Tag Archives: racism

The Confederate Flag Debate

The Confederate Flag being removed from its post – photo from ABC News

It is the debate that never seems to die down, partially due the groups of white supremacists that continue to pop up and partially due to a stubborn refusal from many people in the American south. Many people wish to fly the Confederate battle flag both on their personal property and at public and/or government buildings. Many of them claim it is part of their heritage and part of the history of the U.S. While it may be a part of the history of the U.S., that does not mean it should be flown, if anything it means the flag should be kept exclusively in a museum. And as far as heritage goes, it is a heritage of hate and slavery and you should not be proud of that. It is part of an abysmal chapter in the history of this country and people need to get over the fact that the Confederacy lost.

The Confederate flag does not honor anyone or anything, including the troops who fought under it. They were traitors to this country, which was the whole point. They were a part of a group of people who decided to leave the Union and fight against it for the sake of keeping slavery. This is not something that should be celebrated or honored, it is a disgusting display of racism. That is what this is all about, a bunch of people who do not want to give up their racist ideologies, because that is what the Confederate flag represents. It should be in a museum as a warning and a lesson from that past, not “flown proudly”.

Supporters of flying the Confederate flag need to realize that it is a symbol of hate and racism, of years of systematic abuse and dehumanization, one whose effects can still be felt today. Many likely do realize and simply do not care, content with their racist ideologies and wanting to preserve them but decorating it as “heritage” and “history” for the sake of avoiding the backlash they know they will face for being racist.

The 1st Amendment in Danger from the World of Sports

Baltimore Ravens players kneel during the National Anthem – photo from ABC News

For some time now there has been a great deal of controversy in the National Football League (NFL) over players taking a knee during the National Anthem. Started by Colin Kapernick in protest of the many of African Americans that were and are being killed by police officers, it is a form of protest that has gain a lot of traction and has since gain national attention thanks to the twitter rants of our so called President, Mr. Trump. Trump has even gone so far as to suggest that any NFL player who takes a knee should be fired. Unfortunately, this idea has also gained some traction.

There has been talk among the members of the NFL of actually making it a rule that all players must stand during the National Anthem, or else be fired. This is in blatant disregard of the player’s 1st Amendment rights to peaceful protest and it shows just how far people are willing to go to enforce their own ideals on people and to ignore the racist and dehumanizing treatment that African Americans and other people of color face in this country. Here’s the thing, the reason why players are taking a knee is to protest the treatment of African Americans in this country, not to disrespect the flag, or the troops, or what it is supposed symbolizes, but many people want to draw attention away from the real issue and make a big fiasco out of the actual act, so no one will pay attention to the real issue. The people who are angry at the players, like Trump is, are more concerned with a piece of cloth then with the lives of actual human beings.

There is nothing special about this piece of fabric. The patriotism, values, and freedoms it represents are not magically imbued into it nor does it go away if it gets disrespected. It is funny how so many people get so angry and lose their minds over a piece of cloth and their own self-absorbed beliefs, but black children and adults can get systematically murdered, abused, and discriminated against but they don’t bat an eye. Instead, they rather hyper fixate on the players taking a knee and impose a rule of forced patriotism. Except, it is not patriotism. When patriotism is forced and you take away the rights of the people to protest, it is not patriotism, that is called fascism.

The Results of an Unjust Justice System

On Saturday, September 16th, there was a peaceful protest over a judge’s acquittal of white police officer Jason Stockley, who was charged with the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, a young black man. In 2001, on December 20th, Officer Stockley shot Smith five times and killed him, claiming that Smith was chasing him. His partner attempted to arrest him for a drug deal and Stockley said he feared for his life because Smith had a silver revolver on him. However, the prosecutor believed the gun to be planted since it had Stockley’s DNA on it but no trace of Smith’s DNA. Officer Stockley was also recorded via body cam saying that he was going to kill Smith.

