September 30, 2016

In regards to safe spaces and the AAAC pieces in The Journal

By Monica Esquivel, class of 2018

To The Journal Staff:

I am a sophomore at Webster University, and in my time here, I saw The Journal as a great news source and extracurricular activity on this campus, but recently I have realized it is just as biased as all the other media news sources are when it comes to race/ethnicity. I think everyone has come to agree that Webster is diverse. They advertise it so much that we have all heard it at least once, and I agree, Webster is very diverse when it comes to people’s background, but not always when it comes to ethnicity. I am one of the few Mexican-Americans on this campus, and often times, I find myself being the only person of color (POC) in friend gatherings, or sometimes even in class, and I feel the way people treat POC differently on a daily basis. The bias is not in my head and no, I do not just need to get over it like so many people on this campus are saying. I don’t think I will ever feel 100 percent accepted in the school and I have come to terms with that, the issue is when people don’t try to help POC feel included. Many times, it feels like  others are not always trying to understand POC, but instead make assumptions and think they are “liberal” enough that they can tell POC how to feel about discrimination and racism. I am not going to say white people don’t have their own issues to face, but they will never understand, completely, the issues POC face. It is the same when we say men will never fully understand women’s struggles or heterosexuals understand the struggles of the LGBTQ community.

As I stated before, I am not African-American, but I support just about all the Association of African-American Collegians (AAAC) requests, including the one for safe spaces. I have been in rooms before when people are talking about racism and discrimination and even though there are POCs in the group, it is mainly the white people in the room who put their input into the conversation. I am not saying that what they are saying is wrong, but it does get tiring to hear them talk about issues they do not completely understand. This is why safe spaces are necessary. Sometimes students just need a break. This safe room may not be for me, and that is fine. It will be a step in the right direction for this school when it comes to diversity. It really astounds me how defensive students at this institution have gotten over something that will not harm them or even affect their daily lives, but instead help their peers. It also astounds me how narrow minded the opinions that have been included in The Journal have been. There has been little to no support toward the AAAC. The Journal should know better as a news source to include both stances on the issue. Opinions against the AAAC requests should be included, but they should also show the other side. The side that supports the AAAC. They shouldn’t wait until students write in to include them. When we write to complain, our voices are not the ones that are being published in the newspaper, but merely being shown online and that is not okay. They are less seen and not held to the same importance. I hope The Journal is actually listening and take this into consideration instead of turning a blind eye.

 

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