To whoever scribbled that derogatory remark on the wall of the women’s bathroom door in the Santa Rosa Residence Hall, I ask this simple question: Is that all you’ve got? After all, you’re claiming some sort of superiority by scribbling such a statement, but considering you’re most likely a student in this prestigious university, it is a substandard attempt at being witty.
Such behavior doesn’t surprise me. It is nothing new. Humans have seen it from the dawn of mankind, and it continues today. The moment people learn to spot a difference in another person, the potential for this behavior starts to gain momentum. And then in one swift move, bam, some buffoon scribbles hateful words on a women’s bathroom door. The only cleverness here is that at least the perpetrator chose a time when the majority of the residents where the crime took place were away at a conference. Was it sneaky or was it cowardly?
Sociologists blame prejudice or racism on fear. Psychologists blame fear on ignorance. Educators attribute ignorance to isolation. Could the individual who did this be so isolated as to commit such an act? Or could it be that that the schmuck who did this is nothing more than a coward hungering for some sort of attention? In any case, you suck. In a simpleton type of action, the ugliness of an action has created a stir. Was this the goal? Are you gloating over your “accomplishment” beneath the rock from which you crawled out?
This is UCSB. The simple translation is this: You’re all capable of better. But then there’s the fact that even the most “educated” person can be socially inept to the point of racism and, yes, even stupid. I’ve witnessed the smartest and the brightest say the most asinine things. Racism has many faces. It could be the person sitting next to you in class or across from you at the dining commons. It could be anyone, including the face staring back at you in the mirror. How do you know? You don’t. It is enough to fuel the fires of paranoia, but don’t let the paranoia consume you. Use your smarts. You’re all here for a reason and that is to learn. If you do not learn about the person sitting next to or across from you, then learn about yourself. Learn what it means to be a good person.
I refuse to repeat the words scribbled on that bathroom door. To do so is to purvey the message that a hateful individual wants to make public through us. We all know what was written and from this we all know that there’s an idiot in our midst. We’ll hold those words as a basis of what is wrong with some people in our world, not just in our little community. It doesn’t matter what color, race, ethnicity, religion or whatever you are. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow, brown, purple or green. I don’t care if you’re male, female or trans-gendered, straight or gay. I don’t even care if you’re a Republican, Democrat or an Independent. The bottom line is that the writing of those words is racist.
So, to the scribbler I say this: Maybe where you come from this kind of mentality is the prevalent train of thought. If this is the case, well, distance yourself from the melting pot of American society and practice your brand of witticism on your fellow brethren. I seriously doubt that someone of your ilk will pick up a book and learn about what all the ethnic groups that came to this country had to go through to get anywhere at all. It would probably be too difficult to digest.
Let me end by saying that I don’t hate you; actually, I pity you. You’ve got this secret deep down that I know you want to burst out and share with the world so they can see how clever you are. The only problem is that the world you want to share it with doesn’t see it as clever, just as racist. I really pity you.
Henry Sarria is a long-time Isla Vista resident.