By Saniya More SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —Race and religion play a significant role in how society defines terrorism.
This was one of the issues raised at the “Challenging Narratives of Terrorism” panel at Syracuse University on Wednesday night.
The panel was part of Remembrance Week, the university’s annually held series of events to honor the lives lost in the Pan Am 103 disaster.
According to SU religion professor and one of the event panelists Biko Mandela Gray, certain communities are discounted simply because of the color of their skin.
“The United States is yet to come to grips with its own legacy of terror against the very people it calls terrorists,” Gray said after the panel.
Gray also spoke on his personal experiences as a person of color.
“A cop car scares the hell out of me. These last few years have just reminded me why.”
The event was organized by the Remembrance Scholars, who each represent the 35 students who passed away.
Kathryn Cassidy is one of the scholars this year. According to her, the panel was special because it encouraged people to look ahead, rather than dwell on the past.
“I think this kind of panel opens the dialogue. A lot of times, throughout the media or throughout education, we all have this narrow view of terrorism presented to us,” she said.
“But really, talking about it, and talking about how difficult it is to define the word ‘terrorism’ just takes the first step to open up the dialogue.”
The Rose-Laying ceremony and remembrance convocation will be held on Friday at Hendricks Chapel.