Abiding racial tensions must be addressed

In November of 2007, the city of Ames faced a momentous problem; the WEB’s Bobby Hunter reported on the emergence of racist flyers across the city on the day preceding the City Counsel’s emergency "Changing Cultural Face of Ames" meeting. Hunter concluded, "The city council meeting has sparked some meaningful dialogue, but more talk is necessary before racism in Ames has been adequately addressed. Until people look beyond the sensational aspects of race, such as offensive flyers, to the more subtle and ongoing challenges associated with it, racism in Ames will not be adequately diffused." Over a year later, In-depth seeks to renew the community’s vigilance against racism and dispel apathy towards relieving the tension in this sub liminal level of interaction. By investigating the "subtle and ongoing challenges" Hunter spoke of and examining the state of the racial climate through the eyes of minority students at Ames High, it is In-depth’s hope that necessary discussion would be generated in order to affect unprecedented progress for the elimination of racial inequality in any capacity in any location. In the last few months, the word progress has been heavily used in describing race relations. It took 233 years after the signing of the Declaration for our country to progress to the election of a black president; granted, it may have been a few years sooner if our goal as a nation was to elect a black president expressly because he was black, but at any rate, this is a testament to the fact that progress in racial interaction and equality in America has historically been incremental, and this remains true today. However, this must not stop us from evaluating our progress; if we intend to reach a wholly equal racial setting, we must look back on the months since November 2007 and question what steps we have taken towards this goal, rejecting the surrender of the most infinitesimal measure, determining to eliminate stagnant indifference, and understanding the importance of each of our successes, however minuscule, as a step in the right direction. Though a step in any direction may be small, its value is uncompromised, and must not be overlooked, for our circumstance is not a macrocosm of one choice made at one moment, but a mosaic of microcosmic choices, efforts, and actions, leading us into a future we can and must affect. Join us in proactivity as we work to understand and consequently break down long-standing barriers for a vibrant and thriving interracial culture in Ames; what starts in our city can spread through diligence, and genuine racial equality is a worthy cause to consider deeply and put such effort towards.