Hate crimes are on the rise among college campuses and Shippensburg University is no exception. The most recent example was an act of ethnic intimidation that occurred on campus.
SU student Samantha Crouse was charged with ethnic intimidation when she was caught repeatedly yelling the N-word at several black students on two separate occasions.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, national hate crimes in 2017 rose by 17 percent compared to 2016, according to the FBI. FBI data shows that college campuses are becoming less safe.
The Anti-Defamation League reports in the spring of 2019 there were more white-supremacist fliers, stickers and posters on college campuses than at any other time in the recent past.
In the spring 2019 term alone, there were 161 incidents on 122 different college and university campuses, with 18 occurring in Pennsylvania.
This is obviously a problem. But what response does this warrant from us as students, faculty, administrators and staff? What can one do in the face of rising hate.
One of the biggest ways to combat hate crime is education. According to justice.gov, creating awareness is one of the Top 6 ways to prevent hate crimes.
When a government or educational institution fails to provide the necessary education, the responsibility falls onto students to keep their campuses free of hate, and a large part of this responsibility falls into the hands of students who do not belong to a minority group.
Stories about how transgender students are afraid to use the bathroom, or how black students are afraid to walk with a hoodie on at night are not fringe incidents. They are very real situations that people live through every day.
Even when a hate crime is not in the news, racial bias and intimidation happens every day.
Just because we are not the target of racism does not mean others are not.
Those of privilege must use their voices to raise awareness and direct attention to the unsanitized ugliness of racism.
We need to educate others and tell the stories of those harmed by evil ideology so the world better understands the threat posed by racists and the consequences of their actions.
It is so easy to pretend that racism ended with the conclusion of the American Civil War, or with the activism of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. However, as the events of last week revealed, racism is here and it is now.
To read The Slate’s coverage on the incidents of racial slurs, see A2.