Friday, March 26, 2010

Where is the Love?

Last night the entire UT community got an email from Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. The subject line said, "Campus Civility." Great, I thought...what did someone do now?

Here is what has been happening as of late on campus:
We have had an increase in the number of reported incidents of actions and language that reflect bias on our campus. These actions include derogatory and racist language found in our dormitories. We also had an incident where someone threw a banana at visiting African American students, their parents and guidance counselors. This incident was witnessed by some of our own UT ambassadors.
Welcome to the University of Tennessee, folks! Amazing right? How can people do things like that? I can't even begin to wrap my mind around how cruel, selfish, and mean people can be. It makes me so mad that I have to stop myself from becoming just like those who do hurtful things. I'd like to throw a banana in your face, a-hole. But I won't.

I don't want to be like them, so how do I channel my hurt and my anger into something that won't hurt someone else? All I can say is BLEGH. While I am not black/African American (I have friends who refer to themselves as either/or/both), I do know what it feels like to be made fun of or even dare I say, discriminated against?

I am a short, blonde, white girl. I know that some people will automatically assume that I don't know how to add or how to read or that I don't have any knowledge/smarts. All I care about is make-up and tanning and clothes, right? It's just air up in there, right?

Wrong. I am an intelligent person who happens to be blonde. I don't even wear make-up, I am pale during the winter months, and I'll wear whatever I pull out of the dresser. I hate it that because of my hair color, people may be more inclined to think less of me, especially if they haven't taken the time to get to know me. I can't even imagine how an African American must feel when people assume things about them because of their skin color.

There are stereotypes out there, one to fit every type of person. Because you are: black, white, Latino, Asian, blonde, brunette, red-headed, short, tall, skinny, fat, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, frat boy, sorority girl, Democrat, Republican, athlete, couch potato, Honor society member, video game club member, religious, non-religious, rich, or poor you must certainly belong here and you must certainly do this and think this way.

Just because there are stereotypes out there doesn't mean we actually belong to/fit in with that stereotype. There is good in all of us, as there is evil. Unfortunately, at times, the evil tends to overshadow the good, and the good gets forgotten, buried deep down inside somewhere.

I guess at the end of the day, one of the things that comforts me is that God loves me. Jesus loves me no matter what my IQ level is, my hair color, my skin color, etc. We are all made in the image of God. Some of my friends and others on this campus are black and God loves them. I am blonde and God loves me.

I keep asking myself, where's the love? What happened to it? God still loves us, but it seems that the love we should have for one another has disappeared.

It's still here, as surprising as that fact it is to me. Jesus didn't stop loving us because we put Him on the cross. Right now it just seems that our love for one another is covered up by hate and ignorance. Hopefully this campus can clean itself up, and we can move on from this mess.

Pray for all those who are hurt and especially for those who think it's funny to throw things at someone, just because they are different.


Annie said...

Thanks for the reflection, Ashley! I just had a great talk last night with a friend about stereotyping and all the crap EVERYONE faces! Good words to remember.

s-p said...

Lord have mercy. You'd think society would be past that, but sadly everyone objectifies other human beings in some way. May we have the heart to be aware when we are doing it and repent and see the image of Christ in all people.

Anonymous said...

Say it like it is, Ash!

Mary said...

I heard about this on the news. So sad that college students (who are suppose to be adults) can act that way. I hope that one day they realize what they've done and ask for forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Geez Ashley, you're such a blonde :p AND I LOVE YOU <3

Ashley Siferd said...

Silly're such an Asian ;) I love you too! And I miss your face!