The (sometimes) ambiguous racism.

by John Snow on September 9, 2015 - 2:07pm

In the article, ‘’I’ve had enough of celebrities making empty apologies for their racism’’ (The Guardian, September 8th 2015) by Rebecca Carroll, the author shares her opinion about the incidents that have been going on in numerous social medias over the year 2015. She mainly argues that many celebrities, who are read and followed by thousands of people, seem to rely too often on vague and simple apologies to compensate for some of their statements that could be considered as offenses on other people’s ‘race’ or culture. She gives the example that occurred between Anthony Horowitz, ‘James Bond’ writer, and African American actor Idris Elba. The writer said that Elba was too ‘’street’’ to play the role of James Bond in the movie. Horowitz then offered a shallow apology to the actor on his Twitter account after the controversy his words created. With a couple of other examples of celebrities stating ambiguous race calls, the author Rebecca Carroll concludes by stating that some celebrities may be tempted to say whatever they want without weighing their words because they can simply on shallow apologies if people react negatively.

I want to start off by saying that I deeply condemn racism in all forms, and that it is still a problem that occurs too much in the modern, open-minded society we live in. However, I would like to add that in our society, people sometimes try to find racism when there isn’t necessarily, especially on social media, and here’s why. People seem to find a guilty pleasure in calling out racism just for the sake of controversy. For the latter instance when the author calls the other guy ‘’too street’’, I definitely see the ambiguity in the statement, because it may be seen as referring to the black ‘ghetto’ community. However, when you think about it, the statement could totally have been applied to another white guy, who could also be too ‘street’ for the role, and it never would have caused such controversy. Why? Because by trying to condemn racism, people sometimes create it themselves by agreeing that there is genuine difference between ‘races’. If we would all apply the works of Jared Diamond in his article ‘Race without colour’’ to our daily lives, we would see that race in an arbitrary system, and that ‘race’ cannot really by defined in any way because we are all the same. To conclude, I am not saying that racism is made up by people who only try to cause controversy, I am simply pointing out that by trying to find racism everywhere, we are, in a sense, agreeing that there is a difference between people in the beginning. I therefore agree with the author that people should be more careful with what they say, and not rely on mere apologies to make up for what you said, but at the same time, I would like to live in a world where you can still say what you think in a respectful way without having people trying to find a slight ambiguous aspect in your statement that could be interpreted as racist.

Carroll, Rebecca. "I've Had Enough of Celebrities Making Empty Apologies for Their Racism." The Guardian. 8 Sept. 2015. Web. 8 Sept. 2015. <

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