Tag Archives: racism

How to Put an End to Racism

This is definitely not something I normally discuss on my blog, but I felt very strongly that I had to write this story tonight. I’m not breaking any big news stories when I remind you that racism is rampant in this country – we all know it. The level of discrimination and hatred against people of all colors and nationalities is growing by the day. Where does it end? How can we put a stop to it? I’ve been asking myself these questions ever since I learned of a particular incident that happened earlier today. I know I don’t have all of the answers, but I sure know where to begin: stop teaching your children to hate.

Over in Indiana, the weather was gorgeous on Wednesday afternoon. My Community Manager Kat was holed up in her office working while her daughter took her granddaughters to the park to play. The girls are ages two and four, and both love to interact with other kids. What transpired during the outing horrifies me beyond belief. I cannot begin to fathom why or how any parent could do this to their child.

Four-year-old Jenna went up to a little girl around her age and asked her to play. The little girl gave Jenna a dirty look and said “You’re white.” Jenna was confused, and replied “no, I’m skin colored.” The other girl yelled to her mother that she would not play with Jenna because “she is white!” The child’s mother found this to be hysterical and encouraged the behavior. Jenna was crushed and wanted to go home because her new friend didn’t like her. Jenna couldn’t understand why the little girl was so “mean” to her.

That, my friends, is a classic example of why racism has never died out in this country. Hating someone because of the color of their skin is a learned behavior. You aren’t born with the mindset that you should look down upon people who are different from you. You learn by example and by absorbing what others in your family believe. Many people outgrow these types of behaviors as they mature and begin to see the world through their own eyes. The problem is that not everyone does, and the hatred festers, grows and is foisted off on the next generation.

Until we stop teaching our youngsters that they should deride others who don’t look or act a particular way, racism will never end. Violence and anger will continue to cause a rift between those who co-exist in this small world of ours. We are all HUMAN. Why can’t that be enough?

How to Tick Off a Blonde

I admit it: I’ve been known to tell a blonde joke or two in my day. I’m fairly certain you’d be lying if you said you have never told a joke that bashed on someone’s hair color, religion or sexual preference. We all do it at times. However, as is being pointed out over on Lockergnome, those jokes can really hurt someone. What is funny to one person can be considered hate speech or cruelty to another. How do we know where to draw the line?

My assistant Kat will be the first person to say she can be a complete blonde at times. When she says that, she’s poking fun at her quirky side… the one that forgets little stuff, spaces out on what day it is and just generally loses herself for a moment. However, she is one hell of a smart woman at the same time. To her, a blonde joke isn’t something that bothers her. She could likely tell you the funniest ones you’ve ever heard.

To other blondes, having someone tell a blonde joke is tantamount to starting the next World War. They take serious offense to it and will show no mercy when telling you off about it. This is what I’m talking about… what is acceptable to one person may be offensive to the next. How do you know where and when to get your laugh on?

There’s no joking when it comes to finding the software and apps you need to make your life easier.

To Be or Not to Be: Politically Correct

This is Peggy Romero ‘s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I’ve always wanted to write a blog about being Politically Correct. I’m going to give a speech in two weeks about this, so it made me drag out my chair and sit in front of the computer, squeeze something out of me!

Whoever has any opinions about being ‘P.C.’, feel free to have an open discussion. Note that the ‘P.C.’ here is not abbreviated from what is commonly known as ‘Personal Computer’.

Politically Correct is commonly abbreviated to PC. This term generally refers to language, ideas, politics or behaviors used to minimize offense to racial, cultural or other identity groups.
I’ve always believed in being Politically Correct. I believe we should carefully choose our words when we talk about certain issues, like race, religion, political views and gender issues.

I once had a struggle over this belief of mine. A few years ago, I happened to have a conversation with an American friend of mine who is rather intelligent. What he said about ‘politically correct’ affected what I thought ‘politically correct” had always meant to me. We were having this little debate over whether we should call people by color or not. I told him that I used the term ‘Caucasian’ instead of ‘White’ because I don’t want to be called ‘Yellow’. I’m an Asian. Therefore, I try to be more PC and I expect people to do likewise. He didn’t agree with me and here is what he said: “Saying what you mean and what you think is what Freedom of Speech is intended for. We all need to realize this (and none too soon) that first and foremost we are all humans. But since we do have differing appearances, it is easy to say ‘White’ rather than ‘Caucasian’. But what does Caucasian mean? It means white, right? So you’re still calling me white, just using another name for it. For example, poop and shit mean the same thing and refer to the same thing. So, why is shit considered bad but poop is ok? Because we, as humans have made it that way. Calling someone black is only bad if it has bad connotations with it. But in fact, they ARE black.”

As a matter of fact, he made a good point. Has the idea of being Politically Correct gone overboard? Maybe we, as humans, literally have made the words good or bad.

Meanwhile, I tried to ask a couple of people’s opinion about it. Some of them say: “Uhhh, I don’t really care. I’m not gonna get offended anyway. Words are just words. Words won’t hurt me.” Many people say: “I think we should say whatever that is in our mind. People’s feelings are eventually going to get hurt no matter how hard we try to be nice.”

There are reasons why I believe in trying to be Politically Correct: First of all, I do not think ‘Words are just words’. We humans have made definitions of words. Yet, if we should simply say whatever that is in our mind, what comes out of our mouth means what we think. For instance, if I were in a foreign country and someone would call me a ‘Chink’, he or she has the right to say whatever that is in his or her mind. But that word is absolutely going to offend me. As we all know, that is a vulgar word to Asian people. Words are NOT just words. They are a powerful tool. It’s a tool invented by humans to express our feelings, thoughts and opinions. Secondly, I believe in the ‘Freedom of Speech’. I do believe we all have the very right to speak out our own opinions.

Admittedly, people’s feelings are eventually going to get hurt. Not for nothing, there is a difference between being offended by one’s informed opinion… and being offended by ignorance. When describing a person who is lacking of certain physical or mental ability, we may use the word ‘Disabled’ rather than calling him or her ‘Retarded’. Calling someone from Asian countries an ‘Asian’ is somehow more respectful than using the word ‘Chink’.

Lastly, being Politically Correct is not censorship. Only when the term becomes institutionalized, it turns out to be a sign of censorship afoot. Being Politically Correct is a choice. It’s simply a choice of selecting a better word in our vocabulary.