The University has recently come to terms with a sort of latent racism that is on campus, now when I say latent what I mean is that it is something that we're not even aware that we have, but we think that it's ok because we don't display outward signs of hate. The real trouble begins when we think that racism, or any other sort of intolerance be it religious, sexual orientation etc, doesn't happen any more, that we don't have to concern ourselves with it. To think that we are done with a subject because we've dealt with it before and "learned" that it is bad.
anyhow there were some anti-semetic and racist remarks posted on a white board in my dorm. Housing and University takes this sort of thing very seriously, there has been dialogue in the dorm, and ultimatly as a result the person who wrote it has been kicked out of houseing, and the person who's white board it was, and knew who had done has been kicked out of this particular dorm.
There are many people who think that The University is just using this incedent to make an example of these student...well of course they are. but this brings me to the point, the jewish roomate of the person who's board this is on, is not offended and is trying to have these people "saved".
so when is it racism? when can we define something as racism? Is it only racism if it offends the person or people that it was directed towards? or is it racism as soon as someone thinks that it might offend someone. At which point does this person have the right to tell the effected party that they ought to be offended and do something about it?
we are in a funny time when we think that we have dealt with these sorts of issues, yet are hyper sensitive to them. Is it better to just not be offended and move on, or is it better to be pro-active and stamp this sort of thing out where ever we think it might exist?
I suppose it just tells us that whilst living in a pluralistic society it is not going to be possible to create a sweeping paradigm that works for everyone.