Over the weekend, our campus emails were blasted with a message from campus safety regarding a gun, which turned out to be a BB gun disguised as a real gun near campus. My friends and I obviously all saw the email and started to discuss the matter. I sat and listened to what they all had to say, and of course when any weapon is found it is quite frightening as this is supposed to be a “safe” place for all of us. However, one friends’ mind went in a complete opposite direction of what we were all talking and thinking about. She stated, “This is why THEY (people of color) all get killed and these riots break out because they are seen as carrying a weapon and go to reach for it, but they never actually get to the point of taking what actually is a BB gun or a toy gun out.” Thankfully, my friends and myself included interrupted her and made her change the views she has always seen. We as a group told her to rethink what she had just said – she was blaming, full on blaming without knowing previous stories. You need the facts.
As college students and young adults, we have busy lives and may miss some details and some events. Yet, despite being swamped with work, classes, and thousands of other commitments, there is no excuse to blame anyone because “you just didn’t know.” It’s called the Internet or a newspaper. The amount of time individuals spend on the computer and do not take the time to look at a news website is beyond amazing. It is our job as human beings to keep up with our world because we are the future. Is it not scary to think that the people who do not take the time to educate themselves on current news are going to be future employees, employers, and maybe leaders of our world?
1 thought on “Know Your Facts”
Actually, it’s not surprising one bit to know that the ideas and beliefs that your friend shares are the people are in positions of power. I’ve actually heard this argument from somebody I know too and it was quite upsetting to hear, because they are directly and overtly asserting blame to an entire marginalized group of people for what (statistically) another group is doing to them. It sounds like your friend was victim-blaming and it happens way too often in society to stop anytime soon – unless people like yourself and your other friends, help to address these comments.
I also think it was extremely easy for some students to make a connection between the BB gun found and the classic case of “who done it?”. It’s not surprising, because Berg is a predominantly white campus and just a few minutes from us lies a city with mainly a Latinx and African-American population. Her comments and those who say similar things also perpetuate the “in-group” bias and further separates “us v. them”.
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