When did we become Pokémon?

Reading the article (on Purdue President Mitch Daniels’ remarks following a Purdue Student Government meeting on Wednesday), I realized that minority students have become Pokémon. At least this is the only way I can relate to the way Daniels has talked about rare creatures when referring to African-American students.

Daniels, we not only need to recruit diverse students, but we also need to ensure that our diverse students are provided with an in-university inclusive environment and off-university inclusive environment. We need to be provided with safety to walk, buy and enjoy our path to graduation.

I was not a minority student, but I became one when I came to the U.S. I have been requested to show my ID when riding the bus — when nobody else is requested — being told to speak English at Walmart and being told stereotypical things about being Latina.

We are not creatures, not in a metaphorical way, nor in any other way. We are people, and we need to talk from each other as people.

We are not Pokémon that universities need to collect, rather we are people that society has a historical debt with. And for that historical debt, we need to push harder. The University needs to ensure that we will be treated inclusively on campus and in our surroundings.

Finally, a quote (from an article by Nick Haslam written in the publication “The Conversation”) reads, “Regrettably there is ample evidence that they endure. People are surprisingly willing to rank some humans as less human, and more primitive, than others. Animal metaphors shine a revealing light on that beastly reality.”

– Laura Cruz, second-year graduate student in the College of Engineering

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