“I feel like slavery was a week ago and segregation was yesterday,” Alicia Blanding, a freshmen biology and pre med major, said. “The civil rights movement occurred only so many years ago. People are not going to change overnight.”
Blanding is an African American who has lived in several states during her life. While living in a town in Maryland she felt discrimination as she had to constantly fight for the grades she deserved.
Just as the number of hate groups in the United States has grown dramatically since 2000 the number of hate crimes directed at minorities, specifically Latinos, has increased.
According to a report called “The Year in Hate” released by the Southern Poverty Law Center the number of hate groups in the United States has increased from 602 in 2000 to 888 in 2007.
“Unfortunately not only me but some of my peers of both black and Hispanic races were discriminated against,” Blanding said about times when she was growing up.
“Sometimes people either mistakenly or knowingly call me a Mexican. Maybe because they feel I fit that stereotype but that does not make it right,” Miguel Amaya a freshmen finance and Spanish major, said.
Amaya was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 9. He expressed that overall his transition to the United States was easy but sometimes people lookeddown upon him and his family because of their skin color.
“If you don’t know me then don’t call me something that I am not,” Amaya said. He was referring to his experiences having been called a “wetback” or “spic.”
Although Amaya has been the target of some racism in his life, his time at Cabrini has been peaceful.
“I think the people at Cabrini are respectful to one another and I do not feel any different than anyone else,” Amaya said.
According to Mark Potok, an SPLC spokesman, the increase in the number of hate groups has grown in result to the vile propaganda made by these organizations.
“If it were merely the groups in the corner by themselves it wouldn’t be worrying,” Potok said in an article featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But now the propaganda is being circulated by the mainstream media.”
Potok said conspiracy stories regarding Mexican immigrants bringing leprosy to the United States to illegal immigrants killing 12 American citizens per day made by these groups have been covered by CNN and national politicians.
Blanding like Amaya has dealt with racism and she admits to having been called a “nigger.”
Blanding also feels comfortable with herself at Cabrini but understands fitting into a predominately Caucasian college can be difficult for minorities.
“Anybody can come to Cabrini as a minority but they may not feel totally comfortable,” Blanding said.
“You can say what you want towards me or at me but it doesn’t affect me because I am confident enough to know who I am and so should you,” Blanding said.