Thoughts on “Minnesota Racism”

IâÄôm writing this letter to add some relevant information to Ross AndersonâÄôs column titled, âÄúMinnesota Racism,âÄù published on March 2. I would initially like to thank Ross for bringing this subject to light. In reading the responses on the website, it has clearly served as forum for people to feel represented and for radicals to expose themselves (though usually in anonymity, which is a good sign). I think itâÄôs beyond evident a problem exists. Various articles from campus publications have shed light on the disparity of opportunity facing the ethnic populations comprising the West Bank. In the aftermath of Ahmed Nur AliâÄôs murder in September, one of the Somali murders accounting for 14 percent of all Minneapolis murders since last December, a lot of great facts were published. A three-part Daily article titled, âÄúGently into the reach of the nightâÄù cut to the core causes of violence in the larger Somali West Bank community. HereâÄôs the most jarring segment from my recollection: âÄúThe No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 forced public schools, for budgetary reasons, to withdraw resources from programs that helped students transition into American culture.âÄù Providing vital background information about the cultures and history of those residing on the West Bank is essential to humanizing the situation. To realize that they moved here for the same reason your ancestors did, to provide a better, safer life for their families should lead us to examine the injustices still widespread across the world. Instead, weâÄôre all too quick to dwell on the inconvenience of feeling unsafe because of the inter-community violence. To spread information about BushâÄôs failed educational policies âÄî not to mention his drug policies âÄî is to stop this cancerous sentiment of blind, uninformed hatred toward their community. Thankfully, weâÄôre living in a new era of hope; an era focused on healthcare reform, educational reform, and energy innovation and independence. WeâÄôre also living in an era of unprecedented open-mindedness. WeâÄôve elected a minority, single-mother-born president. The glass from ceilings of socio-economic and racial barriers is raining joyously upon us. We should embrace this opportunity as a moment to encourage curiosity toward foreign cultures. Attend one of the myriad multi-cultural events regularly held on the Twin Cities campus. IâÄôm a member of Beta Chi Theta fraternity, a multi-cultural, South-Asian based organization formed with the intention of furthering cultural awareness and bringing diversity to the sizeable Greek community on campus. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events from us or various other culturally-minded groups like MISA, Study Abroad or any of the ethnicity-specific groups on campus. Carl Carpenter University student