Racism has been prominent in the United States since the founding of our country. It is a part of our history that we can’t deny. Even harder to deny is the fact that racism is still prominent in our society. This summer, the prominence of racism was reflected through the vulgar statements posted on Facebook by a Wellesley High School student.
My initial reaction to this incident was shock. I had not been in Wellesley during the summer, and was completely clueless about what had happened. It wasn’t until I received a text from a friend that I realized there was an issue. Even after I heard of the incident, a whole month went by before I learned what had actually been said in that Facebook post.
I never expected a Wellesley student to say something so racist. I understand Wellesley is unique in the sense that the majority of our school and population is white. I understand that we don’t have as much experience with other cultures and races as other teenagers. These are facts, but they are not excuses. We are taught right and wrong from a young age, whether it be through what our parents teach us or what we learn in school. This was clearly wrong.
Racism has always seemed like a distant issue. I never truly saw any examples of it in Wellesley, or even in the surrounding communities. Although, after this incident I realize that I was simply ignorant. Racism has never been a distant issue, and it never will be.
Since the incident, I have tried to follow the news a bit more. Being uninformed about an incident in my own town made me more conscious of being informed about the country. Since this incident, I have been making sure to watch the news nearly every night. I have noticed the seemingly consecutive police shootings. It is as if there is a new one every day, and it has made me more aware of how prominent racism is in our society.
I then applied this to what I have been told about Wellesley by peers, teachers and parents for my whole life. Wellesley seems like a bubble. We live in a unique society and often seem invincible to issues facing the rest of the country. However, we are not invincible. The issue this summer reflects that. I hope that we can all learn from this incident and make a change. We need to break out of our bubble and become more familiarized with the real world. I have acknowledged my ignorance and made the effort to eradicate it. I hope others will do the same.