After the peaceful protest had officially ended, saying they would reconvene on Sunday, several protestors stayed behind and continued to protest. Police officers arrived and told the remaining protesters to go home, saying that their protest was unlawful. Things quickly turned violent and several windows of surrounding businesses were smashed and several arrests were made.

This is yet another result of the justice system failing and people are, quite clearly, sick of it. There was strong evidence that Officer Stockley was guilty but he got away with murder. So we have people protesting in the street, decrying this injustice, and even people who believe simple protests are not enough and feel the need to resort to violence. And if protests and words will not work, and more African Americans continued to get killed while their murderers go free, who can blame them for escalation? If the people we put our faith in to uphold the law and treat everyone equally fail to do so, then the people will inevitably and eventually take matters into their own hands. This is not to say people will start mobs and attack whoever they believe is guilty, but that the public can and will find a way to make sure people pay attention to injustice and do something about it. An entire group of people cannot be discriminated against and killed without that same group fighting back.

 

Featured Photo from Yahoo! News

A Look at the Charlottesville Riots

One of the most significant rights that the American Constitution grants its citizens is the right to gather and protest. This right was originally made a part of the Bill of Rights so that the citizens of a nation could publicly voice their concerns and show that they will not stand for unfair treatment. This is not what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, 2017.

What happened could only generously be called a rally, and in reality, it was nothing more than a gathering of hateful white supremacists throwing a violent and disgusting tantrum. The reason? Because discriminated citizens are standing up and demanding fair and equal treatment—something they should already be given but are not because of the deep-rooted, systemic racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in this country. The past few years in America have seen a rise in large protests across the country, especially since the election of Donald Trump as president. All of them have been advocating for fair and equal treatment of one discriminated group or another. There was the Women’s March on Washington D.C., for example, and there was also the formation of the group Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Photo and title photo from CNN.com

All of these movements have angered the white supremacists that live in (and run) our country and they decided to have a “protest” of their own. The irony of this idea was that it simply revealed them as the white terrorists many already know them to be. And terrorists they are. What else do you call a group of people marching around with torches and guns (many of them were armed) shouting things like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” all of which are reminiscent of the rallies Hitler used to hold and are, obviously, extremely anti-Semitic.

The simple fact of the matter is that these people, these white terrorists, were never being discriminated against. They had no reason to hold a “rally” to demand fair and equal treatment; they already have it. The real reason for their protest is they want to continue to hold power over everyone else, and that power is being threatened. This power needs to be taken away from them—these are not the people who should have it. They use it to benefit only themselves and their ideologies and destroy the lives of anyone and everyone who is not them.

And they have shown they are willing to kill to keep it.

Netflix’s Asian Erasure and Racism

We all know about Netflix. In fact, it often seems synonymous with college nowadays. Everyone has it, and everyone uses it. There are hundreds of shows to watch online, some recent and some old. Some of them are even Netflix originals. Many are based off previous characters and/or are revamps of old shows. There are several Marvel superhero TV shows, for example. But one of Netflix’s newest TV shows is based off an anime that many may have heard of. Netflix is doing a live action remake of Deathnote, and they completely messed up.

anime
“Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is.” Photo from: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af03a0ff80f68be7963f4bf0ac3907b8a21eb6f3d742b5c1b645de387a6c6cff.jpg

This is a TV show about a Japanese person in Japan dealing with, among many other things, the Japanese legal system. Yet, they place the show in America and make the main character (and presumably the rest of the cast) white. The show isn’t even out yet, and they’ve already ruined a large part of the entire premise of the show. Worse, they’ve completely erased the Japanese people from the show. Asian people get so little representation in the media as it is. Taking a show like this and completely erasing them is both salt in the wound and a blatant insult to Asian people, and more specifically, Japanese people.

This type of action shows blatant discrimination towards Japanese people. Here was a perfect opportunity to hire Japanese actors, portray some aspects of Japanese culture, and give Japanese people heroes and villains that they could identify with and relate to, so they wouldn’t have to feel like they are on the outside looking in. This is white washing to such an extreme that it seems like a very deliberate insult directed at Japanese people. Everything about this show came from a uniquely Japanese perspective. Now it is just about a white boy becoming a serial killer, and if we wanted to watch that we could just turn on the news.

White Privilege: It’s Real and It’s a Problem

I want to start this article by saying that this is my opinion and my personal understanding on the topic of white privilege. I am a white man, so I have a pretty limited view and understanding of the nature of white privilege and how it works (that’s one of the benefits of it by the way – being blissfully unaware of it). This is not a report or professional article that breaks the issue down with facts and statistics, but my understanding of what is a very real problem.

White privilege means receiving preferred or special treatment and certain allowances simply for being white (Caucasian). Typically speaking, no one is going to look at me, as a white man, and think that I’m a thug, or that I am going to steal from a store or hurt someone. I am given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the situation. I also get to be blissfully ignorant of the many troubling issues that are still occurring today in America and around the world, like racism. I can be unaware of the systematic racism that happens every day because it does not happen to me. Which is the most harmful part of white privilege, in my opinion.

It’s easy to believe that racism does not happen as often as it really does or that it isn’t as bad as it actually is because I’m not experiencing it. My white privilege means I don’t have to worry about the cop down the street or in the car behind me arresting or killing me. I can safely believe that they will protect me. African Americans don’t have that belief; they have to worry about potentially being killed just for being black.

white privilege
“White privilege means receiving preferred or special treatment and certain allowances simply for being white (Caucasian).” Photo from: https://az616578.vo.msecnd.net

White privilege is when a white person does something illegal and faces no consequences or less severe consequences, while a black person is faced with very harsh consequences (like, you know, death) for committing a similar crime. White privilege is when a white man goes out and does something like rape and kill a woman and gets called things like “mentally ill”, “a child”, or even “a victim” or any other qualifier meant to make a person have sympathy for him. When a black person steals something, they get called “thug”, or a “criminal.” And when the accused is an actual child they get treated like or called a man, heaving more responsibility and judgment upon them.

If you don’t believe this, go online and look up crime reports and stories. Look at their specific diction and the difference between white offenders and black offenders. Replace the white offender with someone who is African American or Middle Eastern and see if your perceptions and feelings change. Look up the cases Allen Peters and Jaquavias Sturgis, of Brock Turner and Cory Batey, of Chase Legleitner and Lamar Lloyd, to name a few. White privilege is the fact that I, as a white man, don’t have a literal terrorist group like the KKK bent on the extermination and/or enslavement of my race.

The simple fact of the matter is that as a white person, I, and every other white person, have it better than people of color, at least from a social standpoint, if not many others. We are given the benefit of the doubt in almost every situation. We have not had to deal with years of systematic oppression and enslavement. We don’t have slurs thrown at us, and there are no people who are happy to hurt or kill us. And all white people don’t have to spend one moment acknowledging that all of this happens, and they don’t have to worry about it happening to them. That’s white privilege.

Richard Spencer

Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day. As far as I know, we have not had to deal with open displays of racism on campus. Of course, I may be wrong.

I’m not going to advocate any student punching a Nazi. I don’t want you getting kicked out of school.

That said . . . on the morning after this recent election, I looked into the eyes of a young woman and saw fear and uncertainty. My heart broke, and I promised her that I would protect her.

I want all of you to know that if I do see someone berating you, trying to intimidate you, or laying hands upon you against your will because you are not the same as them, I will come to your aid.

richard spencer
“Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day.” Photo from: img.wennermedia.com

I will protect you. I will defend you. I will avenge you.

It does not matter to me what sex or gender you identify as, who you do or do not pray to, who you choose to love, or what color your skin is. What matters to me is that you are a human being and you deserve the same rights, liberties, and dignities as anyone else.

Saying this does not make me a hero like Captain America.

If the day ever comes when you need me, you will know who I am. If I am not there, I hope that you will know others like me in those moments.

Thus far, those in the Radford community have been, in my experience, exemplary human beings. I can only pray that I am not proven wrong.

