Sometimes, people only pay attention to certain issues only when they become a big deal, when presented as “News” from a news channel and when it is too late.
In Jackson County, we have just such an issue now: hate crimes. Hate crimes have recently spiked Jackson County. Fights at high schools have increased because of the results of the election on Nov. I know this because I am Latino and I can tell that racism became stronger since Donald Trump won the presidency. How can I tell? well, it is a feeling that only minorities experience and can relate to.
Verbal and physical aggression has grown among students of color and white students at local schools. Among the recent incidents, a Latino youth got into a fight at Eagle Point High School over white student’s comments about “building the wall.” Another case of racist harassment happened at North Medford High School, here is the video.
Racist behaviors can also take the form of indirect microaggressions. For example, my brother who is a Latino student at Saint Mary’s High School, and he was in a group in which a student said, “hey, let’s go build the wall guys.” In another incident, an employee at a Mexican food restaurant was asked “on what side are you going to live when they build the wall?” My brother is 14 years old, too young to respond to comments like that with violence or a good rhetorical answer to tell his classmate that what he said is not okay. At these moments, violence is not an answer. But this moment could have been ended in a fight, depending on the person’s temper and age. Meanwhile, the managers at the restaurant have told some white people to leave the restaurant because of racist comments.
I have lived in Jackson county since 2011 and I never experienced so much racism before Trump’s campaign. Let’s just not get into politics and explain on what context something was said to say, “it was all a misunderstanding, his campaign really meant this.” It is clear that the Trump’s campaign brought back this sense of racism in the air, sensed by minorities here in the Jackson county. This is causing a lot of hate aggression between minorities and white people. Even though not all white people say hate or racist comments to minorities, there will be the “generalization” that everybody does. This somehow stops white people and people of color from trying to work together. It might seem like it is not too crazy out there in Jackson county but it is starting to be more visible all because of Trump’s political campaign.
There is a big difference between talking about a candidate’s political campaign policies and attacking a group of people in a racist way using the political campaign as an acceptable excuse.
My main concern is that students of color are being targeted at school. Bullied on by their ethnic background. The outcomes could be devastating for them. It could result in things like, low levels of self-esteem, increase in dropout rates etc. This might seem like I am exaggerating but this is just the beginning and a lot is already happening in regards to racism. Here is a viral video from a middle school as a prove that this is a huge issue. I can’t imagine what will happen in the next four years.