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Prevent prejudice, promote equality, rights for others

Fulton is a first-year news/internet major and can be reached at sarah.fulton@drake.edu

As a country we like to think that we have gone a long way in fighting prejudice — however my recent experiences have shown me otherwise. As a kid I was taught that prejudice was something that happened in the United States a long time ago and is now not a problem. Growing up in suburban Kansas I had little reason to believe otherwise. That is until I grew up and realized that there was prejudice going on all around me.

Working at Lowes this past summer I came face to face with prejudice. It was so invisible to me that the first time I came face to face with it shocked me. I was checking a man out, when another man of the Sikh faith walked by. The original man shouted at the Sikh man that he should take his take turban off because he was in “America” now. I was appalled, confused and speechless. I think I set a world record for the fastest check out. Still even in my speediness he got at least ten more comments. After I rushed the man out the door, I realized that I should have given him a piece of my mind. I wanted desperately to go back and scream at him that he was in America now and there was room for those kinds of thoughts.

After that I began to notice every sly comment that came from customers and fellow employees. There were comments about Spanish speaking individuals and women in hardware stores. It was an overwhelming world to be introduced to; suddenly I began to notice the compilation of news stories about the continuance of prejudice towards people of Muslim faith, Hispanic descent and African Americans.

Prejudice happens and it happens everywhere, even at Drake. It is something that we all need to be continuously aware of. Do not let it take you by surprise. I agree that as a country we have come a long way against prejudice but it is time to come even farther. We cannot let it shock us into silence. We need to take active steps by promoting awareness, speaking out against negative language and setting an example for younger generations. By simply not being blind to prejudice and not rushing it the door we can take a stand against it.

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