People are equal

After reading a great deal of print about the need to stamp out racism, I felt the need to put forward my own views on what basis it should be done.

As I see it, there are two types of racism, institutional and individual. Great strides have been made to uproot the former through court rulings and legislation. But individual racism is more deeply rooted, and try as they might, lawmakers and judges cannot remove it. This is our job as individuals.

Institutional racism still exists today. It is easier to get a job, scholarship or into a university if you are from a certain racial stock. This is not fair. Often discrimination is hypocritical when it is done under the guise of “equal opportunity.” In an academic or work situation, people should be judged solely on their academic or professional abilities.

I think it is more important today to work on an individual level. Outlawing racism is like outlawing drinking for those under 21. It sounds good, but it is not effective on an individual basis. Laws only work if they have popular support. The drinking law lacks that support, at least among the minority it created.

People are equal without regard to race, sex, religion or sexual preference. It is fine to disagree or disapprove of someone else’s views or lifestyle. But the above categories simply do not apply in certain areas such as politics, economics and civil liberties. True unity can come only through acceptance of our uniqueness and fundamental equality and by realizing racial issues have no bearing on the greater part of our lives.

Michael Engstrom


liberal arts