Discrimination Hurts Us All By Spencer Poku Kankam

2045 words - 9 pages

In a February 25th, 1961 article from the Milwaukee Journal titled, “Discrimination Hurts Us All,” Spencer Poku-Kankam from Ghana is quoted as saying, “When we experience discrimination, we wonder if this is the civilization we are supposed to copy. We cannot present America as the champion of democracy when we return to our countries because of our experiences in race discrimination.” The article goes on to say, “We have moral reasons for ending discrimination. They are buttressed by a selfish reason – we must validate our contention before the world that our way of life offers more to mankind than does Red totalitarianism.”

Discrimination - according to Webster, entered our vocabulary in ...view middle of the document...

Does racism still exist? Some might say no – racism is dead, evidenced by the 2008 election and subsequent 2012 reelection of the first black President of the United States. But is this true? Is racism defunct? Statistical evidence is difficult to find for Indiana; however, the Southern Poverty Law Center notes Indiana as having 20 active hate groups. (See the map here.) According to NBC News, a 2012 Associate Press survey found that in fact, racism had increase in the United States since the election of Barack Obama in 2008 siting that “In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. … Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes.”

Clearly, name calling and slurs are not tolerated though, right? Prejudice and her twin sister Ignorance reared their ugly heads the night of Super Bowl XLVIII when during a commercial by Coke™ which offered a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful sung in multiple languages. Tweets such as, “I am no longer drinking Coke because they used terrorists in their commercials. #TeamPepsi”, “Coke loses my respect for putting a gay couple in the video. I couldn't give a [OMITTED SLUR] about the Spanish song” and most egregiously, “That Coke commercial sucked. Mexicans, terrorists, jews, and [OMITTED SLUR] are not “American”. With that classic, telling opening line, one guy tweeted, “I’m not racist, but This is AMERICA! We speak English!” A quick rundown of Twitter came across open slurs against blacks, Africans, gays and lesbians, middle-easterners (specifically Arabs), Mexicans, Southern Asians and East Asians. Of course, this does not even begin to touch on the “speak American” or “Stop singing in Mexican” ignorance nor the fact that American the Beautiful is not the Star Spangled Banner.

While perhaps the imminent threat of the red scare has somewhat diminished, how are we handling the ongoing process of ending discrimination in Indiana? We had the pleasure of posing some questions to Sam Carman of the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity [INSERT CREDENTIALS HERE]. In response to us, Sam prefaced his comments by saying, “Discrimination occurs in Hendricks County. I know it, I've witnessed it, and I have friends who have been victims of it. However, I've spent my entire career as a scientist. I don't accept premises or information at face value--I want to see the data, the statistics, the research. And I expect others to demand the same proof from me as I expect from them. … Coming from a scientific background is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because my BS meter has a hair trigger and causes me to check facts so I'm not too easily taken in (I have yet to send my bank account information to that attorney in Morocco who has $10 million to split with me); but it's a curse because it's hard for me to just...

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