Look within to fight racism

Isaac Norman, Online Editor

The human expression of racism takes many shapes and forms.

On an individual level it can be something as internal as fearing black men walking past the street to something as heinous as the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, where Dylann Roof killed nine black parishioners in hopes of igniting a race war.

When we talk about dismantling racism in our country we first must understand the underlying feelings driving racism and acknowledge our own prejudices.

From there we must find what solutions we can implement to reform as individuals and what reforms we can make to our institutions.

For example, most white people I know, myself included, have said the N-word at some point.

Whether it was shouted as a slur, said in a private conversation among friends or repeated as a joke said by a black comedian, using the N-word as a white person is racist and offensive no matter how you cut it.

However, the person who said such word may not necessarily be a white supremacist, they might just be a jerk or an idiot or an ignorant dumb white boy like I used to be.

Furthermore, we must understand where our personal prejudices lie and where they intersect with institutional discrimination.

If we no longer believe in harshly penalizing non-violent offenders who are disproportionately people of color then we must vote for new legislation to end this injustice.

If none of this resonates with you my hat is off to you.

You either are already fighting against racism and for equality or you are happy within your bubble, in which case ignorance is bliss.

However, I suspect for most, if we really stop and think about racism we can think of moments we wish we could take back.

If you feel racism is a problem in our country but you are unsure how to fix it here are a few suggestions: