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Racism has come a long way throughout history. Although the world has advanced itself for decades, they are still categorization of races which then leads back to racism. People will say all kinds of indecent, provocative things if they think you share even a similar view as theirs. And now leaving others with the questions what could you say? Or what should you say? When someone makes a racist remark. Is this a form of racial harassment, disrespect, or Ignorance?
Racism is an illustration of ignorance, foolishness with disregard to all human common-sense. This article “What Do You Do When Someone Makes a Racist Remark? By Rachel L. Swarns seems to give an indication that most people lack knowledge of things they spit out their mouths. An example would be the woman who stated that Michelle Obama “looked like an ape” or Mr. Imperiale who stated, “he seemed to go out of his way to make racist comments in front of me”. Now the questions come in, what is a decent person supposed to do or say when someone whom clearly does not seems to be in their right mind, say something racist in your presence? Do you respond that was racist, as suggested in the article or do you simply walk away?
Frantz Fanon stated in his book The Facts of Blackness – “The handsome little boy is trembling because he thinks the nigger is quivering with rage, the little boy throws himself into his mother’s arms: mama the nigger’s going to eat me up.” This comment left him in shock and into believing his body was given back to him. How should he have responded or even so how should the mother have responded? The real truth is that if one is old enough to know, then he or she is definitely old enough to learn. Therefore, why walk away when you have the chance to educate the ignorance out of that person.
Have you ever asked why black people can say the N-word, but when a white person says it, it becomes racist? Richard J. Perry argues that “Racism is real. Race is not” – “Race’. Facts or Artifact”. What is understood by this is, race is not real in terms of biological mechanisms, every human being is created the same. Race is something that has been socially constructed and divided into binary categories; such as color. Racism exists due to these categories that make us seem indifferent which then leads to racism as a form of disrespect.
Disrespect is defined as rude, lack of courtesy and often insulting. Each word a person says carries a different tone and intention. As stated in the article, Ms. Middleton’s white friend’s mother used the N-word during a discussion about race in the living room, which then left her frozen in a moment. The lady not only disrespected Ms. Middleton as a black woman who thought “she has done all she could to keep racism at bay” but also the black race in general. Not acknowledging what she had said and her daughter staying silent by looking away, that was beyond disrespectful and outrageous.
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