By Kavita Jaikissoon

With tensions high due to COVID-19, one would think that race would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Still, the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the Central Park incident involving Christian Cooper has made it blatantly clear that not even a public health crisis can stop racism in America.

When situations like these occur, it can be disheartening.

It is easy to cast blame on others, but it is more important to look inside ourselves and figure out what we can do to stop tragedies like these from ever happening again.

SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, recently released a report on Twitter about how we, as a community, can help put a stop to this.

In his statement, President Martinez-Saenz said that these problems we have don’t belong to any “one” group, but to all of us and efforts from all are necessary to “fix” these problems.

“Keep in mind, when journalists talk about they, killing them, we fail to recognize that ‘we’ are killing ‘us.’

“We need to understand that many of our friends, our colleagues, our students and our neighbors are hurting. Which means ‘we’ are hurting.”

People are social creatures. We live in groups and depend on one another to survive. The only way we know how to live is as a community. We all affect each other and need each other.

It may seem like discrimination and racism are someone else’s problem, but that is only because we lack proximity to the problem. If we are not directly affected, it becomes easier to ignore everything. As the saying goes, ‘out of sight out of mind.’

When we choose to ignore what is happening around us and refuse to act, we become the problem.

In the words of President Martinez-Saenz,

“…our first obligation is to investigate our own complicity in the problems we say we overtly oppose as well as the subjective mechanisms that condition our habitual and psychological responses to these problems. This is a fundamental obligation that is not easily accepted. Asking ourselves if we are part of the problem takes courage; it also requires us to look honestly at the ways we rationalize our ways out of becoming part of a solution.”

President Martinez-Saenz has already become part of the solution by empowering the SFC community.

He has reminded us that we can make a difference rather than sit around and blame others.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

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