Alert! Normalized Racism Everywhere!

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Courtesy of Concrete Playground

Although it may seem fun at first, please be mindful when wearing other cultures’ clothes as costumes!

Eunice Ahn, Photojournalist

With the Black Lives Matter Movement bringing forth people’s dissatisfaction with racism, it slowly started to trickle out people telling others to stop normalizing racism against other races. What exactly is defined under the normalized racism category, and how can we stop it?

First of all, what are some examples of normalized racism? Well, more known examples are people doing the Asian eyes and saying “ching chong” to every Asian they meet. Although it may seem normal to most of us, it can get uncomfortable for some of us because not every Asian has slanted eyes and Asian languages do not sound like that at all. Cara Tang (10) recounted the amount of racism she faced when she first came to America, saying, “One thing that stood out to me is that when I spoke Chinese, people would tell me to be quiet and to speak English because this is America. They made fun of my eyes and how I spoke too, making fun of what I like and the interests I have in things like K-pop or anime. I had no choice but to get used to it.” 

Additionally, I have met people that would joke around saying that I raise my dog to eat it. That actually is really offensive and hurts my heart. I love my dog from the bottom of my heart and I want people to stop asking if I eat dogs all the time. Relating to this “joke” about eating dogs, Cara Tang (10) also said, “I one time was eating some pocky and someone asked me if the pocky was dog flavored or cat flavored. It really surprised me and I told them that what they were saying was rude, only for them to retaliate back saying, ‘it was only a joke!’” In addition to people making jokes about Asians eating dogs and cats, let’s also stop playing the guessing game and assuming a person’s race.

Calling every single Asian we meet Chinese is not cool. There are so many diverse Asian ethnicities besides Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, and even the minor Asian ethnicities are still Asians. Before assuming one’s ethnicities, just ask politely.

Another issue is that not everyone from the Middle East are terrorists. There are many Middle Eastern kids who are born here and are American citizens, and many of us automatically associate them with terrorists. Islamophobia or assuming a person with a dark Middle Eastern skin color is dangerous is not a justifiable excuse. People are only judging them by skin color and religion when they should take the time to understand the person and talk with them. There are plenty of wonderful people here of Middle Eastern background that are nice and amazing to talk with! 

Another issue that has been bothering some ethnicities are costumes. There are Halloween costumes that fetishize some traditional clothing, and some people do not find it cool. There are Chinese people pointing out that the qipao should not be used as something sexual. Some girls pointed out how short the qipao is portrayed and that the qipao is something beautiful and a culture of theirs. There are also Native American costumes that were criticized since most of the people wearing them were white people and the clothes were whitewashed. They demanded for an accurate representation of their culture, and for people who do not understand the importance of their culture to stop wearing the costumes or to educate themselves over what is accurate and what is inaccurate. There is nothing wrong with wearing another culture’s clothes, but please wear clothes that show what the culture actually is and that you are wearing it out of respect.

There are definitely so many more examples of normalized racism that must be fixed or addressed. We are far from fixing these issues, and everyone should keep an open mind and an accepting heart with issues like racism.