2 The Compass Friday. March 8. 1996
by Sonya Holley
In light of the recent shooting on campus, how safe do you
Judith Fieids, junior,
1 feel protected because God has promised
to protect me.’
Marcus 6art>ef, junior,
1 feel safe, tmt the overall safety
needs to be increased because
V ' ''
non-students have easy access to
Jona^an Bonner, fr^man,
i stiti feel safe. I don't usuauHy get
scared, but I have become more
Teimika Dickens, freshman,
*1 don't feel safe fc»ecause I feel that
there is a tack of security on
Photos by jamie Jordan
>n is the key to helping people
le problem of ‘enemy formation’
by Hop>e Jones
In Atlanta, Georgia a five-year child
saw a mentally handicapf>ed person
walking through the mall with another
individual. As soon as the young child
saw the disabled person she turned to
her mother and held on ver\' dose to
her. VN^en the child's mother turned
and asked what was wTong the child
responded, "He's ugly... and he scares
Many of us in today's societ)' have
difficult}’ accepting people who are dif
ferent in some way from ourselves,
whether they are disabled or from a
different race. Some even have the ten
dency to hate and fear people who are
unlike themselves. Psychologists call
this process "enemy formation."
How can we, as a nation, solve the
insidious problem of enemy formation?
How do we stop the hate and fear em
bedded in our hearts?
We must begin with education.
Through education, we can gain "an
informed understanding of the origins
of differences in basic belief s\-stems,"
in the words of Kay B. Forest.
By studNing our past we vntU begin
to understand the complex biological
relationship we all share.
The latest research by several notable
microbiologists suggests that all con
temporary' humans, regardless of race,
share a common ancestor.
In his book. People (rfthe Lake anthro
pologist Richard Leaky- writes: "From
the eastern shores of Lake Tukana there
is the famous-some say infamous!-skull
known numerically as 1470, the most
complete skull of a human ancestor
who lived close to 2.5 million years
ago; and recently the lake-shore de
posits have been persuaded to part
with a nvmiber of remarkably advanced
skulls of individuals who Uved there
around 1.5 million years ago.
"These discoveries," vsTote Leaky,
"have had an important impact on our
view of a particularly critical period of
our history, the time when some of our
ancestors left their native Africa and
began to colonize the rest of world."
l^eakv^'s research supports the idea
that aU contemporary people evolved
from a single ancestor. If this is true,
each of us shares a corrm\on kinship,
regardless of gender, race or creed. We
are all Umbs on the same tree, sharing
the same roots.
As a society, it is vital that we are
aware of our deeply rooted history and
our true identities. We must under
stand and have full knowledge of our
selves as f>eople. We then have to look
at ourselves as individuals and exam
ine what makes us different and
unique. After doing so, we will begin
to leam about other societies, commu
nities, and even individuals. We must
take all of our gained knowledge and
instill it in our children, families, and
our communities. We must teach our
children that it is acceptable to be dif
ferent and we must educate them about
our common history-, teaching them of
our similarities as well as our differ
By learning about the complex web
of human history-, they can ^aUy be
gin to see that it is not ugly or scary- to
We can contribute to this process by
curriculum changes, offering more
courses that stress cultural and ethnic
diversity-. Government-funded TV pro
grams for children can help educate
young people about cultures and eth
nic groups outside their ov\-n ex-peri-
ence. This v>ill make them more aware
of the value of all human beings and
help eradicate fear and hate.
We must also teach children not to
hate, and that intense feelings of dis
comfort and disconnection from oth
ers are harmful. It is w-rong to despise,
disfav-or, or dislike others who are dif
ferent in some way.
FinaUy, we must help them leam to
It is difficult to accept people who
are different when we are uncomfort
able v\ith ourselves. It is not always
easy to understand and value others
who are not like us. Many people hate
and fear others without realizing what
they are doing.
W'e must attempt to look beyond ex
ternal differences and accept others for
who and what they- are, regardless of
skin color, ethnic origin, religious be
lief or gender.
A scan of the headlines shows
humanity-'s tragic failure to do this—in
places like Rwanda, Croatia, and the
And yet the survival of our very civi
lization may depend on our ability to
do this—accept and even lov-e those
who are different from ourselv es.