Staff Editorial: University a gateway to tolerance

UH is an affordable way to get a good education, which is the probably the reason the school is so diverse in the first place. Nobody ever said that’s a bad thing.

Director of the Women’s Resource Center Beverly McPhail said at the 2008 Cross Cultural Dialogues Event on Thursday many white people are racist today in a way that isn’t as obvious or as horrible as the days of Jim Crow.

The opportunity students have to overcome such subtle racism toward other cultures presents itself to members of "the most diverse research university in the United States," every day.

Irrational fear or hatred of all things different or foreign may not be as obvious today as it was in the past, but that does not mean people should stop at "good enough."

Thousands of students walk across campus wearing everything from a T-shirt and shorts to a headscarf, and although the two may not understand one another, The Daily Cougar would genuinely like to believe no hatred or bias exists between them.

UH has more than 35 student organizations representing different countries or cultures around the world. Each one is a chance to create a world of understanding between different groups.

This wealth of knowledge available to UH students can help create a more internationally aware student body. It’s selfish to think the only race that matters is the 2008 U.S. election when the results of Zimbabwe’s latest election have been withheld from its people for nearly a month.

The decisions made in the U.S. by business leaders and politicians affect nations around the globe, but poverty in Gaza or human rights violations in Tibet have an impact on the human situation as well.

Attending classes in an environment where students represent more than 100 different nations should encourage students to foster relationships with people who are different from them. Saying something embarrassing may be inevitable but if said with good intentions it is likely to be overlooked.

By creating bridges instead of burning them, future graduates of this University will be more capable than any others of interacting with those who represent something different or unknown.

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