From the moment you stepped foot on this campus, you were told over and over of the ACU Mission: to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Through this, you have been told repeatedly of the various culture groups around campus and why you should join. That you should learn about another’s culture, so that you can fulfill the mission of ACU and, if you don’t get involved, then you must be stuck in the elite state of mind- rich, educated and white.
Contrary to the common ACU belief, let’s get one thing straight: if you don’t want to celebrate someone else’s culture, you should not have to and, as a matter of fact, we should not condemn you.
Today, we have months, weeks and, specific days celebrating everything and everyone of a different race, ethnicity or sexual orientation that goes completely against the stream of social “normality.” At least, that’s what we can consider it.
Starting out with Black History Month, which originated in the 1926 and is generally celebrated during February, men and women of all races and ethnicities are educated and carried through a quick-rundown of Black history in America. The fact of having a month dedicated to black American heroes is not the question at hand. Yes, we should remember heroes of any race and color that have served a purpose in the U.S. However, why should we be almost obligated to listen and learn about black Americans’ heritage from the early stages of slavery, through the Civil Rights Movement and the effects of those occurrences today through the cliche memorandum of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech? It’s like a broken record player, over and over the microphone drilling into our ears the already realized notion that black people are overcoming racial issues.
We get it. MLK was important but why should I have to celebrate, remember or admire his speech, actions or ideas if I, myself, am not black?
Yes, the speech is more than black or white and yes, the speech is about unity of all colors coming together. However, do not other speeches do the same thing? Can not this speech be spoken outside the month of love? Because the speech is usually only spoken during Black History Month, then it is preconceived that it is a selective speech – a black speech.
Frankly, those who wish not to celebrate Black History Month should not have to. In the same way, black people do not have to celebrate white people.
Months that celebrate specific ethnicities like Hispanic Heritage Month, which is generally celebrated during the month of April, give rise Mexican advocates like Cesar Chavez and shout the of Viva Mexico! Viva La Raza!
Tell me this, why should my anglo-American friend celebrate my Hispanic heritage? She might like the food, dress and customs of my culture, but she does not have to celebrate it. She is not obligated to.
If you do not want to celebrate someone’s cultural heritage or history, then please use the nearest exit. No one is looking and, frankly, no one will really care.
ACU has pushed for an ideal world of students who will soar high on angel’s wings and find world peace. ACU wants its students to be culturally prepared to face any person and share the gospel with any race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The idea is not bad, but it is impractical.
On campus, we have several organizations that both unite and divide the student body into specific ethnicities, nationalities, races and sexual orientations. From Black Students’ Association to the LGBT community, you can choose where you want to fit in. You can divide into the sectors, as you please.
If the mission is to unite and educate all students so that they can be sent out into the world, then why have specific organizations where you have to choose?
Contrary to the belief that everyone needs to learn about other cultures, sometimes you don’t want to, and who can blame you? I may not like to dance to specific music or sing songs in a different language and you may not either.
I’m not saying that everyone is like this, but perhaps there are some quiet, frustrated souls who feel like they need to celebrate the culture forced upon them or else be seen as raciest, elite or naive.
Listen up: if you want to go to a Black Student Association party or event, and you are or are not black, then by all means, go. No one is stopping you from wanting to learn about someone’s culture or lifestyle. It is important to learn about other cultures because it helps you connect in ways you’d never believe, learn new customs to incorporate in your lifestyle or just have fun with different people. Even if you just want to go for the party, who am I to say you’re wrong? Parties are one of the best ways to learn someone’s culture and a great way to meet new people.
Go and learn for yourself the uniqueness of some cultures and implement the traits you want for your life.
However, if you don’t want to know about a culture or don’t care, then please do not attend. By walking out, you are choosing not to listen or learn from other cultures and are deciding that you are okay with what you have. You may be losing the opportunity to meet new friends, taste new foods, try new dances or learn new customs but, like I said, it’s your choice. And I do not condemn you for it.
Yes, it is important to learn new things and cultures of all races, ethnicities or orientations, but you should not be obligated to learn if you don’t want to. This school should not feed you the impractical idea of a perfect world united by fear of becoming racist or closed-minded.
You are not obligated to learn and like other cultures; in the same way, I may not want to learn yours.