Commentary: Reporting on bias

By: Sarah Rowan, Assistant News Editor

For this issue, I (along with some help from Senior Editor Cody Boteler) worked on a story surrounding a bias incident that took place between April 5 and 6 at the LA Café.

Not to give too much away in this commentary, but basically what happened was that a white, male student racially harassed and threatened the African American women working behind the counter.

During the incident, the student used phrases such as “your kind of people” and other insults while addressing the women. The workers reported previous encounters with the same student in which he used the “N-word” toward them.

On April 6, the student threatened to come across the counter and began to dig through his backpack. One of the workers described that he was “going into his bag like he had a weapon.”

The incident was not classified as a crime and therefore, was not reported in the crime log.

The same student has had multiple previous encounters on campus since September, in which similar incidents have occurred.

And this guy’s actions that have openly racially discriminated against African American contract workers on campus, and threatened violence against the workers for six months, will not be recognized as a crime in the crime log.

Nice.

I’m angry. However, please understand that while I’m angry, it’s my job as a journalist to report objectively on the facts.

We’ve spent the past week working on this story and it’s infuriating to think of the perpetuation of racial discrimination on this campus, in what is a social epidemic plaguing this entire country.

In my opinion, this only proves that society is locked in the past, a past that built walls of hatred and discrimination in order to divide people with racial boundaries.

I say all of this knowing full well that as a white female, I will never in my life experience the same amount of prejudice that my minority peers experience on a daily basis.

To my minority friends and peers: I’m sorry. I’m so, truly sorry that you have to live through this constantly. It’s not fair. It’s disgustingly unfair.

But I promise, I’m standing with you.

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