Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/denebolasandbox/denebola_2009/wp-includes/ms-load.php on line 113
Denebola » Article » Racial tendencies remain
Features

Racial tendencies remain

By Sammie Levin
Published: November 2009

Fewer than 200 years ago, the institution of slavery was legal, a matter that divided the nation and sparked the Civil War.

Fewer than 100 years ago, though slavery was abolished, minority races were still seen and treated as below the rest of society and were denied basic human rights.

Fewer than 50 years ago, segregation was still present and tension plagued the country.

>Today, however, all races are entitled to the same rights, opportunities, and jobs. With Barack Obama as our president, it almost appears that the country has overcome racial barriers, erasing the stain of racism forever.

But is this really true? Recent events in our country, and even at South, have shown that though our society has made undeniable progress in decreasing racism, racial tensions are not completely gone.<

One event that sparked a lot of controversy surrounding racial prejudice occurred this summer. 60 black campers from Creative Steps Day Camp were denied access at a private swim club in Northeastern Philadelphia.

The camp paid over 1,900 dollars to use the pool at the Valley Swim Club, which claims to have open membership. On their first visit to the club, the campers were discriminated against.

“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool, the parent of one camper said. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.

Furthermore, one camper said she heard a woman remark, “What are all these black kids doing here? I’m scared they might do something to my child.

After this first day, the camp’s membership was suspended and their revenue was to be fully refunded. The president of the swim club, John Duesler, claimed in a statement that “there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion¦and the atmosphere of the club.

The club later welcomed the camp back, but the camp declined in order to show their resistance to the previous discrimination. The prejudice that this “open membership club displayed is just one instance of the discrimination still exercised nationwide.

  More recently, actions of famous musical artist Kanye West at the 2009 Video Music Awards in September provoked hateful racist reactions.

At the event, as singer Taylor Swift was receiving her award for Best Female Video, West went on stage, grabbed the microphone, and announced that Beyoncé deserved the award, instead. Although this was an unacceptable and inconsiderate act, it does not compare to the reactions of many viewers.

The following day, websites, specifically Twitter, were flooded with offensive, racial slurs against West.

The severely harsh, racist language people used to condemn West’s actions shows that many people still have trouble looking past race and treating everyone with equal respect.

How does South fit into this problem? South is considered an accepting community but are there still traces of racism? “Racism is not directly visible at South, but there are many visible racial divides seen in social group, a South junior said.

Furthermore, recent disputing opinions about the METCO program suggest that although blatant racism may not be prominent at South, there still may be racial tensions beneath the surface.

Regardless of the extent of racism at Newton South, it cannot be ignored that racism is still an issue across nation and that there is still progress to be made.

Read more

Like it? Share it!

Print

Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.