Concerned students shed light on profiling
By Cris Romero - Staff Reporter
Raising awareness of racial profiling was the goal of students speaking at last Thursday's forum sponsored by the Inter-Cultural Center.
The initial presentation started with a YouTube video of keynote speaker Dalia Mogahed discussing her fears following the attacks of 9/11. She felt scrutinized because of her Muslim heritage. "I don't mind questions, it's the accusations that are tough," said Mogahed.
Ederly Ebeausilien, facilitator of the event, has plans to major in Network Engineering. Ebeausilien initiated a series of prompts to begin a discussion on the topic of racial profiling.
As students began sharing their experiences and situations where they encountered some form of racial profiling, some became frustrated.
"There are good people and there are bad people," blurted one student out of frustration over the criticism of police pulling over people of color.
Aby Colmenares said that racial profiling is "prevelant, still around and still uncomfortable." She said she believes that some police are good but that some are also bad. "We should identify someone by who they really are," said Colmenares.
Highline student Shanessa Prescott-Jennings, who is majoring in Psychology, is worried on the potential outcome of Racial profiling.
"It's happening. It's real. It's taught me that those that haven't gone through it, don't truly know [Racial Profiling]," said Prescott-Jennings. The results of the recent elections have caused her to be more active. She's so far attended 5 post-election forums.
"It's time to stand up for what is right," said Prescott-Jennings.
Even as time progresses, many still face racial profiling.
Vanessa Primer experienced this when a student she had helped with over a period of time stopped asking for Primer's help when he found out she is multiracial.
Primer also expressed concerns with this ongoing conversation.
"It makes me sad despite how far we've gotten," Primer said.
She said that the statistics on how many people are racially profiled are "alarming" and that the "big stats" should be focused on first.
"We need to start [change] at home, with ourselves. Practice what you preach," Primer said.
But while Primer is distressed by the prevelance of racial intolerance, others don't seem as concerned.
Ebeausilien is concerned that it doesn't seem to be an issue for some people. He urges folks that as a community, people should love.
"Don't be mad if cops stop you even if you aren't aware of your mistake," Ebeausilien said.