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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion oped editorial

EDITORIAL: The controversial conversations

Following student protest and unrest at the University of Missouri last semester, the message was clear to students, faculty and everyone across the nation: we need to talk about race.

While racism remains prevalent in various forms everywhere, some have expressed worries about feeling safe while addressing these issues.

Students and faculty alike still squirm at he thought of today’s various forms of racism. And, as long as this injustice exists, the discomfort will never truly go away.

Because of this, we, the Editorial Board, believe we need a nuanced discussion of racism to address these issues.

The discussion of racism should be integrated through empathy into all aspects of our everyday lives, not only in a classroom.

Required classes devoted to discussing diversity can be ineffective.

Students would see those courses as requirements they only need to complete rather than getting more value from them.

In addition, some think racism always takes explicit forms like threats and slurs. But, in reality, things are hardly so easy to detect.

For this reason, our rhetoric should incorporate methods of teaching students how to handle these “gray area” situations.

Social events and initiatives with international focuses have brought students of different races together.

But E. Andre Thorn, 
director of the Multicultural Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage, has expressed concerns that students still self-segregate through these activities. “Rather than integrating these students into the fabric of the institutions, they created separate and distinct systems for them,” he said in a New York Times article.

This means students will only remain around people and views they’re familiar with instead of new ones.

In light of these difficulties, we believe our discussions of racism need the element empathy.

Through empathy, we can understand how different people look at the world.

A lack of empathy is a much more fundamental cause of racism than the percentage of minorities at 
universities.

Without empathy, we often look at our achievements, nationalities or other characteristics without proper context. This gives rise to racism we witness.

Students will also feel safer expressing their feelings while taking into account the reality of what those emotions mean.

This way, students can overcome the discomfort of “not feeling safe.”

In light of microaggressions, subconscious biases and similar cognitive tendencies, we can understand how to respond through an empathy to fight racism.

To have a better conversation, we need something deeper. We need a change in how we think.

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