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Why Do People Care About Race?

by No? No. No. Non. YARO. 3 years ago in controversies

We can talk about things such as Ferguson, Charlottesville, police brutality against black people, and things like that. But what will that do?

We all know or have at least heard of the term "racism." Although, I don’t think we all agree on what exactly racism is. Some people believe stereotypes themselves are racist, especially negative ones. Others believe that racism is physically attacking another individual because of their race.

According to Google, racism is the belief that every race has its own characteristics and abilities specific to that race in order to deem it superior or inferior to others. Me? I agree with Google.

Stereotypes used to call a race better or worse than another is racism. But the question is, does it still exist? Or is it gone with the past? I know it still exists, but some people seem very naive to the issue itself. Some people believe that racism is gone and does not happen anymore. Who are these people? Why do they believe this?

No need to worry, I’ll answer that for you. The people who think racism is gone tend to be those not belonging to a minority race. In other words, white people in America. Now, I’m not saying all white people in America believe racism is gone, but many of them have not been exposed to nearly any racist experiences, leading them to believe it is no longer a prominent problem in America. But it is.

We can talk about things such as Ferguson, Charlottesville, police brutality against black people, and things like that. But what will that do? If you strongly believe it is gone, you might find those as nothing but stories, irrelevant and blown up in today’s world.

But what if I tell you some of my experiences with racism, so you have a live source? Someone you know? It is hard to deny something that is alive and standing right in front of you. For three years of my high school career, I experienced many degrading and irritating instances where my race was brought up.

I had taken a Chinese class during these three years in my high school, and during this time, the things said were just horrid. My peers (who were not black) would say things about black people in negative ways, but cover it with a joke. For example, using the “N” word to refer to each-other or even to just yell it out to get reactions.

This may seem like a joke to you, but it is not. They even went so far as to have a long conversation about how an African child, even if they got an education, would not be able to be as smart and developed as a white child in America, simply because they are black. Believe me now?

And the saddest part about it is that my black peers in that class would just fulfill stereotypes against our race and go along with their degrading in order to be payed attention to and liked. It’s very depressing. But if that’s not enough to convince you, don’t worry. I have more examples.

One day I went to a make-up store (whose name I will keep unknown) with one of my friends. She is mixed, but looks more Middle Eastern than black, so you can easily see her without knowing she is black. Me on the other hand, brown skin, African facial features and all that, you can easily tell my race.

My friend and I were in the store and you know, shopping. We took a while to choose what we wanted to buy, seeing as we have never been in that store before. The employees were very nice and helpful, but they were strangely hovering over me. I dismissed it, seeing at the time, I thought race wasn’t a big enough problem in my community for a stranger to do something. But I was wrong.

My friend and I checked out and I even got a returning shopper subscription card, not noticing anything wrong with the store. After we left, we walked over to an ice cream shop, where we had previously gotten ice cream, and got in my car and started playing with the makeup.

Why not? We just bought it, we should be able to use it when we want, right? Well, I turned around to back out when we were done, but for some reason a police car was boxing us in. Next thing we know, there were four police cars around us drawing attention to us.

They made us get out of the car, they took our information and put us in the police look up. They searched our bags and accused us of stealing, all while children and their parents watched, on an afternoon of ice cream. It was degrading. I told my mother and she confronted the staff at the store, and all they had to say was that we were “suspicious.”

We later got a hold of the 911 call, which had the manager describing only me and saying insulting things about my race, while she could not come up for a reason for my suspicion. All she said was I looked suspicious and I was black and the police came, blocked me in, searched me and my friend, and put us in the system look up.

My friend looked up racial profiling and the store and apparently, for that store it is a common thing. My parents called the corporate building, the manager, everyone they could and they didn’t get one apology, until they filed a lawsuit and met with workers for the company face to face. With a lawyer. Now this happened about a year or two ago. So it is very recent and valid. Want something more recent? Alright.

How about racism online? I’ve been a member of a blogging website I will not name, because most of it is not like this, but there are many sides to it. One particular side I was a part of had a group of people who would post pictures making fun of black people, calling them by the “N” word, and other derogatory terms. All while they would laugh.

I have also been in many chatrooms, I still am today and in these chat rooms people tend to attack black users and call them derogatory names and nitpick everything and anything they can about them. This goes on for a while, but if you don’t let it get to you, they eventually stop and refer to you as a normal person. Now why is this?

