By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Two Tucumcari High School students will present an advocacy presentation about racism at the Family Career and Community Leaders of America national conference on July 3-10 in Washington, D.C.
Christopher Arellano, one of the students, said the goal of the presentation is to raise awareness about the history and evolution of racism in our country’s past and its presence in today’s media.
Arellano said the presentation covers general aspects of racism including the stereotypes displayed in media today, as well as the “reverse racism” that is being overlooked by news and social media.
“We all have seen the reports of white police officers assaulting black suspects,” Arellano said. “The truth is there are instances of black police officers assaulting white suspects that are not being highlighted in the same way.”
While the main point will be to encourage people to live in a racism-free society, the first step would be to have people not judge a situation based solely on a stereotype, said Angelina Arellano, Christopher’s cousin and co-presenter.
Angelina said people should not jump to conclusions when an instance of racism is being reported by the media. She said people often jump to conclusions and form an opinion or judgment before they know the facts.
Christopher Arellano said the facts often are ignored even when presented by a valid source. He said in some cases it’s no longer about what occurred, it’s about the race of the people involved in what happened.
Angelina said the idea for this project was sparked when a black friend was the recipient of a racist remark. She said the remark was unnecessary and vulgar.
However, Christopher Arellano said racism is no longer just an issue of segregation but of stereotypes that is used by all races of people. He said in the school he has witnessed racism being used by students of multiple ethnicity.
“Racism has become diverse,” Arellano said. “It’s being practiced by everyone instead of being eliminated by the masses.”
Angelina Arellano said the project also has a personal root, she and her cousin had a relative who suffered discrimination on the job. She said the relative’s hiring was delayed due to issues relating to race.