By Delani Griffin

Racism is still a very big problem in America, even among younger people. Racism has been embedded in most of us from a very young age, not necessarily verbally but environmentally.

In Eugene, we aren’t always surrounded by a diverse population, and by the time we experience other cultures and people it’s too late. Our media and society portray many people of color in a bad light as “gangsters,” “thugs,” “rapists,” “murderers,” or “people who are trying to steal our jobs.” I put these portrayals in quotes because it’s not at all accurate in my opinion.

I have been fortunate to grow up around many people of color, and they have been able to influence my values and perspectives, but many people do not get to experience this. Many people are “color-blind” and can’t or won’t understand the struggles of being a person of color.

Right now the biggest examples of this I can think of are police officers shooting or killing black men and children who are unarmed and innocent. So many black people have lost their lives to police brutality in America, and people still don’t believe we can have a racial bias. I’m definitely not saying that all people are total racists, but we’re trained to look at people of color in a negative light. I say we’re because I’m like this too. I see a man of color and I want to cross the street because of things I’ve heard from the media: untrue things that are ingrained.

Our president has said racist things, celebrity’s have gotten away with saying racist comments, but football players protesting is getting bashed on worse than these racist comments. So in reality, racism is definitely a problem but by talking about it we can address how to teach ourselves differently and work towards making America a safer place to live for everyone.

Below I have created a list of stories that may help you understand some of the things I have mentioned above:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/everyday-racism-america-being-black-means-constantly-rendering-yourself-unthreatening-ncna878291

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/roseanne-barr-attacks-valerie-jarrett-with-racist-tweet-2018-05-29

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/29/police-killings-black-men-us-and-what-happened-officers/469467002/