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Gil Laroya Headshot

Racism -- An American Tradition

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As an Asian American, it pisses me off to no end when television shows like CBS' Big Brother sensationalize racism. Since when did America yearn for entertainment that involved insulting remarks about minorities and LGBT's? I mean really? Is America that hungry for gossip talk, that racism becomes fair game?

What is really depressing is that mainstream America does in fact turn a blind eye towards racism, because racism is part of American history, and as such, is accepted as is any other form of institutionalized American tradition.

American is, among other things, a closet racist country and culture. What makes racism "okay" here is the fact that the discussion about whether or not racism is good or bad ebbs and flows like the tide. One would assume that after the fight for civil rights, the end of (state sponsored) segregation, and the upheaval of America's views on women and minorities, that we would have learned our lesson. Well the real lesson here is not that we feel racism is bad, but rather racism just isn't politically correct -- just like swearing in public or double dipping that potato chip in the crab dip.

But we minorities see and deal with racism every single damn day, which is downright disgusting for (arguably) the wealthiest and most advanced nation on earth. We deal with it in our police and fire departments, or military, and even our own government (oh no, we can't forget our Republican politicians now can we -- pure corn fed, southern racism at its finest).

If there is any tidbit of actual benefit to Big Brother (which is a real stretch at best), it would be that the show brought forth just a taste, no in fact the tip of the iceberg, of what is institutionalized racism in America. The kind of racism that mom's use when they tell their kids to be aware of "black people." The kind of racism that supports the idea that American's ought to "get rid of foreigners 'cause they steal our jobs."

The kind of racism that taught my best friend in 2nd grade that he couldn't be best friends with me anymore, because his dad told him that "those Asian people ain't real Americans." The kind of racism that forced a 6-year old boy to learn first hand what racism felt like.

America is what it is. Our country has greatness, but it also has it's fair share of issues. It just makes me sad that in this day and age, racism is as strong as it ever was.

Maybe it isn't as public as it was during the civil rights movement, but in America, racism is still politically correct, and it is still an American tradition...