 

Trump’s Racism and His Immigrant/Muslim Ban

Donald Trump has been in office for a little over a week and already he has created huge dissent with blatant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have majority Muslim populations, and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country, all in the name of preventing terrorism (1). This is blatant racism and frankly disgusting and disgraceful behavior from America’s new president.

Trump has, not so subtly, shown that he believes that anyone from an Islamic country is a terrorist or is at least affiliated with or supports them. This is racism; it cannot be said enough. He is making a derogatory, sweeping generalization about one of the largest groups in the world based on the actions of a few who claim to be Islamic, and he has abused his power in an attempt to enforce this belief. In comparison, this is like saying every white male is a mass shooter who will unavoidably kill just because people like Dylann Roof have committed racist mass shootings. Or the fact that the majority of mass shootings (which are themselves acts of terrorism) are committed by white males (2). Why isn’t President Trump issuing an executive order to ban all white men from owning a gun or preventing them from entering the country? It probably wouldn’t seem fair to do that based on the actions of a relative few, would it? Then why would it be okay to do the same exact thing to immigrants and Islamic people? It’s an avoidable fact that the majority of mass shooters in America are white males, and it is arguable that many of the stereotypical terrorists that people are worried about really are of the Islamic faith. However, they may not understand that Islam is a religion that promotes justice, kindness, and goodness, and forbids acts of violence (3).

airport protests
“Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have a population with a majority of Muslims and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country.” Photo from: newinfo.inquirer.net

What Trump is doing is petty fear-mongering. He is trying to make people look away from his own incompetency and place all of the blame for the many issues and troubles on immigrants and the Islamic people. This is blatant racism and ignorant hypocrisy, and it promotes blind hatred. We are a country of immigrants; we are supposed to be a country that welcomes everyone and allows a place for people to practice their religion and beliefs. America is a land of freedom where people are safe in the knowledge that they will be welcomed into the country and be who they are. We even have a national monument promoting exactly this: the Statue of Liberty. There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing these famous words from the poem The New Colossus: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” (4). Trump’s actions are distinctly un-American; immigrants are real human beings, not some unknown other. We should be welcoming them in, not taking federal action to keep them out. America is better than this, and we should act like it and not spout ignorant, hate promoting propaganda.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban/
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/
  3. https://books.google.com/books?id=OZbyz_Hr-eIC&pg=PA216#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm

Microsoft’s Tay “chatbot” was trolled into becoming the “Hitler-loving sex robot”

Microsoft was forced to shut down the chatbot named Tay, after it tweeted several sexist and racist remarks.

According to the software giant, Microsoft endeavored to connect with millennials 18 to 24 years old, and they planned to do this task through Tay. She was an AI designed to talk like a teenage girl.

According to a Microsoft post, “The more you chat with Tay, the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you”.

Microsoft’s concept and idealization for Tay was that the chatbot would produce entertaining and funny reactions and responses based on tweets and other messages it was sent through applications like Kik and GroupMe.

Despite the good-intentions, internet trolls started to connect and bombard Tay on Wednesday March 23 almost exactly when it was launched. Tay started to utilize a percentage of the bigot, racist, and sexist remarks in its own Twitter conversations.

Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.
Tay’s responses were learned by conversations she had with people online. Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.

 

The bot’s tweets were so offensive and drew such an uproar that one newspaper named Tay the “Hitler-loving sex robot.”

Microsoft’s chat robot Tay was taken offline less than 24 hours after its launch since it was tweeting such sexist and racist language. But not before the AI robot tweeted approximately 96,000 times, which seems like a lot of tweets for an average teen girl or millennial.

 

 

In a released statement by Microsoft, they said ”Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, we became aware of a coordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay’s commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways”.

Microsoft, who designed the AI with a specific end goal of enhancing the customer service on their voice recognition software, apologized directly after the incident in a blog entry made by Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research.

Lee wrote, “We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay”.

Microsoft said that it’s modifying Tay, however was not able to say if or when the bot may return. Lee said that they will only bring her back when they are confident that they can make better prepare to limit technical exploits.

