Racial jokes and stereotypes must come to an end

In today’s edition of The BG News, there was an aticle on Judy Jackson May. In the story, May talks about the race-conscious environment she grew up in during the late 1960s and the 1970s, as well as the challenges and mistreatment she faced, simply because of the color of her skin.

Thirty years ago, this treatment of minorities, including African-Americans, was commonly practiced. Though racial segregation had been legally ended with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it did not diminish in social practice for many years after.

Today, such mistreatment and discrimination still happens, but on a much more subtle level. Though they may seem harmless, racial jokes and stereotypes are inaccurate and insensitive to all races.

The BG News staff believes that a better job must be done must be done by the public to remove racial jokes and stereotypes from use. While the First Amendment right to freedom of speech should be protected, it is important that people realize the impact their words may have on others. This is especially true when the issue of race is involved, as both whites and minorities alike run the risk of greatly offending each other.

A change this large cannot come through the efforts of just one group or person alone. It will take a conscious effort from the public, including students here in Bowling Green, to do away with these racially-charged images. Through the efforts of both the University and the community, we can work to improve relations between different races and bring about a real end to all forms of racial separation, especially that which may unconsciously exist in our speech and beliefs.