Music Therapy major, Opinion Editor
Picture it: It’s 1839, and you’re an African-American slave in the southern United States working for your master with zero rights to your name. You are a different color, and because of that, you don’t matter.
Another scenario: It’s 1848, and you’re a woman who has a dream to get a college degree and become a surgeon. Not a nurse, a surgeon who operates on patients. But because you are not a strong male, you are shot down and laughed at — or maybe even spit on.
Or: It’s 2018, and you’re a religious person in a college cafeteria. You bow your head to pray in the middle of the crowded lunch hall. Your peers are laughing at you, and mocking you for your dedication and genuineness.
However: It’s still 2018, and all you keep hearing about is “judgement free zones” and respecting one another’s cultures. But all you see is judgement and oppression.
Diversity has always been looked down upon. Dating back to the early 1900’s when African-Americans were segregated and enslaved because of their color, to even now where people of a different, color, race, religion or political party are discriminated every single day, for every single thing they say.
“How did America get to this point? I thought we were the ‘Land of the free and the home of the brave.’ It doesn’t seem so free anymore.”
I hear these words on a daily basis, wherever I am. Be it, in class waiting for the professor to arrive or walking downtown to grab something to eat. These murmurings are such a common occurrence, it doesn’t even strike my interest to listen to the rest of the conversation anymore.
Depressing, right? It’s very depressing to see the oppression and hate that is set against each other for our own diversity and differences.
You’ve heard it before. With all of the political happenings and the recent elections, you’ve heard people say, “I’m moving to Canada,” or “You won’t see me in this country in a few years.”
So, because everyone is different, and we are so stubborn to realize that, the easy solution is to run and leave?
People seem to cry for more diversity of cultures in the United States, combating the already apparent oppression of differences with each other by bringing in more variety. And not only by requiring students and adults to learn about different cultures through textbooks and classes, but actually bringing in foods and customary events from other countries to America, just so that we actually know what the world is like outside of America.
But the thing is, while bringing in different cultures and adding diversity to the country seems like a great and wonderful thing, the same people who are promoting the education of different cultures are the ones bringing oppression upon the “different” people that are here already.
Oppression of diversity doesn’t only happen to people of different colors or races from other countries. It can happen to anyone, and I think before we focus on learning about the rest of the world, we focus on trying to understand each other and each other’s thoughts before going out and doing bigger and better things.
Reaching out to others from other countries and educating students on their cultures and customs is amazing, and it should be welcomed more often, but look at what is happening.
Look at the hate and oppression happening right in front of you.
Every day, we hear of another bad thing that has happened, and it usually happens because of a difference of color, or religion, or even political party. Why can’t we come to understand each other? Why shouldn’t we be able to realize that everybody is in fact different, and does have the right to share their own opinion?
We don’t even have to agree with each other, just understand, and have respect.
On Nov. 8, Turning Point USA, a non-profit youth organization that promotes the principles of fiscal responsibility, free market, and limited government held the event “Campus Clash” at Cleveland State University.
Truthfully, when I heard about the event, I was nervous to attend.
A lot of the times now, you hear about these events, and you hear about the violence and discrimination that takes place. I wasn’t ready for it, and I didn’t want to deal with it.
However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The event started off with an hour long discussion from the influential pair about their strong conservative beliefs and their opinions regarding the most recent election. Their claims were forceful, and they didn’t waver or prance around the issue itself. It was straight to the point, and the two weren’t afraid to say that they were Trump supporters.
Although most of the people in attendance were Republican, there were also some Democrats in the crowd, as was heard in the questions portion of the event. And truly, I was amazed at the maturity and civility from both Kirk and Owens, and the representative from the opposing party.
I had been waiting for something bad to happen, for a riot to start or an argument to open up and cause chaos. But if anything, Kirk and Owens encouraged conflicting views.
They liked the controversy in beliefs, and respected the other side for being able to debate about it. The same goes for the people with the opposite views. The conversations were never hot with disagreement, or tense, or angry [they were passionate, yes. But, it was a healthy passion.]
It was such a change to see two people from opposite parties debate cordially, it almost felt surreal, like I was watching a television show and that I wasn’t even at the event. It felt exciting and gave me hope for the future.
Most of these people weren’t even mature in age adults. Many of the people questioning were students that I walk around the university with; my upcoming generation.
Last edition, I wrote about the number of differences between the two main political parties and the tension that holds between the two of them. This time, I write this to you as a follow-up article. After seeing students, my age, hold a peaceful argument about their political views, it shows that we are all fully capable of respecting one another’s opinions.
Just because people are different and share different ideas and thoughts, we don’t have to hate each other for it.
The same kind of respect that happened at “Campus Clash” needs to happen in everyday life, not when we have time to prepare for it or we are in front of a crowd. Respect shouldn’t be such a hard thing as it is.
Next time, you share a difference with someone, embrace it. Embrace the fact that, as Americans, we are allowed to think individually.
Disclaimer: The views in this opinion article are separate from and do not reflect any bias on the news article that is written by the same individual in this issue.