To be an ally, practice what you preach

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International students or students of color are not looking for sympathy. Please allow me to kill that assumption. We are not looking for you to give a big grin when approaching us and go back to your resting face as soon as you pass by.

Those non-genuine yet polite smiles? That’s not what we are looking for.

Rather, we are looking for is you to practice what you preach because most of these incidents that occur on campus brew up a hostile steam of discussion then die out as soon as people get tired of talking. This is done by our fellow students and our friends, too.

For one to come to us and say, “Oh I heard what happened in the field or in the cafeteria. I am so sorry. This is not what I signed up for when I came to Luther,” is not enough if they are going to keep silent upon hearing their friends make racially discriminatory remarks.

You say you are sorry, but when given the opportunity to call out a friend and shut down that remark before it becomes an action, you don’t. So what exactly are you sorry for?

What you allow is what will continue. Thus keeping quiet when you know you should be saying “No, that’s wrong,” only gives out an impression that what they are saying or doing is OK.

Excuse me for speaking for everybody — even those who might not necessarily agree with me. But let me also point out that I am not trying to be ungrateful to those who have shown great support to the minorities at this college.

I am simply trying to say that Luther College as a whole should do more and hold up a bit on the talking. We’ve been talking for a while now; let’s start practicing what we preach.

The next time you want to dismiss someone’s racially-biased comment or action because it’s not that much of a big deal, remember that it all builds up and the ripple effects of that small thing may cause an extraordinarily big effect for some community members.


Legoadi Princess Ramabele (‘20)

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