if they would be true.
What stopped you from walking up to the BSU or NAACP and getting the story on their membership regulations? How can you expect that these groups will express care for your concerns unless you take action regarding what you believe they are doing “wrong?” Why not break the “unwritten rule” and apply for membership to one of these groups?
You also stated that you do not understand why these clubs exist. This goes back to your comment about us wishing that racism no longer exist.
Organizations like The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are making an effort to advance the rights, liberties, and abilities of the groups that have been oppressed in our embarrassing history of race relations. Why, in 2009, do we need to have organizations devoted to a certain culture? Because we can.
For years, if not centuries, white American men have oppressed minority groups and cultures in this country, leaving them powerless and voiceless with little chance of re-gaining what they have lost. We have groups to celebrate a specific culture’s existence and acknowledge what they have contributed to the melting pot that is our country. What is your culture? Wouldn’t you like to celebrate it?
This falls in with my final point about your remarks about creating a White Student Union. While I was not able to immediately access campus statistics, whites no doubt represent more than half of our student body. The presence of white students on campus is visually obvious, and I guarantee there is at least one student organization whose members only include white students. (Just looking at the pictures in “The Snapper,” this seems to be the case.) They do not suffer from oppression, nor have their ancestors or older relatives experienced discrimination that has historically denied them equal access to resources. We do not need a white student union because a majority of students are white. The purpose of groups like the BSU, the NAACP, the Asian and Friends Affiliation, and the Society on Latino Affairs is to allow students of these and other ethnicities to come together and celebrate what their culture represents to them and to discuss their current and future existence.
Have I even attended meetings for these groups or attempted to join them? No, and perhaps we should both make greater attempts to do so, because I am certain that any display of interest in another culture would be welcomed with open arms.
Finally, I would suggest that you take Dr. Carrie Smith’s sociology course on Race and Ethnicity before you graduate. The knowledge you will obtain from the course is eye-opening, beneficial, and will allow you to develop an intelligent understanding of race and ethnic relations.