By Brittany Arquette
With all the media hype these days over prejudiced comments made by everyone from Don Imus to Michael Richards to Mel Gibson to Issah Washington (from “Grey’s Anatomy”), it makes me wonder: can we ever really get rid of prejudice?
“I think hating someone because of their race, religion, sexuality, or whatever is stupid. but you can never get rid of it. You can make laws to protect people from becoming a victim of prejudice, but you can never change what goes on in someone’s head,” said student Emily Hunter.
Prejudice has been in people’s heads for centuries. Throughout history countries have fought and killed over religious beliefs.
Women have been seen as inferior to men for thousands of years, and still are in some cultures.
Native Americans and Africans were considered less worthy because of their color, which is a problem that still exists in many countries today.
Humans have been hating other humans since the beginning of time. To this day even the most civilized countries are still openly prejudiced.
I was at a hotel in Orange County last summer, where an English family refused to stay because there was an Irish family staying there too.
It shocked me because England and Ireland are neighboring countries, not to mention both white, yet they still hated the other because of their culture.
“You can make as many laws as you want to prevent prejudice, but the way to solve it is not to protect minorities, but to forget they are minorities. As long as you’re thinking of someone as a ‘minority,’ your classifying them as ‘not like you,'” said City student Brian Hill.
After all, in America we try to prevent prejudice by being prejudiced. Affirmative Action was designed to help women and minorities get jobs.
Ironically, all the amendment does is flip-flop who is being discriminated against.
If you give the less qualified women the job over the more qualified male, you’re discriminating against him. It’s quite an ironic way of solving a discrimination problem.
“I think America acts like we’re not prejudiced in this country anymore. Imus got in so much trouble for saying something people say to each other everyday. It doesn’t make what he said right, but if they’re going to fire him, there better be a whole lot of rappers getting fired pretty soon, because I’ve heard worse things than that about women on the radio,” said Hunter.
There’s kind of a double standard when it comes to discrimination. In our country if a white person makes a comment, it’s considered racist, but it seems minorities feel they have ‘the right’ to discriminate because of there past or background. This is the most ridiculous excuse I’ve ever heard.
It seems people want the freedom to say whatever they want, but don’t want other people to have the freedom to say what they want.
I especially don’t think a person should be fired, or have to go to rehab, because they made a racial comment.
Taking away someone’s freedom of speech isn’t how you fix the problem. It’s just a good way of covering it up.
Until we can truly forget the things that make us different, we’ll never be able to see the things that make us the same.
Brittany Arquette is a City Times staff writer