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Yes, discrimination exists, now let’s stop it

As this is the last paper of the semester, The Setonian would like to discuss an important issue that has been emerging in our country and to call on the millennial generation to put a stop to it: discrimination. Whether it be gender, racial or religious mistreatment, there is no denying our nation is not perfect. An article this week, written by Leah Carton, highlights the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Program’s efforts to bring awareness and education to younger students, as we are the ones to make the change. The disruptive conflicts over same-sex marriage and police brutality are just some of the many debates over how this country deals with minorities. Innocent people have been discriminated against for too long and it is just now being brought to light. Riots in Baltimore have erupted as a reaction to the unexplained death of Freddie Gray after he was hauled off into a police van. While looting and arson is never the answer, as Dr. King, Jr., would have condemned as well, they may be seen as manifestations of the frustration many people feel at what has been happening in our society. Until everyone admits that there is a problem and vows to end it, we cannot move forward. And it is not going to change simply by saying “I have an African American or gay friend, so I am not prejudiced.” No. It is by saying that there are unequal employment rates. According to the 2013 employment report by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the percentage of white men making 70K or higher is at 48.4 percent while only 6.1 percent of black men received as much. For white women it was at 21.2 percent and for black women 5.5 percent. That is a serious gap. It also will change by saying there is a problem with how police handle minorities. According to the NAACP, African Americans are incarcerated six times as much as whites. They also reported that 14 million whites admit to using illicit drugs while only 2.6 million African Americans do. However, African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses 10 times more often than whites. The facts are, and always have been, here. We cannot deny them anymore.

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