BY ANNABELLE ROSA
No individual has ever been exempt from the harsh, often cruel lash of racial prejudice. Whether it be the racist cries of an individual in opposition of any man, woman or child they deem different, or simply a teacher’s bias toward a student they don’t favor, we are all familiar with discrimination.
A country founded upon the ideals of equality that was all too quickly drawn into the promise of “free labor.” The founding fathers hastily adopted laws that permitted another man, one with skin somewhat akin to porcelain, to own the life of another being, one who was marked different simply based on color. From this slow corruption, white supremacy was born into existence.
The United States has had a long history of oppressing peoples of various colors, creeds, and races (Our history is entrenched with the cries of slaves long since forgotten under the weight of their master’s heels, by the woman who simply wished to sit on the bus, and the child murdered without cause; our’s is a nation long fraught with bigotry and intolerance.), however, within recent history the nation’s people have begun to learn the value of the individual. People are entities that experience bursts of free thought and have the right to their own bodies and to their own souls. No man, woman or child has precedence over any other, furthermore, no white individual has precedence over any other.
Rationality is often what ignites this understanding that validates all persons of the nation. For about two centuries, America has progressively shed its shell of ignorance in order to obtain this policy of tolerance. With leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, the U.S. has taken strides to make the nation more accepting and just for all peoples, something which was desperately needed.
With all accomplishments, however, there are a few setbacks to be had. A “Unite the Right” rally was held in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. The incident resulted in 19 injuries and 3 casualties due to a man known as James Alex Fields. Fields drove his car into a crowd of those who opposed the obvious congregation of white supremacists.
Upon hearing of this, President Donald Trump neglected to staple the title of “white supremacists” to these individuals, poor form on his part. Ultimately the event has come to be known as an attack on all persons nationwide, even within Cooper City High.
“The recent events have made me feel the same disappointment I did on election day,” junior Isaac Chiu said. “American’s are still denying the reality of this hateful country… I will never feel perfectly safe, but through my past experiences as a queer person, I know what to expect, what to avoid and to prepare for the worst.”
White supremacy instills a sort of fear that permeates throughout not only the physical world but the mental realms of those who witness the raw, impetuous nature of the lifestyle it encourages. This mentality also glorifies the faults of the former nation that once stood in the “new” America’s place, one which stood for the ideals of the racist, the radical and the ignorant.
These individuals feel entitled to a land which they consider to be “pure,” and find that they have the right to express their opinions as the Constitution–and the nation’s president–defends them. However, once violence and unjust discrimination gain familiarity, that is the moment that a simple statement becomes an offense upon all citizens.
Still others find themselves enraged because they are all too familiar with these hateful actions and they themselves understand the matter on a personal level rather than the second hand.
“I definitely feel animosity toward the issue, but I definitely did relate,” junior Saharah Reid said. “Being black I’m always being exposed to people saying racist, hateful things toward me or towards the black population in general.”
Not surprisingly, the issue of white supremacy is one that has taken hold of the public’s attention due to its recent appearance after a seemingly peaceful period of time accompanied by a “disappearance” of ignorance. Whether or not people fell into a false sense of security during said period has yet to be questioned, yet, during the Trump presidency we have seen a definite shift in the nation’s willingness to express unpopular and unjust opinions.
Some may argue that radical racism is something which the American populous will simply have to tune out as it cannot be eradicated and it constitutes as a freedom to one’s beliefs something which is promised in the Constitution. Yes, it cannot be abolished, but it cannot be swept aside either. As an anonymous CCHS student stated, “it makes me feel as though they have taken my, and many others’, voice away and that leads to me feeling like I don’t have one anymore.”
In order to combat White Supremacy, the issue itself must be addressed and means to make sure it ceases taking violent turns must be found. The people cannot condone unnecessary, unwarranted, nor hateful action against their fellow men. As one may recall, all individuals are equal and no one takes precedence over their neighbor.