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Campus Racism 101 Argumentative

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 444
  • Category: Racism

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Nikki Giovanni’s Campus Racism 101 discusses the racial turbulence that African Americans encounter when attending predominantly white colleges. Giovanni compares these issues to situations in today’s society, which accentuates their similarity. Equivalent to the teasing of black students in any school environment, African Americans are discriminated against in most real-life situations. Giovanni believes that, because this is true, it is better to cope with racism than to lose yourself in it. The ignorance of today’s society situates all African Americans into one group rather than unique individuals, which develops racist and stereotypical opinions of the white mentality.

In her essay, Giovanni examines the differences between college and prison. Although the African Americans who are in prison have committed crimes, students of the same race who attend white colleges are treated similarly. In prison, racist comments are usually settled with violence. In college, however, it is nearly impossible to incorporate inappropriate behavior. Giovanni suggests responding to these comments with intelligence. “Comment: When I see groups of Black people on campus, it’s really intimidating. A: I understand what you mean. I’m frightened when I see white students congregating” (Giovanni, 1994). The categorization of African Americans reflecting dangerous criminals is one of the many results of racist speculations.

In a college environment, it is important to respond maturely to any unfair or distasteful situation. There is an obvious discomfort in attending classes that include professors and students who are not easily accepting of colored students. Giovanni’s essay provides helpful approaches to these difficult positions. She encourages black students to put aside the racial comments and do whatever possible to fully succeed. “You must discriminate among your professors to see who will give you the help you need. You may not simply say, ‘They are all against me.’ They aren’t. They mostly don’t care. Since you are the one who wants to be educated, find the people who want to help” (Giovanni, 1994). Racism has developed to such an extremity that even professors of authority have grown accustomed to unethical opinions such as; blacks do not deserve to be treated as normal college students.

Nikki Giovanni’s attitude toward individual as opposed to group perspective suggests several ideas about the nature of “racism”. It is evident that every person, including African Americans, is incomparable to any other. Our society is separated into millions of unique individuals who look and act differently. However, the oblivion of our society has foolishly categorized African Americans under one stereotype. This has changed the idea that “everyone is their own person.” Black people are looked at as a group rather than individuals who deserve their own opinions and originality.

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