I attend Bay City Western High School, site of the now infamous confederate flag display. On one hand it is clear the confederate flag displayers had constitutional rights to free speech. But on the other it was a blatant symbol of racial intimidation and ignorance by the bearers. I truly believe the event highlighted a long ignored prejudice that has been rooted in the community of Auburn for years. We can take a Stand Against Racism through better education of those ignorant to their actions and fostering an appreciation and understanding of diversity.
Many in the Bay Area may be surprised to know that the recent display of confederate flags is nothing new at my high school. Every couple of months someone would pull into the parking lot waving the flag, and most of us, would just roll our eyes. The majority of students understand that although it is “just a flag” the history and connotation behind it target minority students. But there is that small population of students that need a better education on what their actions portray about themselves and to other people. They may have the right to wave a racially connotated flag but sometimes when you have nothing nice to say it’s better to say nothing at all. It comes down to respecting others and their feelings, and understanding the history that goes behind what they are promoting.
With that I believe most of the flag-bearers are not completely aware of the magnitude of their racism. Bay City Western showcased a side of our community that has long been disregarded, the ignorance of the people within it. With better education and outreach I think the students of our school and community can understand where the feelings of minority students are coming from. We can take a Stand Against Racism by no longer just rolling our eyes at the blatant disregard for others, but by better educating the history and feelings of those being discriminated.