Hope for Racial Divide Unites USC - DatelineCarolina

Hope for Racial Divide Unites USC

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The audience was challenged to step our of their comfort zone. The audience was challenged to step our of their comfort zone.
Jason Grant and Anita Gillespie face off to discuss racial tension. Jason Grant and Anita Gillespie face off to discuss racial tension.

By Elena Chavey, Carolina News

Having a conversation about racial tension has become a need in our society. Veritas Forum took the stage front and center to bring attention to this controversial topic

The Veritas Forum held an event in Russell House on the University of South Carolina campus Wednesday and students crowded to hear about the hope in the racial divide.

Two people from different backgrounds took the stage to have a conversation about race.

"I've been blind to my privilege as a white male," said USC student Jason Grant.

He said it took him a long time to understand how privilege affected his world and how blind he was to the problem black culture faces.

"There is sometimes a fascination with black culture. There's a notion that it's cool so sometimes some people feel comfortable appropriating the culture... you want to extract the cool parts of it but you don't want to deal with the disadvantage that maybe helped create those cultural forms and expressions that they see." said Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University.

This spotlight conversation challenged students to take a step out of their comfort zones.

Gillespie says such a conversation will never be easy, but talking about the problem instead of ignoring it shows a willingness to put down the barrier towards building trust that is needed to mend the racial divide in time.

The Veritas forum travels to schools all over the nation to talk about important topics like this one. If you are interested, but are unable to make an event, you can check out Gillespie's book on the topic.

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