Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
February 25th, 2003
High School


One-Way Diversity

My school has a knack for making controversial issues become more of a mandated opinion. Today, the school presented some hilarious clips from SNL and Comedy Central. They were on the border between comedy and racism. And it was an interesting angle on the whole issue of being racism — a very important issue indeed.

While I felt that the Hands Across Campus team who planned the presentation had a novel idea — using comedy to demonstrate proper and improper use of racial slurs or jokes — I didn’t think that the presentation really touched on the entire issue, and didn’t cover it very well.

Racism is not a one-way street. I have then impression that, when people in the area mention racism, everyone thinks of whites oppressing blacks. That is an oversimplification. While whites in the area might be unfair to blacks, it is possibly true the other way around. This seems especially evident in the economic boycott that the African–Americans in the area imposed on Downtown. In my opinion, that boycott is unfair, because it punishes not only those who might have been unfair, but also those who are sympathetic to blacks — even black business owners themselves.

But the discussion of the boycott is beyond the scope of this commentary. The point is that, if our school wants to address the issue of racism correctly and effectively, it will have to address the whole issue, and not just focus on the parts that the media or certain groups would like you to devote your entire attention to. Racism is not a one-way street. It comes from every race, and goes against every race. To focus on just one side of the road is unfair, and — dare I say it? — racist.


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