Manhattan racism needs addressed

Meredith Comas, Opinions Editor

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The year is 2017. To many, that means the age of modern thinking, tolerance, acceptance. People can speak out; the age of racism, sexism, etc. is gone, right? Wrong.

“Old-fashioned” thinking still lingers throughout the states, the world even, passed on from generation to generation. It’s still in Kansas and it’s still in Manhattan. It’s time to address it.

In Manhattan there has recently been an outbreak of sorts in the amount of racism seen within the town. Manhattan has been the victim of the Kansas State Kool Kids incident (see Oct. 30 editorial) and the racist posters found on Kansas State University campus, as well as the most recent incident in which a Manhattan man vandalized his own car with racist remarks and waited until the FBI got involved to admit that he was both the victim and the offender. The man, who lied about a federal hate crime, saying it was a Halloween prank gone out of hand, has been let off with no charges. This is ridiculous.

In general, the spike in racism in Manhattan gives the town and its residents an unfavorable and false reputation. The actions of few have begun to describe the lives and attitudes of many, even interfering with the appeal Manhattan has for visitors. People aren’t concerned with what the majority of Manhattan is doing, but rather with the fact that there are a few people making a large and negative situation.

It is the agreement of The Mentor’s editorial board that the racism that has infiltrated our community is the result of ignorance and attention-seekers, as well as a lack of acknowledgment and consequence from Manhattan on the situation clearly at hand.

As a community, it should be a priority and a goal to strive to make a place that welcomes all people, to make a voice for Manhattan that is accepting of everyone. The town majority, however, no longer has a voice in Manhattan; rather the few who have enough ignorance to put this reputation out in society have the biggest voice that makes a negative impact.

What is Manhattan doing about it? No clue. For example the Manhattan High birthday-beatdown situation is still being investigated and no one is talking about it. From a public relations standpoint, that’s standard; for members of the community, it is the most frustrating decision one could make.

It is time for the community to take some action and show that this behavior is not acceptable, to show that actions always have a consequence. It is time for the community to be united in mutual respect for one another.

As a step in that direction, K-State is suspending afternoon classes on today to support KSUnite, a program aimed to bring inclusion and diversity to the campus following these acts of racism. If the whole of Manhattan was to come together like this, think of how much change and acceptance would show in the community.  

The question still remains, why is this happening? Maybe it’s for attention or for some sick joy people derive from projecting actions such as these on the community; we don’t pretend to understand nor do we know why it’s happening. All we know is people are fed up, and it’s time to do something about it, Manhattan.

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Manhattan racism needs addressed