SDSU is a bubble of acceptance, it’ll be a shock when it pops

by Kemi Giwa, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s liberal, comforting and accepting environment is misleading. This environment makes many fail to realize the horror that occurs outside of this bubble, in other parts of the country.

Many can attest to experiencing racism here on campus. However — unlike many other college campuses — students aren’t faced with the everyday horror that overt racism brings. This is not to say that SDSU hasn’t had its share of bigotry.

But for many other schools, daily racial harassments are experiences students of color are faced to deal with, without much support from peers or administration.

When was the last time California has had to convince a reluctant governor to remove a Confederate statue or flag? Or gather petitions against a school named after a Confederate soldier?

Every once in awhile someone strolls around campus with a “Make America Great Again” hat full of pride or the SDSU College Republicans make yet another racist, hateful remark. But we can rest assured, that the majority of our peers are as disgusted as we are.

While some people may claim that SDSU’s liberal atmosphere is a luxury, it really isn’t.

To live in a bubble where people seem to be generally accepting and liberal is deceptive.

As a black third year, I can say that I’ve been able to navigate my way through college thus far without experiencing consistent obvious racism. Though the discomfort with being the only black girl in class will always remain and the microaggressions will never go unnoticed, I can say that I’ve felt pretty safe.

But, there are other people of color on campus who haven’t. And living in a bubble makes it much harder for other people also in that bubble to believe and rally against these unjust experiences.

I’ll never forget hearing people question why people of color often fear the police.

Or having one of my friends stop me outside of our Anthropology class and ask me, “I mean, does racism against black people really exist still? Everyone is so accepting.”

Though in this day and age, questioning the existence of racism when you own a television, a computer or even have eyes and ears is absurd. Living in a bubble will do that to you.

It’ll make you oblivious from the presence of a world that exists outside of the world you currently exist in.

It’ll cause you to believe that your views are everyone else’s views, too.

It’ll make it harder for you to recognize the pain your peers experience and mobilize against it.

Many will end up leaving San Diego after graduating. It’ll be difficult to navigate in an environment outside of the one you have been so accustomed to.

Living in a bubble makes it harder for people to fight against oppression. Not only because they don’t experience it, but because they don’t see it in plain view.

And for many people, anything existing outside of the bubble, doesn’t exist.

And if overt racism doesn’t exist to someone, then hidden, systematic oppressive structures simply don’t either.

The idea of someone being denied a job, a loan or any opportunity for that matter, on the basis of skin color, sexual orientation or gender is dismissed as something of the past.

Many people’s expectations of the “real world” after college life are skewed.

This is a call for students to understand the importance of remaining aware of how surroundings can inaccurately impact perceptions of the world.

And most importantly, to remember that there is life outside of San Diego and SDSU’s progressive, accepting bubble.