Last week, the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center invited anti-racism author Tim Wise to speak about how to recognize and minimize racism in America.
The lecture hall where Wise spoke was filled to maximum capacity before the event even started, demonstrating a clear interest in minimizing acts of racism at a university that has seen its share of racism.
Wise demonstrated with hard facts the presence of racism in a supposedly post-racist America. For instance, he cited the statistic that “black and Latino individuals are two to three times more likely to have their cars stopped and searched for drugs than white individuals, even though white individuals are four times more likely to actually be found with drugs.”
By keeping discrimination like this in mind, individuals can be more aware of “subliminal conditioning,” and perhaps reverse their own discrimination. This kind of conditioning will hopefully prevent the everyday, sometimes unintentional, acts of racism.
His message was strong because he did not simply say that racism exists. Unfortunately, this fact is already quite clear. He also highlighted where racism exists and how to stop it.
Though the entire country is far from attaining such logic, progress can be made on a small scale with UC Davis students. This is why more speakers such as Wise should be brought to campus, and more importantly why students should go. The demand for change is encouraging, and should be fulfilled by organizations such as the CCC.
The more students attend these events, the more students will spread the trend of self-awareness. While simply holding events like these may not eliminate hate crimes altogether, perhaps it will minimize the common, daily acts of racial discrimination.