The Work That Lies Before Us

The+Work+That+Lies+Before+Us

Gauri Patwardhan & Elle Vincioni

The staff of The Beacon takes a stand against racism and prejudice against others of any kind. We strongly oppose any attempts by any student to belittle and target another student based on the color of their skin or any other bias. This outrageous behavior does not reflect the views or values of the Newport Harbor community as a whole. It is reassuring to us that as a whole Newport Harbor students and staff do not condone prejudice, and those few who make the choice to put others down will stand alone. All Newport Harbor students are equal in every sense, and deserve to be treated as such.

Events like these remind us that the fight against racism and hate is not over. It still seeps through our campus. It’s in the invisible boundary between white and Latinx students at lunch, the stereotypes we subconsciously believe in when we meet others, the jokes we text our friends during Zoom classes. It is rampant around us. And it needs to be taken seriously.

A racial slur is not just a word. A racial slur is the upholding of the systemic racism that has poisoned our nation since its birth. A racial slur is the invalidation of one’s existence, a direct insult to another human’s identity. We hear racial slurs and comments around us, and one too many times we do not speak out about it. Let us use this event as an opportunity to point out racism in our daily lives. To speak out against our friends’ racist jokes, to recognize and defeat our own racist stereotypes, to learn more about how racism infiltrates our communities.

Racism, at its core, is just another form of hate. Hate is used to discriminate. Hate is used to belittle one’s experiences. Hate is used as a force to tear down kindness and love. Don’t let that happen. Don’t ever settle for hate. Just because a person may think it’s a joke doesn’t mean the other will. It may hurt them, make them feel less important, or lead their mind to dark places where no one should ever go. Hate is the true evil in our world and only love, acceptance and empathy can combat such a destructive power.

Even if a racial slur is said under the guise of humor, it still perpetuates systemic racism, whether you like it or not. Remember, our words are powerful. They have the power to help, to heal, to humble and to inspire. However, with this power comes responsibility, for our words can also harm others. They can unite millions around the world for a common cause, but they can also create deep divisions in society. They can bring love and hope, but also hatred and destruction.

So think about your actions and know that everything you say matters. Hate usually starts from simple jokes, which turn into conversations, which eventually can turn into blatant violence. History has proven how hate is spread. Don’t repeat the past. Let’s have a better and more inclusive future. 

We must use this opportunity to remind ourselves why we are here. This is an opportunity for education, a time to remind ourselves that we, as a school community, stand for respect and inclusion. We must be a place where all are free to learn in a safe and welcoming environment, with absolutely no exception for any slanderous and bluntly racist acts of discrimination and pure disrespect. This is the work that lies before us, to learn from our mistakes and make a change.