Ignoring Prejudice Does Not Alleviate Problems


Fernando B.

Quinn Kennedy

A few weeks ago, two Native American brothers drove seven hours from their home in New Mexico to tour Colorado State University, their dream school. However, they got there a bit late, so they joined a tour that was already happening. During the tour, a mother of another student felt that the two boys were making her “nervous,” so she called the police on them. She said they made her uncomfortable because they were supposedly not answering any questions on the tour, however one of the brothers later said that was because they are shy. Additionally, she cited they were wearing black clothes with “strange symbols” on them. The police pulled them aside, and they released the brothers after they found that they were doing nothing wrong. At that point, it was too late for them to join the tour because it had already moved on. This incident is yet another example of how racism lives on in this country.

While reading this story, one detail stuck out to me. I noticed that they released the names of the two brothers, one of them being under the age of eighteen, but not the woman who called the police. Despite the fact that the woman apologized, as did the CSU, I still feel as though it would be wrong not to release her name because she is the person who created the whole situation in the first place. Had she not called, the brothers would have been able to finish touring their dream school and no cops would have intervened. Her apology does not erase the hurt she caused. Why is it that she was allowed to keep her privacy, but the two brother who did nothing wrong weren’t?

Society has a problem with holding racists accountable for their actions. Though it is obviously very important to focus on the victims in any discriminatory situation and hear their stories, it is also integral that we examine who and what caused the problem in the first place. Avoiding the difficult to discuss aspects of a situation does nothing to solve it, which is why we should examine the history of prejudice that caused the woman to act the way she did.