A lot of teenagers and kids will say that anything is “racist” these days as a joke, when most of the time, what was said did not show racism at all. How is discriminating different from describing someone using their culture? According to dictionary.com, racism is defined as, “Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.” Thus, if I were to say, “I have an Asian friend,” that is not showing intolerance. It is simply stating that the person is Asian. It’s a description, which is defined as “A statement, picture in words, or account that describes.” However, if I said (which I wouldn’t), “Asian people are so annoying,” that would be prejudice and then you could call me racist.
It isn’t clear why some people would joke about discrimination. It’s not funny. It’s also not funny to discriminate others. Could people be inadvertently showing prejudice because it isn’t realized that the statements being made are offensive? Maybe people’s feelings should be taken into account a little more.
In addition, if you say something offensive about your own culture and say it isn’t prejudice, that is still very much racism. Even if you have a strong grudge against a culture, open your mind and try to keep your opinion to yourself. That way, everyone walks away happy.
By Lauren Hutchins