Racism is inherent to our culture and builds the foundational implicit biases that shape our opinions of the world. As UWL is a predominantly white student body, it is easy to deny the racist ideologies that are rooted at the core of our thinking.
The lack of exposure to people of color on this campus allows us to ignore the pervasiveness of racism, thus preserving it further. However, it is fundamentally wrong to idly benefit from the social constructs established in favor of white students and continue to deepen the oppression without a second thought.
Staying passive while racism poisons the very soil we stand on makes us guilty of perpetuating the injustice. Evil can only exist if good does not make itself a force to be reckoned with. Likewise, refusing to actively oppose racist behavior is simply allowing it to take place.
How can we ever expect to dismantle systems of oppression if we protect them in remaining passive?
We must instead acknowledge the role that we play in racial prejudice and refuse to participate. More so, it is our responsibility as educated members of society to reject apathy by making racist behavior such a miserable experience that no one wants to engage in it. This includes speaking up in times of wrongdoing.
As a rule of thumb, any opportunity that presents itself should be confronted. Remaining neutral in times of injustice is equivalent to siding with the oppressor, and for this reason, we must never be silent bystanders.