Conversations on Social Issues: The New Racism kicked off Salt Lake Community College’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. About 75 people participated in the event that was held in the Markosian Library.
Dr. John McCormick led the conversation with a series of questions about racism and then moderated the comments that came from the audience. People talked about racism in America, power and racism, and the difference between individual racism and institutionalized racism.
“Whenever there is a minority group, we target that minority group because we don’t feel comfortable with it,” says visual arts major Keegan Helgren.
The new racism is discrimination aimed at keeping a group in its place. Even if an individual rises above that place, it is important for that person to be grateful to those who have allowed him or her to achieve the level that he or she has.
McCormick says that this is one type of racism that President Obama has encountered.
Biology major Alicia Emery isn’t sure if racism can ever be solved, but she thinks that we can make progress.
“Every single person is meaningful progress,” says Emery.
“Conversations on Social Issues” is intended to be a monthly event over the next semester. February’s date has not been set.