We Asked Ateneans about Their Thoughts on Racism

Article by Christian Chagas

Racism should not be tolerated. It’s as simple as that. It is wrong to judge a person by the color of their skin. To discriminate others because of things like skin color will narrow down your understanding of their identity, context, and culture.

I love my school because Ateneo does its best to make sure that everyone is accepted and viewed equally, regardless of their race. Ateneans share a common passion to become an open-minded society. Still, in reality, racism remains to be a serious issue. I asked 14 Ateneans what they think about racism, and here’s what they had to say:

Samantha Castroverde - WIM Feature on Racism

Samantha Castroverde, 18

We can’t say that racism isn’t completely over yet. Because there’s still some parts that you see that darker-skinned girls getting publicity for their art and their modelling, but then you’ll also see reports of other races getting abused – so you can’t completely say that racism isn’t over. It’s still a gray area; it’s not black and white.

Diether Arias, 18

Racism is something that we, as a society, have to develop. For example, discrimination is not something that should be taken lightly and we should work together as individuals to conquer and develop different ways to conquer racism. Everyone should be treated equal and all races are equal as well, so I think that racism shouldn’t be in this world.

Elisha Ascuncion, 18

I think that racism is just a platform of hate. We’d like to think that we’ve become better people over the years, but up to this day, discrimination and racism are normalized. Since it is normalized, I think there’s a stronger call to love others more na there shouldn’t be a grey area. It’s either you are for or against it.

Inzaghi Cabacungan - WIM Feature on Racism

Inzaghi Cabacungan, 18

For me, racism starts when we’re kids. (It starts) in school and at home. How the parents and the teachers in our schools teach us to do what’s right and wrong. Through these ‘right and wrong’ things, we may unconsciously develop racism.

Bianca Te, 18

I think racism is still present. People continue to, even if not explicitly, innately in a way, parang they encourage it or deep inside they have their own misconceptions about it. So I think, why is there still racism when in fact we should all accept the differences and not judge them because of that kind of differences. In color, ano ‘yung difference if you’re white, black, or anything in between – aren’t you still considered in between? Racism, in general, should be eradicated and the thinking of the people who acknowledge racism should be stopped.

Kyle Recomono - WIM Feature on Racism

Kyle Recomono, 19

Racism is like hitting your head in a brick wall. Because at the end of the day, we’re all still one and the same.

Albert Gruta - WIM Feature on Racism

Albert Gruta, 18

So, for me, racism is the result of ignorance, because you’re insensitive to their culture and their upbringing. To discriminate people based on their race, it’s just really unfair because you’re not familiar with them and you treat them badly.

James Gavina, 19

I believe racism is a prevalent issue in our current society, and it’s found in most facets of society. It can be found in business, sports, journalism, school, jobs, and in media. Racism is also found in both parties; black people can be found to be racist and white people can be found to be racist. It’s a prevalent issue that won’t go away anytime soon.

Nina Alessi and Shirlyn Chiang - WIM Feature on Racism

Nina Alessi, 19 (left), and Shirlyn Chiang, 18 (right)

I think it’s (racism) very offensive to races and cultures because it is discriminating different kinds of practices. When people wear the hijab, people immediately assume them as terrorists. Even when they’re just walking in the streets with a bag, people would ask things like, “Is there a bomb there? Are you hiding something?” – it’s so offensive. Even people who live in Canada or the States, they wear things (like the hijab) but that does not mean they’re terrorists; that doesn’t mean they’re already immediately part of ISIS. People are generalizing everybody.” (Nina Alessi)

Racism is offensive. It’s kind of like stereotyping din; people generalize me and they write me off as a type of person just because I’m Chinese. (Racists) are quick to judge you without getting to know you beforehand. They just assume just because you’re Chinese you’re ‘ganito ganyan.’” (Shirlyn Chiang)

Ryan Villanueva, 18

I think people don’t understand how pressing the issue is in our present time. I mean, we’ve gotten past the very harsh events that occurred during the 1970s revolving this issue. Even still, there have been so many events that have occurred that still point towards that same main issue: racism. I thin99k people have to be more aware, even though we’ve gone past that, since it’s still a very concerning issue today.

Enzo Coloquio - WIM Feature on Racism

Enzo Coloquio, 19

You know, racism is pretty terrible. There’s not really much of a reason to hate someone just because their skin color is different. It’s basic – you can’t judge someone for something he can’t control. Racism kind of rids someone of his personal agency, because, after all, you’re not judging him based on his actions: whether he’s good or not. You’re judging him based on being black, white, blue, or whatever.

Kali Dar Arizabal, 18

 “My take on racism is that it (racism) depends wherever you are in the world. In most developed countries, racism is not as much of a big thing, considering that it is part of the law and socially-accepted that all people are created equal with equal opportuntes. However, in other less-developed countries or countries with a very different kind of system of law, racism is a very important issue because some people are discriminated in terms of opportunites and the ways that they should grow. My final say on it is that, especially now in developed countries, racism shouldn’t be an issue. The only reason why it continues to be a persisting issue is that we keep bringing it up and we keep defining people by their race, regardless if you’re black, white, or any other kind of ethnicity.

Patricia Kime - WIM Feature on Racism

Patricia Kime, 19

Racism is a social construct, created by old age society. If it’s whole essence was designed by people, it could also be eradicated by us, especially that we are who society consists of today. I’m glad that people are being more aware towards these problems but there’s still a lot of work to do. It’s sad to say that the media we all spend most of our time on is first in line to create such standards and dictate what is truly beautiful for the market. This then influences how society thinks and honestly, it all depends on how each individual perceives it now. I hope we all take the time to understand how no other culture, identity, and skin color is better than the other.

It is imperative that we open ourselves to discourse, especially when it comes to racism, so we’ll be able take one step further in finally eradicating it. With this in mind, try to immerse yourselves in people’s worlds, whether these people are your friends or not. For it is only through getting to know them on a deeper level that you’ll be able to really assess who someone is. Socialize; don’t generalize.


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