Behind the mask; Racism
by Emily24 on October 1, 2014 - 9:20pm
The article “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist” by Nicholas Kristof emphasizes the idea that although many consider themselves none racist, they still act in a way that actually is. The author believes that the major issue is not racism itself but instead the people who believe themselves to be moderate and non-racists while acting otherwise. Through the use of evidence taken from surveys and experiences, Kristof proves that although some strongly believe in equality their actions suggest otherwise. An example the author uses is the study showing that schools suspend black students three times more than the white students. Another experiment, published by National Bureau of Economic Research, showed that “white sounding” names get more reply for a help-wanted ad then a “black-sounding” name. According to this experiment, it would have taken fifty percent, out of five thousand, more resumes sent for a the black names to receive feedback. The final example given is one done through the use of a video game that used black and white characters. The point of the game was to shoot the appearing targets that held a gun as opposed to those who were victims. The targets would randomly be white or black yet most of the time, whether or not holding a gun, the black individual would be shot at faster than the white target. It was concluded that the players would react more quickly to shooting if the appearing target was black even though it was not necessarily a danger.
The article proves that racism can still be found within every individual even though it might not be done on purpose. Teachers are the few that should not promote racism in school, yet according to the article, they still have some sort of negative view on certain races. The fact that black students are three times more suspended then the white students shows that somewhere there is some sort of wrong perception of these students. I have also seen teachers use race as an excuse for students, I remember one criticizing a student for not understanding a math problem even though the student was Asian. School should not be an environment where racism is promoted even though it was just a joke for the teacher it might have offended and hurt the student.
As for the gaming video, I have to agree that in most video games mot races are portrayed exactly like their stereotypes. Blacks are often in gangs, Asians have amazing hacking or computer skills, Arabs are terrorists and so on. An example can be taken in the famous game Grand Theft Auto where after becoming a black character, one of the fist mission is to go steal stuff. In Call of Duty the black soldier are easier to kill then the white ones and so on.
Though these examples it is easy to see how much racism surrounds us in our daily life, even in places where it shouldn't be. I agree with this article that everyone is racist in one way. We all laugh when a small racist joke is made and everyone knows at least one. We might not agree with everything that is said but, in a way, we help keep the idea of racism alive and sometimes even spread it.