The so-called democracy that is the United States bears the daunting reputation as having a diverse population consisting of countless ethnic groups sprinkled across 50 states of independence. We have no official language and we allow numerous religions, with rituals and practices varying vastly from culture to culture. On top of that, our society promotes individuality while shunning it at the same time. Taking these factors into consideration, it should be no surprise that an unhealthy level of prejudice, ethnocentrism, and general misunderstanding will occur between different people sharing the same mass of land.
For this reason, groups are established. No matter your interest, orientation or obsession, there are a number of people who identify with you and would love nothing more than to socialize with those whom they feel most comfortable with, at the risk of social or parental non-conformity or rejection. Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, I am setting the proverbial stage …
It is the nature of men to fear, scorn, or misinterpret what they fail to understand, and so I have noticed this on repeated occasions with groups on our campus namely the black-oriented organizations. It has been argued on behalf of the majority that these collectives and events could be considered racist, for no other reason than the fact that they are geared towards minority groups that have screamed oppression for so many years. The groups that promote the uplifting, achievement, and general harmony of blacks in America are viewed as just another form of self-inflicted separation that we have strived for years to eliminate. This viewpoint could not be more inaccurate.
The idea of embracing one”s culture may be foreign to Caucasians, simply because they are and have been the majority in this country.
Nearly every ethnic group on campus has an organization of sorts to claim based on their cultural or religious backgrounds, be it Indians, Asian groups or even the nationwide Jewish organization Hillel. The black groups are the ones primarily considered “racist,” however, due to the fact that there exists the most tension between Blacks and Caucasians. The latter argue that if they were to create a group promoting the uplifting of Whites on this campus, then they would be considered “racist.”
These groups exist for what should be obvious reasons: Any group in any given social situation that can be considered a minority can be expected to come together. Similar physical and behavioral traits, common interests and common customs, if not comfortably alone, will bring people together.
Those of you who had a minority group at your high school who you witnessed sitting together at the same lunch table know exactly what I mean. It certainly does not mean that the given group will shun the majority, yet I believe that this is how it is perceived. Campus minority groups like H.E.A.D.S., Sister2Sister and Black Uplift exist to offer support, consolation and motivation to the people in the communities that they represent there certainly exists no central hatred or revolt against members of other cultural backgrounds.
As far as black-oriented parties are concerned, there is most certainly no one stopping non-black individuals at the door for lack of proper skin pigmentation, yet you will see a sharp contrast between these parties and your common frat party, hence the reason that they even exist. Finally, to create a “White Uplift” organization would not necessarily be considered racist it would simply be deemed silly in a society in which whites ultimately possess the absolute power.
Now I”m not saying that these groups should represent every member as an individual, nor am I saying that the groups are absolutely necessary for the advancement of their members.
But what I do want to be understood is that these groups have no malicious intentions. No massive revolution is in the plans and no campus marches are slated for the near future. At least I hope not these damn classes are taking up way too much of my time as it is. Knowledge.