Hello. You don’t know me, but I am a black male in America. I’m a person of color (POC), a minority, a human being that is still not considered fully human even in the new millennium. Now, I know some of you are going to say how I’m whining, that I’m blaming white people and this, that and the other. You see, I heard it all before. Yet, it still doesn’t mean that what I will say doesn’t have any meaning. Just because you may think so doesn’t make it objective or any less important.
You see, right now I’m holding back all of my anger and frustration. I’m trying my hardest not to offend you the same way some members of your racial-gender group have offended POC, especially through online videos and pictures of you imitating negative stereotypes about blacks, Latinos and Asians. Yet, I will say what is on my mind, and if that upsets you, to be frank, so be it.
I’ve seen a picture of a Penn State sorority (Chi Omega) posing as offensive Mexican stereotypes. One girl held a sign that read “Will mow lawn for weed + beer”. Right now, a student by the name of Miguel Figueroa is planning a peaceful march as a response to this lame joke.
Sadly, according to Colorlines.com, The president of Penn State Rodney Erickson said that the school won’t pursue disciplinary action. It’s even more sad to say that many POC are not surprised.
You see, whether you know it or not – whether you care or not, racial mistreatment against POC in this country is not only common and expected, but is not seen as a problem by mainstream society. On the other hand, we are seen as the problem. We are blamed for anything and everything wrong with society for reasons based on nothing but lies and stereotypes while certain people are awarded privileges even if they are the causes for the major wrongs in society. Do you have any idea of what it’s like to be seen as the problem and not as human beings worthy of the same rights and privileges awarded mostly to certain people because they were born with certain body parts that are still not considered normal in today’s world?
So far, there have been a few videos on the video website Youtube of young white girls making racist videos against blacks and Asians. Those videos received a lot of hits because of the racism they displayed. Those girls were ultimately discovered and were forced to apologize. However, they weren’t really as sorry about what they did or said as they are about getting caught. It’s doubtful that they’ve learned anything about the impact their words and – in some cases – actions on the people they disrespected. So, it’s safe to say that they will likely continue to maintain their racist mindset but only in private with others who share the same opinions.
I know some of you are already rejecting what I’m saying so far. Your feelings are probably already hurt. You’re even probably calling me a racist, among other names. You may even try to shift the blame back onto me and find excuses to justify such actions. If you do, it tells me you are unwilling to learn something different and important and are too comfortable with your privileged lives. It also shows as plain as day that you are no different than those other girls guilty of their racism.
Some of you may think that it was all in good fun and humor and that you don’t mean to offend anyone. The point is not about what you mean to do. What you’ve done is in question. That is what pissed many people off. You may think that it’s just a mistake, but if you don’t learn what that mistake was and absorb its depth, it will be repeated. And no amount of tears will help you.
Then, there are some of you who think it is based on fact. In that case there is no need continuing any further. Racist people use any and all means of myths and statistics no matter how old or false to justify their hatred. And they see nothing wrong with it. So, I won’t deliver any dissertations as to why you are wrong when it’s more than obvious that you can do with work yourself if you choose. Seeing as how you likely won’t, the conversation is over.
For those of you with a smidgen of open mindedness, I recommend that you start learning and researching. The best sources are from POC themselves. However, you can not let what they be about you personally. If you do, it will keep you from evolving into better people. You will be trapped inside your sheltered world view.
Let me remind you that this is not just about some silly white girls with tools to show off their bigotry. The problem is much more complex than that. It is about the atmosphere to which this society thrives upon that allows these girls to make such videos and pictures and hardly receive any lesson for their deeds. Again, that is why POC are upset, and they have every right to be. If you don’t want to be part of the real problem, I suggest you start opening your minds and hearts. Maybe once you’ve learned something, you will use your cameras for better use…Maybe.