Racial tensions increase as result of social conditioning

By: Brett King
Issue date: 11/30/07 Section: Opinion

Across the Opinion page this semester, writers have discussed situations of so-called racial injustice or discrimination. This paper has covered minority groups holding protests not only from around the country, but also here on campus.

Those born in the last 30 years did not grow up during the civil rights movement and only experienced the event through history books, but we have taught ourselves one thing – minorities are always victims and majority members are always racists.

Travis Grigsby, drumline member at Lee’s Summit West High School, was suspended for 10 days because Grigsby used the n-word; however, it isn’t the n-word that automatically comes to everyone’s mind. He was suspended for using the word "noose."

In a statement from the R-7 School District that was published in the Lee’s Summit Journal, "the suspensions took place after school administrators had counseled a group of students ‘about a variety of racially tinged remarks alleged to have been made by various members of the group and had advised the entire group that further such comments would lead to disciplinary action.’"

The warning given to band members was clear and straightforward, but Grigsby did nothing wrong.

According to the Lee’s Summit Journal, the situation occurred when band members were talking about the best way to secure instruments during transport in a truck for a band competition in Warrensburg, Mo.

Kim Grigsby told her son’s side of the story to the Lee’s Summit Journal. She said, "So one of the boys said, ‘Does anyone know how to tie a noose?’ My son, who is almost an Eagle Scout, said ‘Yeah, I know how to tie a noose, but it’s illegal, so we can’t do that.’"

Fox 4 News, a Kansas City television station, reported a black student overheard the conversation and told a teacher he was offended because of the use of the word noose. The suspension was given to Grigsby for using a "racial slur."

Despite the fact, the word noose is not a racial slur – it just illustrates that we have a major problem with the youth of this country. Here is a young man who is trying to take the right course of action and say, "We aren’t going to do this." Instead of being shown as a leader for standing up and doing what is right, he’s thrown in front of the firing squad.

The United States has created multiple generations of youth and young adults who have had the idea slammed into their heads that when it comes to racial issues, they are either a victim or racist.

When a parent tells a child they are bad, pretty soon the parent has a constantly misbehaving child. These mindsets have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. No one is born a racist or victim, but they are perpetuated in our society.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are starting to reach another breaking point when it comes to race relations in this country. We have seen an increase in racial tensions because people are looking for ways to get rid of their aggression for being pegged into a mindset they do not have situations like what happened in Jena, where both sides are at fault, will become a more natural occurrence.

The ways in which frustrations in our society are manifesting themselves are not right, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why fights or the displaying of nooses have increased once again.

On The Web: http://media.www.kstatecollegian.com/media/storage/paper1022/news/2007/11/30/Opinion/