Letter to the editor

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?Dear Editor,

Something very shocking and disturbing was brought to my attention the other day, and I feel the responsibility to stand up and speak out against it. As we come to the close of another school year, the hustle and bustle of the graduation ceremonies is thick in the air. I am not graduating just yet, I have one semester left, but have very close friends who are taking place in the graduation commencement ceremonies that are going to be held in May. What I did not learn until the other day is that there are actual graduation ceremonies set aside for students of certain races.??I can’t believe that an institution that is supposed to promote higher education and knowledge is still encouraging segregation! If you are going to give special treatment to one group, you need to offer it for all.

I understand why these ceremonies are offered, but the truth is, how long must we continue to make up for events that none of us today took any part of? What we are creating is mass confusion among everyone. The people who are receiving this special treatment are made to feel that they deserve special treatment, and I have experienced much arrogance and racism from these groups. For example, my first semester at CSUN, I was sitting in front of the Marketplace eating lunch, when a group of African American girls stood next to me discussing payment for school. One of the girls said something that I remember very vividly, and her words were “I am young and black, and deserve to go to school for free.” I kept thinking, “why does this girl think she deserves to go to school for free just because she is black?” And I have come to realize it is because things have been structured in our society that promotes this attitude among these groups.

Everyone else that doesn’t fall into these special groups, are left to feel the harsh backlash. Everyday we are moving forward and progressing in America, and this has never been more evident than this election year. We have come so far in the last sixty to seventy years in this fight against racism and discrimination, that we actually have a black man and a white woman who are the front runners in our Presidential election.

We are trying to make things right, but as everyone tries to do so, other problems are being formed. I don’t understand why I am not offered these opportunities that other students are offered. What have I done to be left out? These are not only questions that are shared among other students whom do not fall into specialized categories, but these will be the questions that our children ask us. I don’t want to have to explain to my children why these divisions exist, but to share with them the history of our country and all the people part of it. Our past is never something that should be forgotten, but the way we need to handle and work with it is together.

CSUN is one of the most diverse colleges in America, and instead of feeding into the continued segregation; we should work to be the example for all others out there that struggle with these continued divisions. People should never lose their heritage or their culture, and should be allowed to study and practice it, but this must be true for all groups. Many of the people who are part of these specialized groups have seem to forgotten that many of them enjoy these freedoms due to the fact that those “other” people fought for their rights. They were the first to bring the injustice of racism and segregation into the eyes of the mass majority.

To wrap up, I ask the school and the students to recognize this growing wrong before it gets out of control and work to correct it. I no longer want to walk the campus of CSUN and see signs that cater to only one group of students. If every student cannot participate in a school organized event, then it should have no place on campus. I want to be proud of the university that I graduate from, and look back years from now and say, “I was part of a university that saw students as students, we helped forge ideas for the future of America and its students of higher education and knowledge.”

Jennifer Flores History Major