Segregation in 2016?


Mac Strobel

Just when I thought I understood this country, WHAM! something comes up that completely confuses me.

  Late this summer, California State University–Los Angeles decided to introduce all black housing, a decision that I don’t understand.

  Martin Luther King Jr., the most influential civil rights leader, had predictably strong opinions on segregation. “We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.” Yet today, Cal State creates housing that segregates students and brings back a principle that haunted the 60’s and decades before.

  I have studied a lot about segregation, and all that I’ve learned is that it’s clearly bad for society. When I think about it, I remember pictures from social studies of “White Only” drinking fountains and “No Blacks Allowed” restaurants, concepts that seem foreign today. Yet, Cal State wants to create a new sign that says “Blacks Only” housing.

  Although I can’t say I know the position of the students that want this special housing, I do know that I sit next to Hispanic and African American students every day and look at them the same as every other person. But, it might be a different case if these students were going to a different, separate school down the road just for African American or Hispanic kids. I would then view them as different than me. Now, they are my teammates, my neighbors, my friends. If we were separated, what would they become to me?

  In a college dorm, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t view the person that sleeps across from me as different. But, if the person lived in a special house only because of his skin color, I might view him as different.

  Even though I may have an opinion on the subject, being white, I don’t have the experience to fully understand this topic, so I turned to African American Soph. Jaelan Williams. “We’ve had a lot of history with segregation and have come a long way from it, so we should really do whatever we can to stay away from it.” Segregation was a problem that took generations to abolish from institutions and Cal State shouldn’t be allowing it. Jaelan and I also agreed that “We should be better and united as a country, because if people were white and they did that there would be an uproar from movements like Black Lives Matter.”

    Either Cal State is deciding to perish as fools, or MLK is wrong. On this one I’m pretty comfortable siding with MLK.