Letter to the editor: Exposure of ‘racism’ at Iowa State is blessing in disguise

Trevor Brown

“First we form habits; then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.” — Robert Gilbert

Racism is a bad habit.

The controversial issue recently stirred up with the Iowa State Daily’s “Just Sayin’” column runs far beyond a problem with racism, however. Racism is but a tiny piece of the puzzle. We are dealing with a fundamental issue on how we interact with and affect one another as human beings. You are kidding yourself if you think this is an Iowa State problem. You’re kidding yourself if you think there is a place you can go where these problems don’t exist.

Set aside your opinions regarding the “Just Sayin’” section of the Iowa State Daily and whether or not the author’s intent was racist for the time being.

Consider, instead, that every thought we formulate, every decision we make, has multiple consequences. Eating Panda Express instead of buying groceries may taste better and save you time, but your waistline and bank account will take a hit. Asking somebody out may begin a new relationship and make you happy, but your friend may have been planning on the same thing and a friendship gets ruined. When you stereotype instead of investigate, you save yourself the time of doing research, but you remain alienated from new experiences.

Not considering all of the consequences of our actions is a bad habit we all are guilty of. So is a lack of sensitivity toward how the consequences of our actions affect one another.

Regardless of whether or not ignorance is blissful to you, ignorance is lazy and ignorance is wrong. We cannot simply keep refusing to confront these issues in hopes they will disappear. That it society’s equivalent to living on the Gulf Coast and knowing a hurricane is forecast to come in your direction, but choosing to do nothing and denying that a major disaster is imminent. You’ll save yourself from having to abandon your home that is so comfortable to you, but eventually the storm will come and everything that makes you comfortable about where you are at will be damaged, if not destroyed.

Ignorance, like censorship, definitely cures the visible symptoms of hate. It undoubtedly presents the illusion that nothing is wrong. It blocks a catalyst by which ignorance, racism and other bad habits flow from one person to another. But racism, slurs, hate, discrimination and so on are the cancers of society and will always find new ways of spreading. They will continue to fester and grow until confronted head on.

I’m ashamed to call myself a Cyclone if we are convinced that shutting people up will make this situation any better.

We owe it to our peers and to ourselves to stand up to issues such as these. What better place than Iowa State, with its rich diversity and culture, will we ever get a chance to fight back together.

This is CyclONE Nation and its time we start treating each other like it.