The Orion

Ethnic backgrounds are not a joke

Photo+credit%3A+Jaime+Munoz
Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Karen Limones

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As you enter Chico State, you may be intrigued by the beauty of the school’s nature and by the diversity of students you meet. However, it is becoming an issue for minorities to feel safe and welcomed on a diversified campus from the lack of support from the Chico community.

My intentions are not to belittle community members, but why do minorities always feel the need to fight for the rights we already have? As minorities entering the community of Chico, we are also walking into a big culture shock. According to Suburban Stats, 80 percent of white Americans make up the population of Chico. So, it can feel quite intimidating settling into a new town, especially when you later come to find out there are still racist people living here.

As someone who has a different ethnic background, this past holiday I came across costumes that were quite offensive. I would not be offended if one of my Caucasian friends decided to wear an ethnic outfit from Mexico. I would think it is admirable how open to other cultures and traditions they are because that is how we can improve our knowledge of cultures. People should learn about other cultures and be open to the differences that make up this world. However, seeing someone with sombreros, colorful ponchos, fake mustaches and attempting to make mariachi calls with a Corona in their hand is a negative portrayal to ethnic diversity.

During Black Lives Matter marches, students found themselves protesting and being mistreated by fellow community members with water bottles. Just recently, Latinos being disrespected on the grounds of Chico State during an ethnic holiday. This treatment is becoming more of a struggle for us to feel part of this town. I mean, how can we truly feel a part of Chico, when we are laughed at right, in our faces? Is this the treatment we get when we try to share our culture with others?

It makes me wonder how long this has been going on with the populations of minorities who have lived or continue living in Chico. Why do people feel they need to attack college students to make a statement? We are young, away from home often for the first times and we can find ourselves in these offensive situations that can be terrifying. What have we done as college students to make you want to cause us any harm physically or emotionally? Was it us protesting for our rights?

It seems that the more these situations occur, the less action that’s taken place to avoid them from happening again. As much as we try to be hard-headed in certain circumstances to overcome the pain, we don’t always come out feeling accomplished. As a solution, I feel the university can offer more support by listening to students and show they are acknowledging that these things are happening. But in all reality, minorities must stick together because we are the ones who truly understand these situations since we face them.

Karen Limones can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Ethnic backgrounds are not a joke