These people are what you call internet trolls, but I believe it goes a bit deeper than that. According to Business Insider, there are three main reasons as to why people act like this online.

One reason is group polarization. In other words, they are surrounded by like-minded people so they just go ahead and say bad things. They think it’s okay because people around them are doing it. Kind of like peer pressure but more peer reassurance in a negative way.

The next reason is simply to get attention. This is the main reason, but honestly to me, it is very dumb. There are other ways to get attention then saying racist things, but you know how it is. The person who is screaming the most offensive thing usually gets all the attention, whether it is positive or negative. Usually negative.

And the final reason is simply because of the anonymity the internet gives you. The people who tend to say these things on the internet are not the type of people who would say it to anyone in the real world. They hide behind the mask of not being identified or known, so they find it as a sort of invincibility.

When really, there isn’t much of a difference between the internet and the real world. Seeing as you are still interacting with another real living being, just you two are separated by a screen. And that leads me to my next topic. What’s wrong with saying racist things, and why you shouldn’t.

Most people who say and do racist things don’t do it because they’re malicious. It’s more that they are ignorant and simply do not know. In most cases, it’s simply how they were brought up. How they were raised.

Like I learned in philosophy, it is harder for most people to let go of beliefs they were brought up on—they were taught by their parents. If someone grows up being told, “This race is this way, and that race is that way,” they’re going to believe it. Especially if it comes from someone they trust like a parent, and isn’t objected by others around them.

Another reason people easily say things that are so offensive and racist is because they do not understand the dire nature of such things. They find those words the equivalent of calling someone “stupid” and things like that. When in reality, it is much more than just an insult.

Some people do not know the full past of racism in American history, or are just un-empathetic and unable to understand what it is like. Being torn from your family, raped, and sold as slaves for generations. And the fact that even after slavery is abolished, people still calling them things such as the “N” word and being violent with them. Lynchings, bombing, alienation, and more.

It’s more than just a set of words. It is degrading and a reminder of our past. It’s telling us that we are not equal, that we are not even human, simply because we have darker skin. It is disgusting and the fact that it is still here and people believe it is not disappoints me.

It may not be as bad, but it is still a reminder, and if we let things like this go, it is going to just get worse and worse all over again. For example, let's look at an example with Nazis and Jews—and how saying anything with the Holocaust is so horrible (which it is), but then talking about black people by calling them "n******" and "c****" is just a funny joke. It’s not. It’s extremely offensive and just wrong. It makes some black children hate themselves for being black. Believing they aren’t good enough. Aren’t smart enough. Aren’t beautiful enough.

This is reverse racism, when you hate your own race, and it is caused by racist comments and events. Honestly, I have experienced this. When I was a child, I hated being black and would insult myself and constantly wish to be white. You might think it was just me but it is not. I know many other black people who have struggled with this in their childhood as I have.

But like I said, it has gotten better. I don’t know if it is society or just that I have grown up, but I love being black now. But it disappoints me that people can’t see how racism impacts others, although, some people do, and that’s what we call white guilt.

White guilt is when white people as a collective group or individual feel guilt and remorse for mistreating minorities historically, currently, or both. Some people who feel white guilt will even cross over to feeling a bit of reverse racism to themselves. Stereotyping the white race and hating being white. You might think I’m crazy but it is true. I knew someone who was just like that.

But I believe that you shouldn’t beat yourself up because of something your race does. Yes, it’s bad that they do that stuff, but in the end you are you. Your race doesn’t define you as an individual. That’s things that victims of racism such as myself have to tell ourselves.

Even though you are being grouped doesn’t mean that it defines you individually. Even if you have been racist, don’t hate yourself for it, change it. Stop it. Recreate yourself as someone new.

Because in the end, even though we are different colors, doesn’t mean that were horribly different. We’re all human beings, we’re all people. And in the end, people are people. If you have a black lab and a white lab, you don’t say they're different. You just say they're dogs. So why is it different with people?

In the end, we all came from Pangea and we all have skin, bones, and a heart. So why hate each other because of our skin? It’s just trivial and not very well thought out. Again, we’re all human beings. We need to stop categorizing everyone. We are all equal.

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No? No. No. Non. YARO.

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