October 1, 2016

Mizzou scandal: a battle of racism

In light of the Mizzou scandal, I have concluded that America is unstable. While the American government is excelling in the aspect of warfare and space adventures, its citizens are still suffering from issues that should have been left in the past.

Not everyone is racist, just like not everyone is black. However, it was not until I came to St. Louis six years ago that I finally understood what racism was. Being raised in Oman, an Islamic-Arab country, gave me an outside perspective when I started truly learning American society.

Of course, we had ‘black’ Omanis. However, I cannot think of a single time I heard someone refer to them as ‘black.’  They referred to themselves as Zanzibari, which is a city in Africa, and they were proud of it. Just like everyone else in the world, they take pride in their lineage and it was never something that held them back.

There are no civil rights protests or even hunger strikes based on skin color. No one is judged and stared at when entering stores and we certainly do not have higher arrest rates based off of it.

As a human being and a child of globalism, I am outraged that the citizens of this great first-world country have trouble seeing what others are being subjected to. Some people are annoyed when protests occur. Seriously? With the amount of information at our fingertips, some still choose to be ignorant.

Over the last few years, I have spoken to international students who are subject to racism. I met a Caribbean man who said he had to leave an American grocery store because he could feel the workers stare wherever he went. Another girl, a sweet Somalian, told me how she was playing with a little girl from a distance when the toddler’s mother pulled her away, accusing the Somalian of trying to harm her child. Are you still not convinced? My sister and I applied for a job at McDonald’s – her name is Sarah and mine is Khadija. She got a call back the same day. As I waited patiently for an entire week, she came home to tell me they did not know we were sisters and that I could start training. I am convinced it was because of my name. If this is how you treat your international friends, then how can you treat others any better?

Mizzou student Mary Patrick  described the campus atmosphere as being tense and eerie. She said the black students are in fear of their lives on American soil by Americans, not Islamic terrorists. I was told similar cyber threats were made to the ones made before the Oregon shooting. Mizzou did not take the threats seriously, leaving the students no choice but to evacuate their fellow classmates on their own. I cannot imagine the frenzy.

Patrick said she had to walk students to their cars to keep them safe. She opened her home to students needing refuge who were too scared to stay in their dorms.

I have heard students from the south explain how alive racism is in St. Louis. Yet here I am, expressing my disgust through a student newspaper. Stop staying neutral and help your fellow brothers and sisters. Their fight is our fight. We should be united, as this is the United States of America.

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