OPINION: Check yourself and how you talk about other people

o-fake progressives
Creative Commons | The Daily Wildcat Rally against racism in Vancouver, B.C. Americans have definitely moved on the forward issue of social justice at least in public, but sometimes what we say in private shows a different story.

Let’s be honest here. America is becoming more inclusive and more socially just; however, there is no denying that we know of people who are extremely stuck in their ways. I think that is simply sad, if we honestly think about how racism is still happening. People are disliked for simply the color of their skin … the color! What, as humans, have we come to? We cannot help what we look like, how we talk or even where we come from. People will continue to be diverse, but what can change is how people think about it and their attitudes. All of us need to reevaluate ourselves and how we talk to and about others, especially when we feel comfortable.

Just a heads up, the rest of my column might make you uncomfortable, but hold tight, because I am sure some of you have experienced this or know someone has. As a minority myself, I have faced challenges and have been judged. That does not get to me too often. What does is when people feel comfortable being racist against others to my face. Since I have fake blonde hair and somewhat fair skin, I can be confused as white. That is not a problem, but it has opened doors for people to feel comfortable making racist comments to me. 

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I once asked someone I know at a coffee shop, “Why did you decide to go to the UA?” The response to my simple question turned my stomach into knots. This person said that their reason was because it is "least populated by blacks, so therefore, it is safer”. This is just one example of many. When I was confronted by such a disgusting response I could have done one of two things: one, ignore and change the subject or two, confront this person and tell them what they said is offensive. 

In order to change the dynamic of how people talk to you or bring up subjects, it is extremely important to confront the issue at hand. This does not mean you have to be disrespectful or hurt anyone’s feelings. I always let the person know that what they said is offensive, that it is not an appropriate way to talk about other people and that they should consider learning more about what they are “scared” or “ignorant” about. 

It is especially upsetting to me that since I look “white” people are comfortable with being racist around me. It is never okay to be racist. Never! It is almost 2019, and I find it absolutely terrifying that such things come out of people’s mouths. 

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However, let’s turn this around. What about when someone of a different race says, “That’s some white people shit,” or if something stereotypical happens and they say, “Only white people”? Yeah, I went there, and I am sure you or someone you know is guilty of it. That is not acceptable, either! It is not their fault they are white.

If America ever desires to see a difference in racism and how we accept each other, racist and belittling comments need to stop at both ends. White, Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc. — we are what we are, but we need to start making a change and not be fake progressives. You cannot say, “Yeah, let’s stop racism” and then make a racist comment the next day. We are only responsible for ourselves, so hold yourself accountable for everything you say. That will make a difference and will give you power to influence people to do the same.


Ariday Sued is a sophomore studying political science and journalism. Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter



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