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No one gets a pass to be racist

Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press
Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press
Racism perpetrated by people of color often goes unnoticed or is seen as less severe than racist acts committed by white people. Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press

Racism is nothing new, and after the shooting of Michael Brown, tensions are running wild. It has brought the ‘white majority oppressing every other minority’ into an even brighter spotlight, which is to be expected.

Now, whenever it’s mentioned that someone is racist, it is assumed that the person is white. Something that we are easily forgetting, however, is that you do not have to be white to be racist.

The definition of racism is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” Note that the definition of racism is not exclusive to a single race.

Because it is easily assumed that you are only racist if you are white, a lot of racism from other races goes unnoticed, and is dismissed as simply being outraged at the oppressors. If you are being oppressed, you have every right to be angry. But there is still a difference between being outraged and being racist.

The other day, I was scrolling through Tumblr (an addictive form of procrastination, yet at the same time extremely helpful in giving me ideas) when I saw a blog called thisisnotkorea. Their description is “because the fetishization of Koreans will not be tolerated.” Interested, I took a look at their blog. They make a lot of good points, calling out people being racist and, well, fetishizing the Korean culture, which is what their blog focuses on. More often than not, though, their posts were filled with racist comments towards white people. A large amount of their posts consists of “I hate koreaboos” and “Kill all of the koreaboos!” A koreaboo is someone who is obsessed with the Korean culture, even though they are not Korean. Mix the anti-koreaboo posts with complaints about white people, and you have the grand majority of thisisnotkorea.

You can see a clear divide in the comments of some of their posts. Some people will wholeheartedly agree, saying that yes, every single white person is horrible, while there will be others saying that the administrators of the page are being racist themselves. Then, there will be people like me trying to make sense of all of this.

The fact of the matter is that no one has a right to be racist. No one should be holding one race up on a pedestal while spitting on every other culture out there. Whether you are white, black, hispanic, asian, you do not get a pass for being racist.

I’m sure that this is the part where some of you are saying, “That’s not true, only white people are racist!” Believe it or not, racism exists all over the world. No matter where you go, there will be racism. There is no magic country that has absolutely no racism, because there will always be someone who is under the delusion that their race is superior.

There is no superior race. We need to get the idea out of our heads that we are better because we are a part of a majority or minority. No one deserves to feel shame for their skin color or culture.

This article is not a cry of a white girl who got her feelings hurt because she read something that was offensive. This is an article that hopefully serves the purpose of getting people to understand that if we try to justify racism, it will not end.

Racism is nasty, and it brings out a horrible side in people. While some think that it is justified, whether the oppressed are trying to fight the oppressor or the oppressor is desperately trying to keep their position at the ‘top,’ it only adds to a cycle that will only produce hate. No, there is no such thing as a happy world that is full of love and rainbows, but if we can at least be aware of what’s happening and try to correct ourselves, we’ll grow as human beings. Not as white people or as people of color, but just as people.

If you are being oppressed, fight back. Just know the difference between obtaining justice and being racist. If you are the oppressor, take a step back and actually think and educate yourself on what you are doing, and why that’s wrong.

What do you think?
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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • J

    JJOct 9, 2014 at 7:18 am

    People who are oppressed by a group will inevitably develop resentment towards them. Expressing that resentment in a safe place (e.g. thisisnotkorea) with other people suffering from the same type of oppression is perfectly healthy.

    I thought this article was going to be about people of colour being racist towards different racial groups. I was really disappointed to see that it was a complaint by a white person about going into someone else’s space and not liking what they saw there.

  • K

    Kiley BeckerOct 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    The definition for racism you quoted is a real definition of racism, but it’s not the definition accepted in sociology aka the definition used when analyzing society aka the definition that’s actually pertinent. The sociological definition describes racism as an institution rather than individual prejudice, meaning it’s literally impossible to be racist against white people.

    Sure you can talk about how your feelings get hurt (which falls under your given definition of racism) by an individual’s comments, I guess. As Ben said, not all racism is equal. Trying to apply your anecdotal evidence on a large scale by saying “that if we try to justify racism, it will not end” cannot be done, because your definition of racism doesn’t apply to the large scale. Attempting to do so is subsequently putting your hurt feelings on the same level as the actual lives of people of color, and that’s a racist sentiment at best.

  • B

    Benjamin LimpichOct 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Racism certainly isn’t acceptable under any circumstances, but when you think about “racism” in a modern day context, there are systemic problems with the way people of non-white ethnicity are treated that isn’t comparable to the generalizing of a “koreaboo” or other variants of Caucasian stereotyping.

    Racism is horrible, but, funnily enough, not all “racism” is created equally, and that’s important to remember.

    • A

      Alexia KhodanianOct 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      good commentary ben