Opinion: I’m Scared Granada’s Anti-Hate Campaign Won’t Make A Difference


Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Tyler Hayley, Reporter and Editor

We’re in the midst of the most recent anti-hate campaign at Granada. Organized by Humans Against Hate, a club on campus, this last week was used to bring attention to the amount of discriminatory behavior on campus, teach students about the effects of discrimination, and create solidarity between students and teachers. Plenty of GHS students have been talking about it; whether it be because they agree with what HAH is doing or because they don’t, but is all of this actually changing anything?

The chair demonstration made an excellent point and was done well, but that’s only what I think. There are plenty of students who see it as stupid, pointless, and a waste of time. Now, the chair demonstration plus the push of the “It Takes All of Us” slogan has started conversations between my friends and me. It’s intellectual conversations that you hope these demonstrations bring, but I’m only participating in it with my friends. All of us already understand the ways hate and prejudice hurts us, whether it’s because we take steps to prevent hate or experience it ourselves. The people who actually should learn a lesson from this, the people who actually need to reevaluate their actions, do not care.

From my personal experiences at Granada, I have dealt with plenty of transphobia and homophobia. I’ve observed through friends and other students the amount of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism that occurs on campus. All of this comes from other students who either don’t understand their words and actions or genuinely believe the hate that they are spreading. Either way, these people aren’t changing. The students responsible for the 425 incidents of racial or homophobic discrimination are not going to see the statistics and realize they’re in the wrong. Because they don’t think they’re in the wrong. I’m not pulling this out of thin air, students have openly discussed the HAH campaign in all of my classes. From first period when my classmates are trashing the entire premise of the campaign, to second period when students are insulting the idea behind It Takes All of Us, to passing period when everybody is being disrespectful to the demonstration.

These students do not see the problem and they don’t care to address it. They take in what Humans Against Hate is doing and they disregard it as being a “woke” attempt to be inclusive. No anti-hate campaign is going to change what they believe. In my mind, it comes down to the fact that the perpetrators of discrimination on campus will never have to deal with issues faced by the students they hurt. There is an obvious mentality in many Granada students that if a problem doesn’t affect them then it either isn’t that bad or it doesn’t exist. No matter how many lessons we receive about how hate and discrimination affect people, they will ignore this information just like they ignore the actions of their peers and themselves.

All in all, the people who need to change aren’t going to. Granada and plenty of other high schools try to be harsher against discrimination and prejudice, in an attempt to treat all students fairly while ridding the school of hate. But, it doesn’t matter how often we punish people for discriminatory behavior, or if we increase the punishments, as long as we do not fundamentally change how they think and perceive others, then we have done nothing. They still think the exact same way and they will continue to go through high school and the rest of their lives looking down on others. Unless we can create a campaign that is able to make every single student understand why discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes are wrong, then we have done nothing.

It will never be the purpose of this article to be pessimistic or cynical. I, just as much as most other students, wish this was a school free of hate and prejudice. Simply, I’ve come to a point where I don’t think that’s possible. Whenever there is a campaign such as HAH’s newest one, it feels like yelling at a brick wall. I hope that Granada continues to improve its inclusivity and anti-discrimination policies because at the least it makes students more comfortable coming to teachers when they are being bullied or discriminated against. This demonstration just isn’t the step that so many think it is, and it will take a lot more time, effort, and energy to make any real difference.