By Sergio Bucio
Throughout time, activists have fought for equal treatment of anyone with a difference from oneself, whether that be a sexual orientation, gender, race, color skin or any other differentiation. With all this being said, we’ve come a long way. With the technological inventions such as social media, we as people now have a broader spectrum of people we can reach, with new ways to advocate for equality and equal treatment for everyone, it seems like we’re headed in the right direction. But it seems that this upcoming election has really divided the country once again.
In this past year, Forest Grove experienced a division of people, one that many hadn’t seen in real life. A simple banner that read “build a wall” to some and had minimal meaning, made others felt unsafe and want to go home immediately. During this time it was logical for staff and supervisors to want to advocate for the well-being of the students who felt unsafe and make them feel welcome. But what seemed to be forgotten is that discrimination is faced by everyone at one point, even the very own staff and teachers and staff, sometimes daily.
I asked several teachers of color, what it felt like to be a person of color in a setting where there is a majority that they are not a part of. Of course, I didn’t make them feel uncomfortable in the process, yet it was a very eye-opening experience because I was able personally listen to the concerns of a lot of these teachers and some even with experiences from their very own students and staff at the high school.
A well-known teacher at the high school who chose to remain anonymous said, “I’ve heard students refer to in the halls as ‘the brown bitch’ and with all this being heartbreaking it’s just heartbreaking for me to hear those things said about me”. On occasion she says she’s tried “to to hold those students accountable for what they’ve said, and make sure to make them understand that it is wrong” but they often find a way to run away, she says” but they often find a way to run away.
As a student hearing my former teachers speak like this about what they’ve experienced at their job is truly heartbreaking. Ultimately it’s our responsibility as students and the new generation to bring awareness of what’s happening and to stand up for what’s right. But unfortunately, with this new election it almost seems as the normalization of discrimination is on the uprise, we must unite and form together a safe haven and form a community for all, we’re all are welcomed and we all honor each other’s differences to because this isn’t about upcoming president anymore, it’s about encouraging others with love and compassion to unite and stand up together for respect and a safe environment for everyone, regardless of the color of skin, sexual orientation, gender etc. We are all members of one race and that is the human race.