Prejudice runs deeper
Alex Andre | Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I agree that it must be annoying to be assumed to be an athlete (“Non-athlete shirts a reminder,” Mar. 1), but I think that the problem goes deeper than that annoyance. Many people will claim that they make this assumption because such a large percentage of black people at Notre Dame are athletes that it is just statistically probable that you are an athlete, but this is really an excuse.
Our society is accustomed to seeing black athletes on a regular basis, but the majority of our culture is still uncomfortable with the idea of black intellectuals. The roots of this prejudice are obvious. So when someone sees you on campus, their initial reaction is to assume that you are an athlete because they have trouble with the idea that you could actually be intelligent enough to get in to Notre Dame without the aid of athletics. It’s not so much active discrimination as acquired prejudice that dominant culture has thrust upon all of us. It is not the fault of anyone exposed to it, but we each have a duty to make a conscious effort to combat those prejudices. To me, the non-athlete shirts symbolize a commitment to that effort.