Uncovering the roots of racism

September 27, 2007

by Lacy Patton

Four Tech students are taking a stand to make a difference in the world. Marscel Harris-Parker, Nette Archangel, Donna Fields and Deenay Hicks began last Thursday in the Student Center, handing out flyers to educate others about the story of the Jena Six.

“Our job is not to tell people what to think, but to give them the correct information and allow them to make their own opinion about the situation,” Hicks, vice president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and a senior biology major, said.

According to jenasix.org, in September 2006 at Jena High School, a black student asked to sit under the “white tree,” a spot where the white students congregated under.
The next morning, three nooses hung from under the tree; the three students responsible were expelled. Tension in the school escalated until fights broke out, resulting in a black student getting beaten by a group of white students at a party in November. In December a white student was attacked by a group of black students, who were charged with attempted second-degree murder. According to jenasix.org, the students were sent to jail and their bonds were set high, with one of them at $138,000.

Hicks said eventually her group’s ultimate goal is to rid the world of racism.
“I feel that the organizations and students on Tech’s campus are taking a stand, and it makes me proud to say that I am a student at Tech,” Hicks said. “We are all ready to stand together and move the world.”

Harris-Parker, a senior medical technology major, said, “We are for the eradication of racism.”

Archangel, a senior mathematics and science education major, said their goal needs to be reached soon.

“If [racism] doesn’t stop now, it passes on from generation to generation,” Archangel said. “It just won’t stop.”

Fields, a senior sociology major, said, “This will keep going on until someone takes a stand.”

Hicks said in order to erase racism, people need to first start being educated and educating others.

“In our own community, we need to educate ourselves if we want to educate others,” he said.

The group passed out flyers to students to educate them, but Archangel said it seemed as if some of them did not want to learn.

“I saw some people who didn’t even read it; they threw it away,” Archangel said.

Harris-Parker said young people should know about what is going on because for this generation, it is very easy to get information about what is going on in the world.

“We need to ask ourselves, ‘How do I really feel about this?'” Harris-Parker said.
Hicks said she feels that more students should be savvy to what is going on in the world, especially in their own state.

“Jena is only two hours away,” Hicks said, “and most people don’t know about [what is going on].”