Analyzing Today’s Racism

Racism. So big, yet so small. Though it’s been years since the ‘height of racism’, racism is, has been, and probably always will be, just as common and damaging as it has always been. So many people think of racism with extremity. They think you need to directly call someone a slur or hate crime them to be considered racist, but it’s the complete opposite of that many times, especially today. In this article, I examine the crevices within our West community where racism lies.

Analyzing Todays Racism

Dayanara Vasquez Ferreyra, Staff Reporter

I didn’t grow up in the Tracy area. I grew up in a small city in the South Bay between Santa Cruz and Salinas called Watsonville. In that city, most, if not all, of the population was Mexican. I had never experienced racism back in Watsonville, not only because I’m a white Mexican, but because we were all Mexican. Everyone grew up very similarly. Most of us are first generation, so we had similar parents and similar struggles, and we all saw each other as not only friends or a community, but as a family.

Even when I was still in Watsonville, I knew the likelihood of experiencing racism was very low for me because again, I’m a white Mexican, but being in Tracy completely changed my way of thinking. Being here made me realize that though I’m less likely to experience racism, I’m not immune to it. Moving to Tracy made me weary of who I could even tell I was Mexican, or who I could speak Spanish in front of.

Most racism today takes place in the form of micro-aggressions, but it can also be loud and obvious. There have been an astonishing amount of times where I’ve heard people be called slurs or heard harming stereotypes continuously and casually. It’s always led me to the same questions. Why? Why are so many people okay with being on the receiving end of all those nasty comments? Why do people think it’s okay to say the n-slur? Why is the n-slur seen as a slur while the b-slur isn’t?

My curiosity was explored by interviewing fellow West High students on campus. One interviewee, who will remain anonymous, made many interesting points. He pointed out that racism, no matter the severity of it, is very normalized within our generation. Aside from experiencing, most people also see or hear casual racism. Very few speak up. To answer a question on this subject, the same anonymous interviewee stated that people are less likely to speak up if the racist joke isn’t meant to actually hurt someone’s feelings or used in a derogatory way. My interviewee stated that he chooses to never gets involved, whether or it the racism is being used in a ‘harmful’ manner.

The way I see it, that argument doesn’t really make sense. Racism is….. racism. At the end of the day, what you said WAS racist, no matter how you said it or how you meant it.

Casual racism does so many things, and they’re all negative. Casual racism makes it easier for POC to be discriminated against. If we constantly say use joking as an excuse for racism, we’re making it so much more easier for racists to get away with anything.

As a generation, we’ve worked very hard to try and get equality for all, and I’m honestly so annoyed and tired of hearing about how we’re all a bunch of ‘snowflakes.’ Am I supposed to feel sorry for being a decent human being? What could possibly be so funny about making years of traumatic history into a joke? There’s honestly just so many things wrong with using racism as a joke, not only because again it’s racism, but because you never know how someone will react to it. I’ve been called the b-slur before. It was weird. It was uncomfortable. The entire group stared at each other awkwardly. Why would you ‘joke’ about that, and why would you think it’s funny?

Racism takes up so many tiny aspects of our lives, like for example, the mass usage of the n-slur within the Hispanic community. I understand that racism won’t end. But I don’t understand why you’re choosing to be racist if you think it’s a problem that should disappear. To anyone reading this, stop saying words you shouldn’t be saying. Stop making jokes that aren’t yours to make. Stop using your grandma being half Mexican to say the b-slur. You’re annoying. Grow up. We all say that racism is never ending so we should just be racist, but maybe we can also turn on our heads and not only stop being racist, but start speaking out against it too.