Recent racist events strengthen need for a change in America


When we come together regardless of our differences, nothing is impossible.

Medha Prodduturi, Contributing Writer

Suppose we humans thought of ourselves as M&M’s. Sure, we might be different in color: blue, brown, red, green etc, but on the inside, we are all made up of the same ingredients. It is important to understand that between race and religious background, not all of us have an equal opportunity. Discrimination towards race and religion is one of the most combating issues in 2017. This indicates that even though we have progressed a lot in terms of racism, we have so much to change.

America is a country of immigrants. People from the other side of the world come to the U.S. for opportunities and a better future for their children. As such, we have to learn one another’s cultural differences and their unique elements. This way we are not so prone to prejudice. One should acknowledge that the world is essentially neutral and we give it meaning based on the interpretations we choose.

Racism has been around for a very long time. In fact, it has been part of the American landscape primarily since the European colonization of North America. Beginning in the 17th century, this powerful weapon was used against Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans and Jewish Americans. Moreover, in 2013, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest began. Some opposed this idea saying, ‘All Lives Matter.’ The protest is not necessarily saying that ONLY black lives matter, rather it is helping out a group of people that are at risk. If you think about it, yes, all lives do matter but right now the African-American community needs help. When young, black teenage men are shot and killed by police officers, it means that we haven’t solved the equation yet. Not long ago, an attack in Charlottesville took place. White supremacists clashed into counter-democrats and a car hurtled into the crowd of anti-racist protesters. In addition, during the recent NFL issue, President Donald Trump’s response to players who kneel during the national anthem was, “Kneeling is not acceptable.” The concept of kneeling is a symbol of freedom and a stand against racism. According to Colin Kaepernick, the football player who started the pose, police brutality has become a debatable issue in American life. The cruelty that black people in America must cope with when dealing with police officers and other racist people who often do not serve any prison time or punishment, should never go unnoticed.  

Similarly, after the recent travel ban, thousands of protesters marched in cities and airports across the U.S. The travel ban was not just a travel ban, but a travel ban of eight Muslim-majority countries. This planned ban isn’t about keeping us safe. Instead, it is building a wall between our neighbors. This negativity perpetuates the idea that Muslims are dangerous people, and creates a ‘them vs us’ mentality that can be highly unhealthy for community relations.        

We have so much to change in this world. Whether it be preventing global warming, air pollution, or other environmental factors. Despite everything, I believe that it is essential to start with shaping our humanity into a positive one. Because when we come together regardless of  our differences, nothing is impossible. More than anything, we are all just M&M’s that can make a change, whether it is big or small.