My heart is deeply grieved of the recent news that Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi mother of five living in California was beaten to death by a tire iron. Found on her body was a note that said, “Go back to your own county. You’re a terrorist.” This incident shows the long reaching affects the political rhetoric and rancor of the past 10 years has done to the American psyche. A spark, of anger and hatred spurred by our popular culture and political leaders, has turned into a fire within the fringe of our country,
Gay youth are committing suicide due to relentless intimidation and harassment, Trayvon Martin was gunned down for what some call “wearing a hood while black” and the murder of Alawadi, all point to a starling problem. There is a dark side of American culture. While it is underground, it is still there. A deep-seated resentment of other races, of people unlike us, lies in the hearts of many. This dark side exists, even at WSU. I cannot count how many times I have heard racial, homophobic, and sexist slurs at sporting events, social gatherings, even in the work place and classes. This isn’t just a problem isolated to WSU, but everywhere that I have been.
It would be easy for us to give up hope, hope of a better tomorrow, a tomorrow without wrathful hatred and reckless violence. But we cannot. We are the answer to the problem. We must be active architects of a better country and a better world. Silence in the face of bigotry and discrimination is agreement and consent. We must challenge every instance of inequality, no matter how small it is. While overcoming our history’s dark side is not pleasant, it is something we must actively do every day.
ASWSU vice-president elect