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On the surface, America seems to be moving forward toward complete elimination of

racism; nonetheless, this progress is really just turning into resegregation, especially in the
educational world. Jeff Chang in his book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and
Resegregation, elaborates more on this concept and encourages people to take action and speak
up. He stresses this ideal that “racism kills” (4). The use of the word “kills” provokes a strong
emotion. In my belief, this phrase should ignite a spark in people to take action because at least
for me it reminds of “the names of the fallen” (1) and people in death row that have been killed
unjustly. In my CTW class, Bryan Stevenson in Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
discusses, “how easily we condemn people in this country and the injustice we create when we
allow fear, anger, and distance to shape the way we treat the most vulnerable among us”
(Stevenson, 14). This infers how we judge people and condemn them to death just because they
don’t fit society’s norm. Consequently, Chang highlights, “speaking up about injustice is exactly
what democracy is supposed to look like” (35). Bringing up the conversation about race and the
injustices it causes is something people fear to do because they either don’t care or are afraid of
hurting someone else unintentionally. I believe that this is something ingrained in our minds
since birth and further developed as the years go by due to the environment we’re around where
people are “teaching us what not to say to each other than what to say” (36).

Entering Santa Clara University has been an eye-opening experience since the beginning
of day one in this Ethnic Studies class. Throughout high school, the conversation of people being
racist was silenced and ignored by my principal; however, this Ethnic Studies class has given me
an educated voice that influences me to take action on these issues and embrace who I am. Us,
the youth, have never really been taken seriously and considered explosive when talking about
something that drives us like defending our identity. Chang emphasizes this perspective by
explaining that, “The young may not speak in the language we are accustomed to hearing. We
may think them sometimes too imprecise or cavalier in their rage. But if we miss their point-for
which they have been willing to sacrifice everything-we will undoubtedly be hearing it again
from the next generation” (50). This excites me and awakens a spirit that wants to be a part of the
solution to this problem, a problem that for decades continues to just go in a loop from crisis to
reaction to crisis again.

However, social media today has provided a platform for these injustices to be heard and
discussed. Media has a very special effect that sways the audience to a certain viewpoint. For
example, Chang mentions, “One supporter told Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, ‘The birth
certificate stuff, I loved. I watched all the YouTube videos on it, and what he was saying made
sense.’ She added, ‘I’m dead set [on voting for him]’” (12). This perfectly demonstrates how
most people, myself included, get highly influenced by what others have to say; moreover, social
media should be used as a source to advocate positive change in society. I believe that, if used
otherwise, social media can be “una arma de dos filos” as my mom would say meaning that it
can act as a weapon that hurts both sides of the situation.

“Young people who grew up exemplars of post-1965 American diversity while attending
schools that were dramatically resegregating have taken to the streets and the university quads to
march against their own invisibility and demand a renewed attention to questions of equity” (1).
Since years ago, students have been fighting for justice, so why stop now? This concept of
providing individuals the resources and tools they need to succeed, known as equity, is often
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challenged and questioned, so as Chang presents it, “Right now we have the opportunity to get it
right. Our shared future depends upon it” (8). In my perspective, it is a future that I would want
my children and grandchildren to have without the fear of being targeted or having to prove their
intelligence because of stereotypical threats.

Work Cited

Stevenson, Bryan. “Higher Ground.” Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Spiegel &
Grau, 2015, pp. 14.