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Monday, October 19, 2020

Prejudice isn’t pretty

Illustration by Maria Salvador, March 4, 2014
Illustration by Maria Salvador, March 4, 2014

At a college campus, people are expected to carry themselves with a certain level of professionalism, but at Pierce College there seems to be a trend of deteriorating social standards. This is clear in the lack of respect with which students acknowledge themselves and one another. Deviation from mutually respectful social dialogue is giving rise to cases of offensive behavior.

The city of Los Angeles is a very metropolitan forward-thinking community with many cultures influencing the environment and the area’s lifestyle. However, even in a modern and up to date society such as Los Angeles, there are not only overt signs of racism but covert and unintentional instances of racism as well.

Covert racism, which is discriminating against a person without having any harmful intent, usually stems from being ignorant to today’s social norms and can be influenced by a person’s background.

Even if the intent of a statement isn’t discriminatory, an innocent statement like “That’s so ghetto” or “She’s so ratchet” can be hurtful to people.

Society’s members are a product of their upbringing; people mimic those closest to them. Parents, siblings, friends and communities at large influence the way individuals think, act and react to certain situations. As an example, someone that is brought up using racial slurs as a normal part of conversation would not give it a second thought that they could be perceived as being racist.

Even though people are raised to emulate elders, it doesn’t give license to ignore the obvious evolution of our free-thinking society and stay in the dark ages where being racist wasn’t thought of as an issue.

Pierce College is a microcosm of L.A. with a population of more than 29 thousand students and more than half of the student body identifying as “non-white,” according to Los Angeles Community College scorecard.

Students cannot travel the hallways or walkways of the campus without experiencing the diversity that is Los Angeles. Although the campus is situated in a relatively upscale neighborhood, and has a diverse population, there are still occurrences of people being seemingly unaware of how politically incorrect their comments sound.

Just because someone’s parents or elders were raised in a different time and act a certain way is not an excuse to live in a bubble and not evolve with the maturing society around them. It is inappropriate to merely mimic the same low standards picked up from an ignorant environment in a college setting where the bar for acceptable public discourse is higher. With mindfulness, overt racism will become a thing of the past.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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