Trump: He’s just like us, only richer and much more orange

**Disclaimer- This article was written before Mr. Trump’s visit to Radford University **

Donald Trump is coming to Radford on Monday and you could say that I’m just a little bit excited. Although Radford was his last choice, it’s still makes us here at little RU feel very special.

With the primary on Tuesday, it makes sense as to why Mr. Trump would want to come down here. It was a smart choice for him to come, with Radford being surrounded by towns that are largely populated with right wing conservatives.

Although Trump used to be a publically known democrat, his run as a republican candidate has done nothing but great things for the businessman. He seems right at home with his extreme stance on immigration and nationalistic views, however new they may be.

Image from salon.com
Trump may look like an Oompa Loompa, but he doesn’t act like one. Image from salon.com

I’ve never been to see a presidential candidate speak before so I’m very excited to see what topics Trump covers as well as how the crowd reacts to him. I know, from the people that I’ve talked to, that most people here at Radford don’t particularly like him.

With most college campuses being liberal, it’s understandable as to why the students here don’t appreciate or respect his viewpoint. I can expect there to be a multitude of protests occurring, hopefully non-violent ones, expressing their distaste for Trump’s blatant sexism and racism. However, I, like some other of my friends, are going because we want to see what he has to say, how he reacts to protesters, and how he chooses to talk to the younger generations, the ones who have a big impact on the election.

With Trump being the big deal that he is, I’m excited to see all of the secret service agents surround him, the dramatic precautions that happen when protecting a man with so much money and power. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not he decides to make a pitstop at Starbucks or the Radford theatre.

Whether or not you agree with Trump or his views, this opportunity could potentially be a once in a lifetime event, and should be taken advantage of.

Ladies, let’s get in Formation

Beyoncé’s new song and music video Formation has caused some extreme controversy in the political atmosphere. Formation talks about the authenticity of what it means to be a black person in today’s society. It touches on subjects such as Hurricane Katrina, police brutality, and all the different ways black people can be misrepresented. As usual, white people are angry about it. They’re going as far as calling Beyoncé racist because she didn’t have any white back up dancers, which obviously proves the point that white people are stupid and clearly missed the point of the entire song and music video.

Beyoncé is queen and I will gladly get in Formation. Photo from People
Beyoncé is queen and I will gladly get in Formation. Photo from People

People in the political world, specifically white people, are confused as to why Beyoncé felt the need to use the super bowl as a platform to talk about race and “attack police officers.” It amazes me how ignorant and misinformed people can be. Beyoncé has not nor will ever attack police officers.

She simply brought attention to the nationwide police brutality that has occurred over the last couple of years, mainly against black people. They wonder why she felt the need to use the Super Bowl to talk about race. Well, I think the answer is obvious. Racism has been a huge issue in this country, coming to a head with the recent murders of black teens. The Super Bowl obtains a huge audience and what better way to get the message out than to perform a song during the halftime show? I don’t see the problem with it nor do I care for how a couple of rich white guys felt uncomfortable that their racist behavior was being exploited.

The amount of criticism and racism that Beyoncé received after her performance proves that racism and sexism still occurs today as well as the justification of why she performed the song in the first place. It sickens me, the way people reacted to her performance.

If anything, people should be shocked by the immense racism that occurs in this country today, and should stand up with and be proud of Beyoncé for being proud of who she is and of the race she was born with. Bottom line, entitled white people are annoying and need to grow up and realize that they are not supreme nor better than anyone else. Come together to fight racism and be on the right side of history.

Watch this video of Jessica Williams explaining why Beyoncé is justified and why white people are confused

The flip side of Halloween costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and you can already feel campus abuzz with activity and excitement. Though some might argue that the holiday is childish, many people feel as though it invigorates them in some way. It makes October exciting and worthwhile, and the milestone makes it that much easier to get through the month.

Personally, Halloween is and always will be my favorite holiday. That being said, as I’ve grown up, I feel myself being able to take a step back and look at it with a hint of skepticism.

