Why Do “Unintentionally Racist” Instances Continuously Occur?
Keep thinking what you do in your personal life has no effect on your professional life. In a perfect world, that may be true; but when your personal life is made public (especially at your own hand), your professional life may indeed be affected. Just ask 20-year-old Erika Escalante, who was recently fired from her internship because of a racist tweet.
She and a friend took a picture in a cotton field, which she shared via Twitter with the caption, "Our inner (N-Word) came out today."
Of course, this sparked a major uproar, which led to Escalante contacting Isagenix, where she was a paid intern, to tell them what happened, according to Arizona's Fox 10. Within two hours, her internship was over! Escalante has since apologized for her action, calling it a mistake, but at what point do such errors in judgment end?
Is it a matter of ignorance or blatant disrespect? It is without a doubt that most cultures and ethnicities do a better job of educating its descendants of its history than mainstream education. Just a few years ago (Nov. 2013), cheerleaders at McAdory High School in McCalla came under fire for a game-side banner which stated its opponents would be sent home in a "Trail of Tears." In recent years, numerous people have thought it funny to dress in blackface for costume parties and Halloween.
Should it be pointed out that some crafts passed down through numerous generations were the results of indentured servitude, that the thievery learned from one's "Paw" and his "Paw" and his "Paw" just might be directly related to the fact that thousands of convicts and prisoners from Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and other European nations, or that while the nation is all up in arms with anti-bullying campaigns, it was CREATED by a society of bullies and scavengers who were conveniently described as pioneers.... Should ANY of this be pointed out, it would undoubtedly be offensive to their descendants. So, this is omitted from most historical accounts, as is the way these same "settlers" brought disease that killed the land's inhabitants, thereby forcing them to go to Africa to get laborers to perform the work they could not do on their own. Of course, other races are seen as inferior after the work the bullies needed was done.
Should movies be made depicting the plights of each culture cast in its own and all Americans be made to watch them, we might become more aware of how the smallest things we find funny might be offensive to our brothers and sisters. It's seemingly easy to forget the feelings of those affected by certain travesties when the sufferer doesn't look like we do. ALL Americans other than first- or second-generation immigrants come from lines of ancestry that is marred with offensive instances. Fortunately, some of us have more tact and put more thought into not offending others and should probably work toward demanding honesty and clarity in the history taught in schools. Otherwise, such "unintentional" offenses will continue to occur.