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No room for intolerance in today’s world

My Opinion
Alan Stewart, Staff Writer

Anyone not angered by the recent story of the placement of a noose inside the locker of Corydon Central High School junior Kitana Beauchamp needs to re-check their pulse.
Two weeks ago, a male student made the noose out of dental floss and gave it to a girl who shared a locker with Beauchamp. The girl then put the noose in the locker, causing a firestorm of opinions one way or the other.
There’s no way to justify racism, though some ‘ for unknown reasons ‘ have tried.
‘But it was just a small noose made out of dental floss.’
So, it’s OK if it’d been ‘just a small’ swastika drawn inside the binder of a Jewish student? Or ‘just a small’ white hood or ‘just a small’ confederate flag placed in the locker of an African-American student? The meaning behind the object doesn’t change based on the size of the object.
‘It was just a joke.’
Lynchings aren’t a joke. Racial slurs aren’t a joke. Racism isn’t a joke. In the same way that one thinks of genocide when they see the symbol of the Third Reich, the noose is a reminder of the hangings of blacks that took place in this country. It goes without saying, nooses are no laughing matter.
‘But it was just kids who did it. They don’t know any better.’
They should know better. Kids aren’t born to be racist. Racism is something that must be taught or learned.
Failure to stomp out racism falls on upbringing.
The bottom line is we’re almost a half-century past the civil rights movements of the 1960s, yet to think we’re still facing the same type of bigotry and narrow-mindedness today as we did then is beyond comprehension. As liberal and accepting of everything as so many in America are, or are becoming, why does racism still exist?
One reason is because so many people turn a blind eye to racist jokes (like the noose incident) or when someone makes a racist comment; conversely, those victimized by racism often try to sweep the incident under the rug so as not to raise a stink.
We can’t live that way anymore. This type of intolerance will continue until we all understand that we belong to one race, the human race. We need to send a message that intolerance won’t be tolerated any longer.