It’s Not Just Black and White


Layla Mathews

The solution to even subtle racism is understanding each other.

Layla Mathews, Photo Editor

Holy Trinity isn’t immune to ignorant behavior and snide remarks. Racism is an important issue which is swept under the rug far too often and needs to be addressed. 

“Certain kids make racist comments, or say racist things and we have to hear about it through other people, but then they try to act like they are your friend,” said junior Adiya McDougal. 

Most of the incidents that happen between teens aren’t driven by malice, but mostly by pure ignorance. Students may repeat comments they’ve heard their parents say, or even things said on the news, without really having reasoning behind why they do it. But those individuals need to realize that what they say can have consequences and seriously hurt their peers, even if it wasn’t intended like that. Some students say racially insensitive comments or slurs just to fit in, as they feel they will be seen as “cooler” by others but when in reality they are just being ignorant.

“People think that saying words like the n—word makes them edgy or trendy, but that’s just not the case… don’t think you are being cool, because you’re not,” said senior Naomi Aguilar.

“This girl told me to turn my ghetto music down when I had my headphones in finding music for a project in class.  They try to make it funny to make it seem like they aren’t being ignorant but it really isn’t funny at all,” said junior Ajalae Rivera. 

“It’s really awkward being a minority at some points, I feel like people think they are better than me, even though I know they aren’t,” said McDougal. 

There’s all sorts of different obstacles minorities face on a day-to-day basis when it comes to fitting in at school. Many students feel as if they have to change themselves to please everyone else, otherwise they will be judged. Stereotypes play a big role in this, being confined to certain stigmas because of your race is degrading and hurts. Often what students see in the media and hear at home affect how they act towards their peers. It causes people to be a different person at school in fear of being hurt, rather than being comfortable as who they are. 

“I see that sometimes the discrimination, especially in junior high, can make them want to change themselves into somebody they aren’t,” said junior Myles Chapman. 

“People always tell me go back to Mexico, and I’m not even from there; I’m Puerto Rican. They are just grouping us all together,” said Rivera. 

Racism is everywhere and there really is no way to completely eradicate it because that’s just not how the world works. Although, it’s hard to report every incident as many students feel they will get judged even more for speaking up about how those comments make them feel. Often times they feel it sometimes makes the situation worse. They fear they will get scrutinized by those students for being a “snitch.” 

But there are things the school can do to start a conversation and maybe help people realize what they are saying and how it affects the people around them. When incidents that can come across as ignorant happen, don’t just ignore it, talk about it and why it can be seen as  hurtful to the people around them. Just starting a conversation about the issue is a big step towards progress. Also, letting students know that they have someone to talk to about these issues and that they shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed when it happens to them. Most students don’t report the situation because they feel scared about what happened or they feel like they are alone. Encouraging students to speak up about what’s happening is half the battle in resolving the problem.

“I feel the school needs to make sure they are giving adequate punishments to the kids causing the problem, because otherwise it’s just gonna snowball and grow bigger and bigger,” said Aguilar. 

All of these issues keep popping up and many students feel not enough is being done to prevent it from happening again. The Holy Trinity community needs to do all they can to not tolerate subtle and overt racism. It’s mostly the feeling of reassurance and the feeling of being safe in your own skin. School is where students spend a significant amount of time and there should be no reason that students don’t feel comfortable as themselves. 

“Racism, honestly, is an outdated mindset. At the end of the day we’re all the same, we bleed the same blood. We are no different from each other, which gives us no reason to look at one another differently,” said Chapman.