White Recognition of Systemic Racism

Systemic Racism PSA video

Margot Hopkins ’23

Hello everyone! My name is Margot Hopkins, I am a rising junior Biochemistry Major and Psychology Minor. I would like to start by thanking Professor Lisa Lebduska for nominating me for this year’s academic festival, I would not have been inspired to create this PSA without her support. I would also like to thank the artists, photographers, and graphic designers whose work I used to portray this message.

When Professor Lebduska presented this assignment the world was and still is, experiencing a pivotal movement to recognize the extreme injustices experienced by Black people. These injustices are largely due to the conscious and unconscious use of white power in the United States. My motivation in creating this PSA was to confront white people with the vast inequities in this country based on race.

Shortly after I created this PSA our televisions were flooded with images and videos of white supremacists disgracing our country by violently attacking our capital. This could not be a better representation of the message that my PSA is portraying. White power was never more obvious than it was on that day. What if the people raiding the capitol had been Black? That day would have been astronomically different, and we all know it.

In addition to this shocking attack, in the 2020 election for President 70 million people voted to keep racism and white supremacy in office. While the removal of Donald J. Trump was a huge step in recovery for the United States, it is despicable that nearly half of the votes were cast for him. This event also exemplifies the need for white people to make an effort to recognize the power they hold in the color of their skin. These culminating extreme events are direct examples of the message of this PSA, and they must be put to a stop.

Something that white people of all political backgrounds, ideologies, and stances must take accountability for is recognizing the power of their white privilege. And they must use it to defend and protect Black people in this country or we will never reach a state of equality. With this PSA I hope to expose the pieces of White Supremacy that white people do not actively think about and address.