Film opens up on touchy topic of racism

Jelina Cortero, Staff Writer

The Social Responsibility Committee held their first film showing of five called “Mirrors of Privilege,” to inform students about the truth of racism on Thursday.

Over 40 seats were set up around the music room and almost every single one was filled.

Sandra Carter, a member of the SRC, handed students a flier presenting the rest of the five films that they are planning to show students and the dates of those showings. She introduced to students what the SRC stands for and explained how their committee speaks and discusses about controversial topics.

“These are our attempts to help heal our sick environment, heal ourselves from the pathology of our history,” Carter said.

The film featured real-life experiences of white activists and their struggle to transform and how they worked their way towards the commitment to end racism.

Participants in the video explained the difficulty of understanding white privilege. They explained the advantage they have everyday just by being white and talked about how it was an unconscious sense of white supremacy.

One participant in the video said that it was a type of pathology on how white people were able to go to church in the morning and attend a lynch in the afternoon and think that there wasn’t anything wrong with it.

“That’s the point of the video [when talking about racism],” Carter said. “It’s so white, you can’t see it.”

It was an emotional and very intense film as it went on to discuss how the participants felt guilt and shame over the issue. One participant, on their journey to transformation, asked how they could be of help in ending racism. She was told to “educate your own people.”

Steven Coughran, a member of the SRC, explained how important it is to not only talk to those of color, but more valuable to talk with each other.

“Conversation may be the only hope we have for a just society,” Coughran said.

After the video ended, Coughran and Carter stressed the importance of ending racism and promoting a just society.

“I like how the video addresses white privilege. I think that’s the first step, is addressing that type of racism,” said Brian Phu, a 22-year-old sociology major.

Ryan Mullens, a 23-year-old liberal arts major said, “Racism is very much a part of our culture, even if people won’t admit it. Understand that.”

Students weren’t the only ones in attendance at the event. Professors were there as well, and one of them had a lot to say on the issue.

History professor Alexander Peshkoff was very animated in his arguments against racism.

“White America truly believes that there is a leveled playing field. It has never been leveled. It’s a struggle to understand that,” Peshkoff said.

Professors like Peshkoff and Coughran and committees like the SRC are striving to enlighten students about the issue of racism, they demonstrate the fact that we all have the power to change the world.