The need to pop the Skidmore bubble: Practial Race and Diversity

Posted by Danny Pforte

Ah, our great democracy… our free and equal country. Will anyone address the fact that 1 percent of our nation's population holds more than a quarter of the wealth (by the way, the government doesn't tax this bunch anymore), leading to more than a third of our nation struggling to survive? How about the increasing disparities that plague people of color in terms of poverty and incarceration? Any talk of equal pay for women being shot down in a recent congressional session? These issues are a few that often go unspoken about.

So as we enter a period of increasing inequality based on differences in race, class, gender, etc., our community faces a problem that is ingrained in our culture. The term the Skidmore "bubble" troubles me because it impairs our vision of the problems we face in our community. Students actually believe that our campus is special in that it goes against the ideals and practices of the larger society. But this is simply not true.

Issues in the broader world are salient on our campus. The majority of students come from an upper middle class background. Most are white. Increased inequality has seeped into our education system, leaving for the most part only the privileged to attain one of our most cherished resources. With privilege comes apathy. An apathetic campus has resulted from the facade of the Skidmore "bubble," leaving many students uninformed of issues that impact all of us, all of the time.

However, although relatively small in number, students of different backgrounds do exist. Many of them, including myself, possess frustration of mistreatment and discomfort.? A lack of understanding of those who embody identities that are discriminated by society's structure is evident on campus. At times, I feel as if my experiences would not be understood by a majority of students here. So I keep quiet, but not anymore.

Many students on this campus share this same sentiment. With recent events, such as the dialogue addressing campus climate and the student reaction to the Compton's incident, students who do not fit into the majority do not feel as comfortable as they should, or as safe. And this is what inequality does to society. This is what it has done to our community. So as we walk around, invisible in a sea of sameness, try to understand why that is. Understand our concerns are as important as yours. We are acting and we will continue to fight against the invisible oppression on our campus and in our society. I hope you pay attention, and burst the "bubble" that is suffocating our community.

Danny Pforte is a sophomore from Cambridge, Massachusetts who studies social work. He is inspired by Malcolm X, Jay-Z and Bernie Sanders.

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