The Modern Face of Racism

funny or die house sxsw 2016
photo by Riley Blanks

When we hear the word racism, many of us think of derogatory terms, extreme hatred, and violent acts. We may be envisioning black and white pics from the 60’s of black people being mistreated in the streets. A great deal of us, myself included, had probably even at some point thought that we had come far enough to say that racism wasn’t really a day-to-day issue that people had to face. (Unless they really went looking for it.)

Well folks, unfortunately, those of us with that bright outlook on life were very, very wrong.

We live in a day and age where racism has changed so much, most people that are behaving in a racist manor, don’t believe they are in fact racist. When you actually look up the definition of racism, however, you are reminded that it is much more than derogatory terms, extreme hatred, and violent acts. It’s the belief that your race is superior to another. That’s it, plain and simple, but with much more weight.

You don’t have to outwardly say or do anything to be racist. All you have to have is the belief that someone of another race cannot amount to what you are, simply because of their race. Sadly, most of the time in our current world, that turns up in the work place. A lot of people aren’t considered to be hired, or kept on once they are. My guess is that their superiors are uncomfortable around them because of their race. Because they are “different”.

This may not make sense to some you, and you may be thinking to yourself, “That’s NOT racist!” It actually is though. If you are not comfortable being around someone because they don’t look like you and you can’t relate to them, enough so that you fire them or just don’t hire them, then you have some sort of belief that they are not equal to you. Be it in values, morals, competency, or normalcy (which what really is “normal”??), you feel they don’t add up to what you and the people with whom you feel most comfortable with

(most likely your own race) do.

Let’s face it, most people like being around what feels familiar, and what they’re used to. Not too many folks go out and pick the craziest color they can find, or most outrageous outfit they saw. Just think of how hard it is to get some friends to try a new food if they can’t tell what it is by looking at it. A lot of people have let this sort of thinking take over in every aspect of their life though!

“You don’t dress like me, you must not be able to do my job.”

“I don’t talk like that, you must not be as smart as me.”

“You don’t go through the same process to get ready in the morning as I do, you’re weird.”

This shit all sounds strange when you read like this, but take a step back and really examine what’s going on in your head when you meet or see someone that you can’t immediately relate to based on their looks. If you don’t like anything about what you’ve just discovered, stop and think about all the people in the world that aren’t as open-minded as you are.

Now can you see? Houston, we have a problem.