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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Students must do their part to end racism

After I read the article ""Race deserves no place in university admissions"" in Tuesday's issue of The Daily Cardinal, I struggled with how to explain the intent of the author. I was caught wholly off-guard by the call for an end to affirmative action.

Furthermore, to declare that UW-Madison students are relatively colorblind is not a true statement, nor would those that believe in the benefits of a diverse education wish to be labeled such. It is essential that we as students in search of a liberal education maintain an effort to become culturally and ethnically competent, and this means recognizing and respecting fundamental differences. To claim that it is easier to be a minority (underrepresented) student on campus than to be a racist is certainly absurd. Perhaps the author intended to state that a racist would receive more flak from their peers than a minority (underrepresented) student does. I am not an underrepresented student at UW-Madison, but for the three months that I have been at this school, I have heard of the vast injustices committed against underrepresented students, whether that be a professor asking them to comment on something from their ethnicity's point of view or having my friends tell me that they were forced to defend themselves after being told to go back to Mexico when, in fact, they have been living in the United States for the entirety of their life. These examples, my friends, are just the tip of the iceberg.

So what, as majority students, can we do? There are many first steps that can be made, among the most important being education on white privilege. What is white privilege, you ask? I hadn't heard of the term until I began attending weekly discussion to discuss multiculturalism either and was stunned when I learned about the everyday privileges I have as a person who is white. These privileges include (but are not nearly limited to): being able to open a paper or watch TV and see people of my race widely represented, being told about my civilization and being told people of my race made it what it is, using checks and counting that my race will not work against the appearance of financial responsibility and finally being sure that when I pick out a ""flesh"" colored bandage it will more or less match the color of my skin. The biggest privilege of all is not having to worry about this list (and not even knowing these privileges existed, which was my privilege until very recently).

It is the job of every human being in this society to take action to end racism. Unfortunately, like you had stated, the overwhelming majority of students do not actively seek out and love interacting with diverse and new people. Maybe if they did, this article would not have been written, because the author may in fact understand that there are fundamental differences between people of different ethnicities.

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Maxwell Love

Freshman, Community and Environmental Sociology 

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