Racial slurs tarnish WA’s safe environment

Kavya Desikan , Staff Writer

Recently, there has been an increase in the use of racially insensitive language, that endangers the ‘safe environment’ promised in Westford Academy mission statement.

With a heated political climate seeping into the Westford Academy community, students are simultaneously aware of the political discourse rocking the nation and appear to be blissfully unaware of the gravity of the issues surrounding them. Due to this, students are say racially insensitive or discriminatory sentences for the sake of humor, not knowing the repercussions if those words were to be said outside of their friends.

Dean Betsy Murphy agrees, stating that these incidents are not without cause and seemed to have spurred from the political tensions rising nationally.

It seems as though students do not understand that words like the n-word have a deep rooted negative connotation that comes with racism. It does not matter if the person chooses to say it with the ‘a’ ending or with a hard ‘r’.

The reason for using the n-word in this scenario is because it the most well-known racially sensitive word.

The n-word isn’t taboo, it is harmful. It holds generations of dehumanization and has a form of built-in negative connotation since the word originated, and is still used as a slur. A non-black person calling a black person the n-word often causes this visceral negative reaction.

With students saying this, you disrupt the safety that has been promised at WA. By letting students say these harmful words, students have their beliefs validated. When these beliefs get validated, students whom those words target now fear harassment.

These words are not okay for students to say and those who say it should be held accountable. This is about respect. Words have meaning, and we cannot excuse the language with their age. WA students must learn the consequences of saying these words, there is more at stake than someone’s feeling. What is at stake is a new generation where small displays of racism play to a bigger picture representative of American citizens.