Opinions

Racism Knows No Colour

November 30th, 2016

On October 21, students at the University of California Berkeley protested for safe spaces on campus for students of colour and LGBT students, because their main resource space was moved from a building’s fifth floor to the less visible basement. Rather than protesting in a courtyard, or getting students to sign a petition for their cause, the students decided to block a major bridged pathway to certain ethic groups, because nothing helps your cause like using racism to delay students from getting to class.

From what I have described, this sounds like racism, but where the story takes a twist is that students of colour were allowed to cross while white and Asian students were forced to go around, and under, the bridge. Although this story differs from the common narrative of racial discrimination, it is still a disgusting example of individuals being racist against certain people because of their skin colour. Even though Asian and white students comprise nearly two-thirds of Berkeley’s student demographic, that does not give the minority the right to discriminate against them because of their skin colour.

That is, by definition, racism. Now, some argue that an oppressed group cannot be racist against an oppressor group, but unless the word’s definition has changed, racism does not apply to specific racial identities. Dictionary. com, Oxford, and Webster all define racism generally as discrimination and prejudice against a different race based on the belief that one race is superior and/or inferior to others. These definitions are not limited to any particular group of people (which would ironically make the definitions racist themselves), but apply to everyone. Based on dictionary definition, this Berkeley case is racism, just the same as other repulsive forms of racism towards other groups and individuals. Racists are scum of the Earth, and if people— no matter their colour—hold racist ideas against a group— no matter their colour—then they should be labelled as such. Creating the double standard of only labelling certain races of people words that should apply to everyone just further divides us. This is what racism is, and if someone disagrees because the arguer is black, white, Asian, etc., then they fit the definition.

People are more than skin colour and judging people based on that is racism. If racism is an unacceptable behaviour, as I believe it is, then it must apply to everyone and not be limited to certain racial identities. If there is racism against black people, I want all to unite against it; if there is racism against white people, I want all to unite against it, and so on. I do not want division, but want all people to unite against irrational ideologies that only further divide us. What I wish for is far from reality, but let us strive for equal respect towards all races instead of fighting for who gets the top podium in the Oppression Olympics.

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