With Obama’s recent election, you may be elated about the prospect of change, and excited to see how America responds to its first black president. You might be tempted to think that racism is a done deal and that as a nation, we have finally moved past that stage.

You are definitely and completely wrong.

Although some steps have been taken to eliminate racism, there still exists one place where discrimination is still alive and well. There still exists a place where “white” is given better treatment than “colored.” Take a look around campus laundry rooms. You’ll probably visit one sometime in the next few weeks, so open your eyes when you get the chance. Surprised? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

That’s right, people everywhere still discriminate in laundry rooms, providing separate wash cycles for “whites” and “colors.” It’s 2008, quickly approaching 2009, and people still have the audacity to believe in the “separate but equal” mindset. Really, now. “Whites” receive warm, soothing water while “colors” have it cold, and you’re going to claim that we’re equal? Think back to the last time you took a cold shower – it certainly wasn’t because you wanted to.

We’ve made tremendous progress in the last few years, particularly as people have slowly eased off the use of bleach. It was an ugly period in the history of mankind when we thought it desirable for our clothes to be “whiter.” Sickening. But while that phase may be over, segregation is still prevalent. Until “whites” and “colors” can do their laundry hand in hand, racism will never be eradicated.

The solution is simple. We should simply do away with the “white” and “colored” wash cycles. Instead, we should have “Diversity cycles” or “Integration washes.” It doesn’t really matter as long as the term contains no chromatic references that could be misconstrued as subtle nods toward bigotry. The day we see these new wash cycles will be a great day for humanity, when all “colors” will have full reign to the privileges currently given to the “whites.”

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