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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

‘Outraged, angry and exhausted’

After the occurrence of racial discrimination that happened recently on campus, I have browsed through my Facebook feed, discussed it with my peers and taken the time to truly think about what happened.
As a black student on this campus, I am outraged, I am angry and I am exhausted by the fact that incidents like this keep happening nationwide. The responses of university officials, our student body president and numerous Texas A&M students have been uplifting, and I applaud them for their swift calls to action to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future. But will it be enough?
 While browsing through Facebook, people claimed to be “embarrassed,” “mortified” or “ashamed” about what happened to the 60 high school students visiting our campus. These emotions are valid, but they do not align with how I feel. As someone who has experienced ridicule — on this campus — for the color of my skin, I am frustrated that this still happens in 2016.
What’s even more disheartening is the accusations by students that the incident was fabricated, which causes many of these same types of events to remain unreported, for fear of the same backlash. My experiences as a person of color are often censored, and I am tired of being told how to feel about the life I’m living, or that what I am feeling isn’t relevant or applicable to modern America. Until you have lived those experiences, you cannot belittle them or claim that they don’t exist.
The initiatives that were created in response to the incident are the first steps towards truly eradicating racism and discrimination on this campus, but we also need to address the subconscious thoughts and opinions that might be hindering us from progress. What about the racial micro-aggressions that occur behind closed doors? The discriminatory statements that occur when there is not a black, Latino or Asian person in visible sight?
To change the racial climate on this campus, speak up. As our Student Body President Joseph Benigno clearly stated, there is no tolerance for remaining silent in the future, and there can be no change until all of us stand up against the injustices we see. For far too long I have remained silent, which is a discredit to all who have fought before me, and that is something I can no longer live with.
In addition, I hope that an open and honest dialogue about this issue can occur, for the benefit of this university and the students who attend it. Lastly, for those who believe that racial discrimination is a thing of the past, please try telling that to the 60 high school students who were relegated to having racial slurs thrown at them, and told to “go back where they came from.”
Everyone deserves an environment of peace and inclusion on this campus, but I am calling for my fellow students to do something and to not be content with how things are. Though most of this campus does not share the same views as the group that used those dehumanizing slurs, we still need to speak up, say something, and prove that we are a part of the Aggie family.
Onjheney Warren is a sociology senior and a guest columnist for The Battalion.

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