College is supposed to teach you how to function in the real world and be a good, contributing member of society. Some things aren’t that simple. Racism is one of those things. You might think that requiring students to take classes about race would help to resolve the growing tension and racial division in America, but it wouldn’t.
We are living in a time where race has been viciously weaponized for political purposes. It has become very difficult to sit down with someone who has a different opinion than you—especially
concerning race—and have a polite conversation. Requiring students to take classes on race would not be beneficial for this very reason.
This method would be unnatural and inorganic because, now, the motivation behind taking these classes would be to fulfill an academic requirement, rather than to actually learn about other races and how to peacefully coexist with them.
Some students would feel targeted, or like they were the problem, so they would choose to ignore the lessons in class. The ones who really need this kind of education would be turned off from it because of their being forced to take the class, therefore, the professor would simply be “preaching to the choir”—the ones who already know how to coexist with others, despite a difference in skin color.
Something to consider, however, could be to incorporate a “Human Development” category in the core curriculum. Students would be required to take at least one of these classes and they would include classes like intro to communication, African American studies, women and gender studies, religious studies, sociology, anthropology, etc.
Students would still have to pay, but they would have an extensive list of classes to choose from, which would allow them to retain more of their freedom in choosing what they want to study.
Now, this is a very ambitious idea, but if VSU offered classes on race for free—students could pick one class on race to fulfill a core requirement—then maybe students would be more open to taking them. Students having to pay for a class like that could be seen by students as having to pay for someone to correct their behavior and that could be upsetting and offensive. This would defeat the whole purpose of having students take these classes.
It is apparent that race relations in America aren’t great by any means, but you have to acknowledge the role politics and the media are playing in this. If you took away the Republican and Democratic parties, people wouldn’t have these politicians and their talking points to cling to.
The media sensationalizes everything to push their own, often biased, narrative. They only highlight the most extreme cases of racial division—burning down businesses and cities, unarmed black men being shot by police, etc.
This isn’t what everyday life looks like for the overwhelming majority of Americans. Think about your own day-to-day experiences. People generally know how to get along and live happily.
For those that don’t understand how to do this, it will take a lot more than a class at VSU, or any other university you could attend, to change that.
This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.