Panel discusses racial stereotypes

Ashley Mcskimming

A forum was held at the University Student Union during Africa Week about the various issues and feelings of black students and attendees regarding their race, stereotypes and experiences.

The audience was asked to gather in a circle to conduct an interactive open forum that allowed anyone to speak.

“Yes, you can decline race, but something like your name does classify also who you are,” Chris Gardner, a student, said.

The panel asked students many questions about whether race has affected them.

“Race has affected me because of stereotypes, like that blacks can dance or somehow we can all play sports,” Latoya Johnson, who was in attendance, said.

“I can’t even really dance or play sports so that myth isn’t necessarily true,” Johnson said. “Blacks sometimes look down on other blacks because they may speak proper.”

Johnson added during the panel, “Maybe as African Americans, we should be more positive instead of looking at things more negative. It may help even a little.”

Audience members were then asked if their skin color comes with limitations.

Shirley Smith, a mother of a CSUN student, said after the panel, “Limitations are based on dependency of others. We are susceptible to other discriminations.”

Whitney Ligon, sudent in attendance, said, “People assume my race automatically; they think African- American. They don’t look at the details or care what race or the culture behind what they see. People assume race because of skin color.”

“I come from an Italian and black ethnic background. But no one would know that because people automatically looks at the shade of skin I have and the texture of my hair,” Ligon said.

Do you have more to say than a comment? Want any feedback from the writer? Story ideas? Click on The Gripevine.