As a child, I’d never noticed all the things wrong with Halloween — or, more specifically, the costumes. I never saw dressing in a kimono for the night, or painting on a different skin color, as problematic. That was, until I saw concerns being raised over social media.

Being who I am — hard-headed and always fighting to voice my opinion on any subject — it was hard for me to come to terms with the racism and other basic discrimination that comes with the Halloween costumes that are produced in bulk.

As a white female, it didn’t have any effect on me. Of course, if it had no effect on me, and I wondered how could it have an effect on anyone else? It was just a costume for Pete’s sake, how dangerous could it be?

Well the short answer, I’ve come to find out, is very.

Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from college Humor
Are politically incorrect costumes becoming the Halloween norm? Graphic from College Humor

Black face, brown face, and yellow face have been issues during Halloween probably for as long as the commercialized part of the holiday has been around. The thing is, it’s 2015– not 1964.

Nowadays, it’s a lot less obvious as we see kids play pretend as Cowboys & Indians all the time and kimono knock offs are being sold in Forever21 to pass as a fashion trend. We’re becoming accustomed to seeing these things everywhere and the shock factor has worn off and worn down until there’s basically nothing left.

These are now everyday occurrences and most people have no idea the effect it’s having on the specific culture it comes from. Some people aren’t bothered by it, but others are. You making light of a culture for personal gain, even if it’s personal gain as simple as being a “joke” for a singular night, is cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is dangerous in several different ways. Not only does it erase and invalidate a culture, but it erases and invalidates the everyday experiences that people of certain races undergo because of skin color or origin.

While you can shed your costume at the end of the day, people of color or different cultures are stuck with all of the racist comments at the end of the day.

Before you buy a costume this year, take a look around, check out the internet. Make sure that your costume is something you enjoy that everyone else can enjoy too.

A culture is not a costume.

Reverse racism, sexism aren’t real things

If I had a dollar for every time I saw the term “reverse sexism” used on the internet, my tuition would be paid. This term is typically used by self-proclaimed “meninists” to express any situation where they’re accused of adhering to general stereotypes. However, this term is often also used by the immature men who feel they’ve been “friend-zoned” simply because they acted kindly to a woman and didn’t receive the love and affection they expected as a reward for their actions.

By internet terms, reverse sexism occurs when a woman expresses a bias against men. Because men are typically expected to be the ones showing bias against women, when the word “sexism” comes up, that’s the image in a person’s mind. However, just because the expected roles in sexism have been reversed, doesn’t mean “sexism” isn’t accurate. Sexism is defined by the hatred of certain sexes, but does mention the expected hatred or mistreatment of women. Women are especially susceptible to sexism, but that doesn’t invalidate any hatred or discrimination against men.

reverse racsim
“Racism is a broad term which can include hatred against any race, not just African Americans.”

By the same standard, reverse racism isn’t a real or accurate term either. When we think “racist” we may think of white supremacy groups such as the KKK, violent hate crimes against African Americans or simply racial slurs. In the official definition of racism, African Americans are never mentioned. Racism is a broad term which can include hatred against any race, not just African Americans.

Racism and sexism are possible in ways that aren’t typically expected. It’s very possible for a woman to be sexist against men, and it’s equally possible for a black person to hold a bias against white people, or any mixture of races. It’s important that we all redefine the way we think of sexism and racism so that we can be more open to discussion about incidents where the roles are reversed to the opposite of what we expect.

For example, if a hate crime was committed against a white person by someone of a different race, the case probably wouldn’t be taken seriously as a hate crime. Equally, many times men who have been sexually abused or assaulted aren’t taken seriously. We all need to open our minds to different ideas and accept the broader definition of both racism and sexism. Having a closed idea of what makes something sexist or racist is very dangerous.

In many aspects of life, we need to open our mind to the issues of others. For example, I’ve always had a small frame. I’ve always been fairly thin. There have been many situations where someone has commented on my size, saying something along the lines of”you’re too skinny.” When I express my discomfort caused by these comments, many people brush it off like it isn’t a big issue. Just because someone’s in the “ideal” situation doesn’t mean their problems are any less valid.

