Shellie’s Shake Down: Our generation should put an end to discrimination

Shellie Zamponi ‘15

Focus Editor

Welcome to the twenty-first century: we are the generation to grow up on “SpongeBob SquarePants,” witness the end of Twinkies (or the supposed end…the iconic yellow bread was picked up again), and…we could be the generation to end discrimination.

How wonderful does that sound? A world free from discrimination. In reality, there will always be that one individual who remains static in their opinions, but two people can overrule one. Tolerance can be spread exponentially.

Embracing culture is not something that is learned overnight. It has not been that long since segregation was the law in the South. Actually, laws were not put into place until 1964. In our short lives, this half a century seems like a minute period of time. Really, it is half a century compared to the dawn of time. Big difference.

My dad told me about this one time when he was staying with his uncle in Kentucky and they went out to breakfast. The diner was full and all seats were taken. Except, when they walked in, an African American man and his son got up and moved for them because it was expected. My uncle took their seat as if it were a natural thing-it was a natural thing to them.

Our natural instinct as humans is to back away from things unknown-we fear the unknown. Different religions, different cultures, different races-instead of asking and learning more, we try to hide our stares. Most people would be more comfortable with you asking, rather than staring.

If I am being honest, there is quite a bit of discrimination at LCN. But our school is trying to combat that as well as to teach tolerance: Mix It Up Day, held on October 28, is meant to teach tolerance, and student roundtables were put into place to bring people together.

An individual, one single person, a tiny piece in the world, a gear in a movement, a gear to keep everything spinning and turning and growing. We are so much more than a speck in the world; one individual can do so much in the face of discrimination. Now, imagine an entire generation, our entire generation being the counter force to discrimination, striding to make everyone feel better, striving towards equal pay for women, striving for less discrimination based on skin color or religion.

You are not just a small speck. You are the person to create the reality you want. We can be the generation to end discrimination.