Photo courtesy of The Atlantic | Staff Writer Ese Obrimah argues that White people do not face the same level of discrimination as People of Color.
Following the racist incidents on campus, Xavier has increased the number of events focused on the marginalized communities on campus. In addition, students who are members of these marginalized communities have been less likely to put our heads down and endure the racism, homophobia, xenophobia and all other forms of oppression that exist on this campus. Xavier has had a reckoning, and although it is still far from where we would like it to be, we don’t deny that work has been done and is being done to make Xavier a more inclusive campus.
That being said, change never comes easy. When people who have benefitted from the status quo start to see changes to the system that benefit other people and require them to share the privileges they have previously had to themselves, it’s upsetting to them. This leads to a misconstrued and narcissistic belief that they are victims. We’ve seen it on Xavier’s campus this semester. Students believe that they’re political, religious and personal beliefs and values are under attack by students, organizations and a student government that are pushing a “liberal” agenda.
Let’s be honest. Are there students and student organizations that are currently committed to doing work that could be perceived as liberal? Yes. Has the Student Government Association (SGA) done a lot of programming that focuses on supposedly liberal topics? Yes, they have. However, the perception that events that deal with issues affecting marginalized communities are liberal and an attack on your values makes it clear that you have an issue with our existence. That being said, we all need to take a moment to step out of our Xavier bubbles and face the fact that, in the world we currently live in, students who believe their values are under attack, most of whom are White, are not the victims.
In a world where some international students are scared to go home and see their families because they are unsure of whether they will be allowed back into the U.S. to continue their education, you are not the victim.
In a country where young people who call the U.S. home, some of whom are your classmates, are unsure of what their fates will be March of 2018 because of the DACA repeal, you are not the victims.
In a country where Muslim women are scared of being assaulted for their choice of clothing, you are not the victim.
In a school where White and Brown students walk down the street and are stopped by XUPD officers and the White students are sent on their way while the Brown student is questioned for looking suspicious, you are not the victim.
In a school where you don’t have to be the only person in the vast majority of your classes who looks like you and where the vast majority of the time you are being taught by someone who looks like you and respects your perspective, you are not the victim.
Regarding the number of “liberal” events being put on whether by SGA and OSI, this is a fairly recent trend. Previously, clubs like ASA, BSA, HOLA, COW, MSA and the LGBTQ Alliance planned and funded events that catered to their members while letting SGA and OSI know that we wanted Xavier to put on more events that catered to us. To those who are upset about the events on campus, this is something you can learn from Xavier’s multicultural, religious and diverse organizations. If you want to see something that you’re passionate about done, do the work to make it happen rather than waiting for the school hand it to you.
Students of color have been and are still facing racism in many forms on this campus. The fact that there is uproar from White students because Xavier is choosing to address those issues makes it clear that you all have no interest in seeing us succeed in this space and are perfectly fine with maintaining a system that oppresses us.
Ese Obrimah is a senior marketing major and staff writer for the Newswire from Lagos, Nigeria.