OPINION: “I never let go of my critical eye”


Most of my formative years did not come from Munster. As a result, I tend to see the faults in the schools, the local government and the culture as a whole. Although overall Munster is a decent town to live and grow up in, my main issue is with the way certain people look down upon the less fortunate. I want to disclose that as a straight, white, cis male, with a comfortable upbringing I can never truly experience discrimination.

In general, Munster residents have disdain for helping people “beneath us.” This culture is deep rooted and will take a completely new generation of mindful individuals to change that. I think it is caused by and perpetuated by bad parenting. I think students will show their thinly veiled racism with vocabulary they picked up from their parents. They often use the term “Illinois kids” when referring to students of color or students who are less fortunate. In addition, towns like Hammond or East Chicago are often likened to dangerous landscapes where you could be mugged and shot at any second, further isolating the students that go to school in Munster whose family can’t afford to live in Munster.

I think Munster has the potential to be an inclusive town. But a drastic culture shift will need to take place. A possible solution would be teaching students about racism’s history with accurate portrayals of marginalized groups.