TODAY'S QUESTION: How prevalent is racism in today's society?

Monday, March 1, 2010 | 9:16 a.m. CST; updated 7:06 p.m. CST, Monday, March 1, 2010

Cotton balls were scattered in front of MU’s Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center early Friday. The act was considered racist and offensive to MU administrators and many students on campus. Many African-American slaves were forced to work on cotton plantations in the country's earlier years.

“It seems to us that the campus that we call home to all our academic endeavors has students that still do not respect their fellow students,” said Anthony Martin, president of MU’s Legion of Black Collegians, in a statement released Friday.

Also on Friday, a student at University of California-San Diego admitted to hanging a noose in a campus library Thursday.

This incident came in the wake of an off-campus student party at UC San Diego called the “Compton Cookout,” which encouraged people to dress as ghetto stereotypes to commemorate Black History Month.

According to FBI records on hate crimes in 2008, out of the 4,704 racially motivated offenses (51.3 percent of single-bias hate crimes):

  • 72.6 percent were motivated by anti-African American bias.
  • 17.3 percent by anti-white bias
  • 5.5 percent by bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race
  • 3.4 percent by anti-Asian or Pacific Islander bias; and,
  • 1.3 percent by anti-American Indian or Alaskan Native bias

On the local level, Columbia reported no hate crimes and MU reported one hate crime based on race in 2008.

How prevalent of a problem do you think racism is in today’s society?

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