I come from a very multicultural boarding school; we have all types of major religions, including students from all around Asia, Europe, America and Africa. We all live and work together in a tight community and there is no true discrimination between any of us, but any casual observer at the school’s social structure would automatically assume we are all extremely racist. The reason, we ceaselessly make racist jokes towards one another. At the beginning of each school year, I often enjoy watching the terror and then confusion of new teachers’ and students’ faces as we make insanely offensive and racist jokes right to the face of the people they’re directed to, and everyone just laughs and plays along. We joke about all the Asians committing suicide if their SATs are lower than 2400, we joke that black people steal and love watermelon and fried chicken, and I constantly joke about being “the big, loud and ignorant redneck American”; there’s almost no boundaries to the humor. It’s not just students either; teachers constantly join in and encourage it. Some newcomers to the school are often horrified and heavily offended at the joking and wonder why we do it. The reason, we’re laughing at the enormous stupidity of it. My school gathers many very intelligent and talented people from around the world, and parts of our racial jokes are us laughing at racism itself, seeing it as the needless stupidity it is. For some it takes a while to realize that we never actually mean any of the comments we make, and soon they’re laughing and playing along with us. Some parents see this as an extremely insensitive way to joke around, but few realize we’re actually destroying the harmfulness of racism. The reason racism hurts so many people is because it brings back memories of a time when more strict laws and full hatred of them remained solely because of their nationality or faith. So some people refer to as never mentioning it, or “stringent political correctness” is the only way to demolish racist thoughts, but I disagree. You see what adhering to political correctness has done; it has lead us to examine every political statement to see if it could be considered racist in any way. By studying and analyzing for racism, we’ve created a situation that’s equal to the Salem Witch Hunts or the Red Scare in the 1950s. Only instead of witches and communists, we’re looking for racists. And while there are true racists in our world, it’s usually pretty obvious if they seriously mean what they say. And no matter how hard you try to eliminate racism , the more you mention it and examine statements for it, the more you’re going to remind people that it has and still can exist in a hurtful and harmful manner. However, if you openly and willingly joke about it; it turns into a joke itself. People stop thinking of it in any type of serious manner and just make fun of it. So if you truly want to make discrimination and racism to disappear, don’t hide away from it like it’s some lurking beast in a corner that can return to destroy society, bring that beast out into the light and openly laugh at it, ridicule it, and turn into something else. Not to mention, if you hide away from it and ignore it, you miss out the opportunity to create some of the funniest situations I’ve ever known. I take pride in my school’s ability to decimate the harshness of racism, but I feel as I go out into the world and am separated from that community that knows it’s all jokes, I will quickly be pegged as a racist. So if you guys ever somehow meet me or someone like me making racist jokes, don’t automatically peg them as racists, chances are they’re on a quest to destroy it as we know it.
How to make Discrimination Disapear
September 15, 2011