Things That Annoy Me: Racism

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A look at how the whole idea of racism is just out of control. I mean, is there a whole idea here? Or a fragmented and chopped ideal that leaves your everyday Joe with the power to sue the pants off of anyone who says something he doesn't like?

Racism. Racist. These are two words that make our ears prick up immediately, but why? When we hear these words, what do we think of? Conflict, people suing other people, and generally humanity just not getting along. Now isn't that really sad? Anyway, I'm not going to write this article down attempting to be some KKK exterminating angel from heaven because that would be Christians. I'm sure their angels have much more important things to be getting along with. No, I'm going to throw out a few crazy examples that I have noticed over the years that don't exactly fight for or against racism. Mainly, however, 'racism' as a word is like 'love' (extermely ironic, I know). By that I mean we don't truly know what racism constitutes. This then leads to evermore paranoid people and, more annonyingly, paranoid government ofificials saying 'Oh my god, was it ok to joke about that? Um....No! No it wasn't, people DO NOT say that because you might hurt someone's feelings'. Well, first, that someone just needs to chill the hell out and not be offended so easily. Secondly, this leads to people using their anger as an excuse to victimise themselves and whinge about something that really doesn't matter so that they can sue and make money. This is the part I don't like. How the government's fear of whats fair and whats not has promoted vindictive greed. We can't say certain things now. We just can't. So what's happened to freedom of speech? Well, it's not there anymore. 

Anyway, that introduction was getting a little bit too long and I had to be really careful there in case I made myself look like the badguy. If I look like the badguy already it's only because you've employed the paranoia that you'll offend someone from your people-fearing government. Without further ado, I'll get started.

What I'd like to get started on is my hometown. I lived here from birth to the age of around ten years old. Then when I finished school, I came back and started university. I just want to say that the street soon to be in question, was the street I have rose-tinted memories of, walking down the street with my dad, arm stretching to hold his hand. We'd go past lots of private business like bakers or barbers or shoemakers or music stores. The barber we usually went to was called Sweeney Todd's and, it being privately owned, we knew the man cutting my hair pretty well. He always talked to me about my day and who my favourite superheroes were. This pleasant community feel could be said for most of the street. I returned at the age of nineteen, when I was in university, to see that Sweeney Todd's had been replaced by a fast food, Muslim owned kebab store. The one to the left of it was now also an asian business, inside of which the clientele were all asian; there wasn't a single caucasian to be seen through the window. The business to the right of what used to be Sweeney Todd's was also foreign owned. On occasion, I pop into that business to buy some tobacco and they never ask me for I.D. and their customer relations stink. They barely bother to look me in the eye while they serve me and the only thing they bother to say is the price of what I'm buying. Continuing along, worried, I'd started looking for all the old businesses that occupied my fond memories of this street. They had all gone. All bar two, which had 'for sale' signs on them, undoubtedly feeling ostricised by this strange new community that had sprung up around them.

People ask me if I'm racist and I say I am not. One of my good freinds is Muslim. However, he sympathises with me when I tell him what has become of the old street I thought I knew and loved. When I walk down that street these days, I don't feel a sense of community and belonging so much as a similar feeling to the owners of the shops packing up and leaving; a feeling of being the odd one out in my own country. Nothing I have said so far is racist, is it? However, I do feel a kind of resentment not for the people on that street but the whole scenario and that it turned out that way. Not everyone is like me and they can have a lower tolerance of these things. Yet, how can we not be scared when we see reports on the T.V. of seemingly nice Muslim men commiting acts of atrocity out of nowhere, and then step out the door and walk down this street not understanding a word of whats spoken around us? I will say this now for the few poor people on that street who are native to this country. We don't want them there. We don't. No one will say it and hardly anyone dares to think it because of a fear of what will happen if we do. If those select few speak their mind and try to honour the memory of the way their home used to be, they will be prejudiced against by the Muslim community and even by the Christian one. What can they do? An example of how these ovewhelming odds occure is this: A caucasian man goes to rent a job office in a tower block on that street; he gets denied. A Muslim businessman tries the same and gets the office without a hitch. Obviously, the owner of the building didn't want to deny it because of fear for that Muslim man returning to him saying 'Why didn't you give me that office, man? Are you being a racist?'. A phrase to which he will have no power over. 

On the other side of the spectrum we have the use of the word 'nigga'. Myself and my freinds enjoy watching an animated show called 'Boondocks', as it brings up alot of these issues subtly and through comedy. We love to quote some funny lines from the show together when reminiscing it. Alot of the time, these quotes have the 'N' word in them, and we found we had to be super careful in public. It's that same fear again, of offending someone who has the ability to verbally beat us down with the highest power invested in them because we said one measly little word. Indeed, it is only possible to be racist if you are white. Think about it. One black guy goes to another 'Hey my nigga how you doing?' but if a white guy goes up to that same black man in the knowledge that he uses that word liberally, and then uses it...catastrophe. 

I suppose I'd better wrap this rant up because it's getting a bit long. But I'd like to end on a little theory that I have about racism. So, we have several different cultures in one community who all individually have different beleifs and religious faiths. Even just social conventions from different parts of the world, religion doesn't have to be a factor. These different kinds of people have to get along to continue bettering that community. For the most part this happens...on the surface. Below the surface we have lots of cussing behind the back and bitching and moaning about how things have changed, just as I have in this article. However, these social conventions are something seperate for each race and something we have learned to nurture and love and respect. That leads to a passion for what you're used to. Your comfort zone, if you like. But, just as we see in everyday arguments, conflict occurs through a difference of passions. That silly instinct where we have to insist 'No you are wrong and I'm right, now listen...'. Surely, with all the differences between us, this attitude is inevitable? I'd love for it not be but thats just the way I see it I'm afraid. 

Drop a few comments below and tell me honestly if you think I'm a racist or not. Did these points voice the opinions of the voiceless?

Submitted: January 25, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Nick Banks. All rights reserved.

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This is a complex and aggravating subject. It's so hard to express yourself these days without offending someone, but freedom of speech means you have the freedom to offend. Listening to others is the only way to find out what they are thinking, but so few people actually listen. They hear something they don't like and just go off. I don't think you are racist, just aware that things should be better and we need to keep an open dialog or it will just get worse.

Sat, January 28th, 2012 4:15pm


couldn't agree more. thanks for reading

Sat, January 28th, 2012 11:21am


I like that! A controversial view! I myself am not racist and I believe a racist man is a stupid man! Your views are right, not at one point were you racist you just pointed out the obvious! No matter black or White we are all hating each other!

Mon, February 13th, 2012 3:59pm

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