Racial issues need to be ‘brought to light’

By on October 10, 2007

As an African American student here at Quinnipiac University, I am appalled at the actions that took place only a few feet away from the Mountainview residence hall in which I reside. What has been named the “racial slur incident” is becoming all too commonplace at this institution. No action that has been taken thus far can quench the feelings of anxiety and hurt several students have experienced as a result.

I think the greater issue is that some people have begun to overlook or “water down” the negative connotations of the “N” word because of its misuse in pop culture. Make no mistake; there is no dichotomy in the essence of the “N” word. This word is offensive, painful and embarrassing whenever any race uses it. However, some individuals refuse to see it that way. What one person might have done out of hate or blatant ignorance is unacceptable and the root of this problem must be brought to light.

I hope that seminar courses, and others alike, will continue to address this issue until people get fed up with talking and hearing about it. The feeling of discomfort that many experience when issues of race are brought up on this campus is a mirror of how much more work needs to be done.

At times I am discouraged from attending groups on campus that have been established thus far to discuss diversity issues because I feel that they are just reaching out to the same audience members. I think that the people who should be going to these events are sacrificing the knowledge they could potentially gain for the chance to remain in their comfort zones. People tend not to feel the urge to act unless their personal lives are being affected. I think that the quality of education that one receives is greatly stifled when they feel like they are being ostracized because of that which is out of their control. I have been affected.

The only way for real change to occur on this campus is if individuals step out of the selfish notion that what happened in the Ledges residence hall does not apply to them. They need to realize that to live with blinders on does not get you anywhere because there will always be corners. According to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Apathy at Quinnipiac cannot defy the laws that define our world. We must all be a part of the reaction.


About Gloria Obasi