Per our discussion in class this week regarding the Oscars nominations and other issues that exist within the film industry, I have been thinking lots about what race means to different people, how we as humans see and define race, and how we let race control so many areas of our lives.
This semester, I have been pleased to see much more overlap in each of my classes than ever before – and most of the time, it is about this issue of race and how humans are treating other humans. Before I delve into these connections, I would like to express how truly thankful I am to see Wake Forest keeping these issues at the forefront of our conversations – because we cannot expect to make a difference without first discussing and expressing our frustrations. I am thankful for a University that challenges us in ways that help us grow as a community, even when we sometimes should be embarrassed to be part of that community.
I was deeply saddened by the article that the New York Times released regarding the Oscars nominations. I mentioned in class that this undoubtedly was expected, because the article and all supporters of it have seemed so ready to take charge – as they should be. The disappointment for me, however, is not that the Oscar nominees are all white. It’s that talent is not able to be recognized right now because talent is not being given opportunity to be truly seen.
I am in an Editing class this semester in the Journalism department where we talk a lot about the news, current events, and how to handle these things from a journalism standpoint. Just before the Oscars nominations came out, the Old Gold & Black published an article about more racial tensions – existing between students and administration, of all things. The very same day, I sat in an English class that discusses redefining citizenship in Britain, where we talked about how harsh the racial tensions have been in England and how they are still problematic today.
I could write for hours on this topic, with details and suggestions that would imitate our class discussion last week, but for this post, I wanted to connect my other classes and highlight two things: First, that racial tension still exists everywhere regardless of how it is covered, discussed, or titled. And sadly, though we like to think it is getting better, it really isn’t different than the kind of racism that immigrants experienced when the came to Europe looking for work in the 19th century. Second, that we can make a difference by how we talk about things, write about things, and how we choose to keep acting on them rather than letting the “uncomfortable” sink into the background. I am very proud of Wake Forest students and to go to a University that is redefining itself through the power of its students. Pro Humanitate – without exclusions.