When was the last time you heard the term “racist” used? You may have heard it from the mouth of a stranger or a close friend. But what exactly determines whether or not a statement is racist? Offensive remarks are almost always met with an impetuous response of “racist” or complete negligence. But this form of alienation begs the question of what makes something discriminatory. Surely, a statement must have an ethnically pertinent opinion that is either directly or indirectly indicant of superiority of one race over another.
The most common racial stereotype is one that refers specifically to Hispanics, such as “they’re “crossing the border”. Is said statement, in fact, racist? Of course not. It is not fallacious to say that some Latino-Americans have illegally crossed the border to enter the U.S. Subsequently, it is undoubtedly politically incorrect to derogatively accuse someone as racist when they bring up such a level of truth. This content of reality may impose a slightly discriminatory view, but one can only assume this inevitable. What is racist, however, is to conclude that all Latin-Americans are aliens.
Even so, a more button-pressing matter would be the complete ignorance prevalent in our educational system. How do we classify different people around the globe without identifying the discerning details that differentiate each person? Our teaching methods are riddled with facts and generalizations; students even use stereotypes to help remember details about certain groups. Moreover, how exactly would we classify culture without revealing its details in a racially-insensitive fashion when the core curriculum is based on comparison? The answer: you can’t. Avoiding discrimination will almost always be an impossible attempt.
The logic we are surrounded by today is built upon making generalized assumptions about certain ethnicities. Not all racial remarks have an extreme derogatory implication, even if they may hint at such. Being the common (wo)man of America, we must reject the social paradigm of what constitutes being a racist. When we take this step, we will be farther from being bigots and closer to a more utopian world where prejudices are tolerated.