Open-mindedness is vital to the progression of society and mankind. We should all be open to the issues of others and attempt to be helpful rather than skeptical.

 

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Coke

Coca-Cola became the center of attention on Super Bowl Sunday when the score board started getting lopsided and people released their anger on twitter.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 4.13.44 PM copy
#AmericaTheBeautiful
Photo provided by Julian Guerra.

In their new ad campaign #AmericaIsBeautiful, Coke featured American classic “America the Beautiful” sung in a variety of different languages to embrace multiculturalism. However, the message fell on deaf ears when Twitter blew up in a storm of racism at the idea that Coke would dare sing a patriotic song in anything but English.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Coke

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Black Santa

Something strange is brewing when I side with Fox News on anything. I don’t think I could’ve bashed them any harder this semester if I tried, but I can’t get behind the latest Fox News blunder that’s been picked up and exploited by the liberal media.

Megyn Kelly stirred up a massive controversy when she tried to poke fun at an essay that called out the traditional depiction of Santa as a ‘fat old white man,’ arguing that this depiction made the writer feel ashamed as a child and the character should be changed to a penguin. Kelly then rebutted that it isn’t racially insensitive to depict Santa as white, since that’s just the way it’s been since his commercial origins.

In response, every liberal Facebook page I’ve ever liked went on an angry rant spree and was sharing pictures of black Santas captioned, “Share this photo of black Santa because it pisses off Megyn Kelly.” It was off to the races with another case of liberal outrage.

black-santa-16x9
How does skin color play a part in Christmas tradition? Image courtesy of MSNBC.

We can’t have nice things because we’re stuck in the old mentality that white people are the only ones that can be racist. I hate myself for sticking up for Fox News, but can we address the fact that the writer also called Santa ‘melanin deficient?’ Isn’t it racist to say that white people are lacking melanin? When did it become common to assume that only white people can be racially insensitive? Does a race need to have endured centuries of slavery to earn the right to be racist?

The fact of the matter is that Megyn Kelly isn’t wrong. It isn’t racially insensitive to have a white Santa. What this tells me is that political correctness has become so severe that it’s now racist to have white characters. The fact that Megyn Kelly was called racist for saying that Santa and Jesus are white is absurd (although I do take some issue with the factually incorrect white Jesus).

I can’t stress enough how wrong liberals are on the issue of political correctness. I would say we’re being white knights, but that would be racist by today’s standards. Of course racism is wrong, and I think there’s so much more we should be doing to ensure the empowerment of minorities. Why does that have to mean we need to make white people feel bad for being white?

We need to stop looking for outrage where there’s none to be found. We need to make an effort to encourage racial sensitivity where it’s actually a problem. If a melanin deficient Santa makes you feel ashamed, maybe you’re the one who’s racist. If you want to make an ad that features a black Santa or a penguin Santa, you can do it. If you want to make a spinoff of your favorite show where the main character is of a different race, you can do it. Someone created the idea of Santa and envisioned him as a jolly old white man who drives a sleigh with reindeer and delivers presents to every good kid’s house. You can’t take away someone else’s vision of a character. We need to let go of this ridiculous high horse that is political correctness so that maybe — just maybe — we can have nice things.

Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Many ignorant and uneducated Americans believe that all Muslims are terrorists, and that every single Muslim participates in and/or supports terrorist groups. After 9/11, many Americans created and subscribed to this very negative stereotype. I’m not blaming anyone other than the attackers and plane-jackers for this. Yet we, as Americans, have to move on and educate ourselves. Continue reading Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Racism

We have made so many great advancements in civil rights since this country was formed. We pride ourselves in being the melting pot of the world. Every year, countless people flock to the US for a chance at a better life because of the opportunity we offer to such a diverse group of people.

So when history is made and a woman of Indian descent manages to win the Miss America pageant, why does the nation feel the need to run to Twitter and try to squeeze in as many racist insults they can into 140 characters?

Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Racism