#ThisIs2016 And I won’t be silent about people who accept racism

And yes, there are a lot of racists out there. As the Trump campaign continues to arm racists with the right to stop being “PC”, we’re seeing the ugliest side of the America we know now.

As someone extremely passionate about raising awareness about basic human decency, I have to post about this disturbing Facebook interaction in reaction to Michael Luo’s video about racism #ThisIs2016.

Here is the comment that started it all following my re-post of this video with the comment “If I had a dollar… This is all too common.”

His friend then weighed in.

#ThisIs2016, on the bright side:

People are standing up like they never have before with such force against victimization, abuse, and mistreatment due to hatred against their sex, race, religion, and appearance, etc.

#ThisIs2016, however:

People like Rich think that somehow economic success determines how much or even if a racial minority can or should speak up about racism. Where’s the relevance in that? Furthermore, people like Rahul are compounding this problem. As a person of color, Rahul embraces being called an Oreo (which is NOT an innocent nickname btw). Even the victim of blantant racism (in this case Rahul) dismisses his nickname as some sort of “welcome to the club” term of endearment one ought to be proud of.

Rich eventually also highlights the fact that he was called “Wonderbread” (Rich is white) by a basketball friend as his example of how he’s been impacted by this insidious reverse racism.

Being made fun of by a friend is ENTIRELY different than being accosted by random people on the street who tell you to “go back to China” and make “Ching-chong” noises at you. He’s literally grabbing at straws to compare his experience to the severity of what happens to people of color EVERY day.

Check out Shelley’s articulate comments on why reverse racism doesn’t make sense…

As for Rahul, he claims he doesn’t “see” racism. That’s interesting. Most of his friends on his facebook pictures are white, clean-shaven, typical NYC-banker/preppy type who have accepted him for the token minority of the group or “Oreo” as he is called by his friends.

Their adorable nickname for him is blatant proof that he IS being singled out for his racial difference, namely the color of skin.

Assimilation efforts are stymied by people like Rahul who are PART OF THE PROBLEM, which in this case actually has a name: Internalized racism.

Allowing white men to call you racial slurs (yes, Oreo would be one of them), is saying, that’s OK, I’ll do what it takes to fit in! In fact, I’m so eager to win your approval, call me whatever you want and I’ll embrace it. We can be buddies as long as I’m cool with what you call me, right?

NO! It’s nothing short of cowardice, lack of self-awareness, and neediness to earn approval from people who generally look down upon you, highlight your physical difference, yet somehow misleading YOU to feel that you’re now “part of the cool group”.

Having grown up within the “popular” crowd pre-highschool, dominated by mean girl mentality and the exclusion of others, I was part of that problem first-hand. My friends (who were largely white, having grown up in a 95%+ white neighborhood), made fun of dorky nerds (who typically tended to be Asian, immigrant, etc.). In order to fit in, I proudly wore the badge of being very “white” American and downplaying my Chinese heritage. I was part of the problem by demeaning and shunning my own race!

As I got older, I finally understood the full extent of the psychological turmoil that follows you as someone in a racial minority.

Thankfully, I was eventually dosed with reality. People did NOT treat me the same as my white peers.

I’ve been called “Gook” on the street for speaking Chinese, harassed and leered at by men who said hi to me in a variety of Asian languages, “ching-chonged” at by random people at clubs, who also sometimes like to pull back their eyes to mimic mine, and too many other examples to name.

No matter how much I tried to “NOT SEE RACE”, others did and let me know about it.

As an adult, I now have the survival skills as WOC to be aware and fight against racial attacks, no matter how overt or subtle. In order to succeed as a minority, it’s ESSENTIAL to understand how to respect yourself and your unique background. Only then, can others actually appreciate the diversity and strength you bring to the table.

Also, you’re sending a clear message. DON’T. MESS. WITH. ME.

You think you’re being cute and funny making insensitive and offensive comments that you deem “off the cuff” and “no big deal”. Try that on someone else cuz I ain’t havin’ it and I’ll call you out. I’m part of the new generation of people who are not listening anymore.

I won’t shut up or be silenced and just “deal with it”. No thanks.

Now I’m proud as ever of my heritage and I embrace my value as someone who has benefited immensely from being the product of 2 cultures.

Let’s not forget: What Rahul may not realize is that most hiring decision makers at companies (still led by people who have strong unconscious bias) think “Indian”, “Pakistani”, etc. when they’re evaluating his candidacy based on the first line of his resume (his name).

They won’t equate Rahul X with John Smith, because Rahul is clearly from a racial minority (do you know any white men called Rahul?). And BAM! Just like that, with only your name at the top, your resume will have taken a slightly different hue.

That’s the insidious nature of perverse racism. To ignore it is to deny reality.

Plenty of publications, studies, and my personal experience as a headhunter working with HR, hiring managers, and other hiring decision-makers prove this horrible point:

If you have an “ethnic” name, you’ll be discriminated against, whether or not you want to believe it.

Just because Rahul doesn’t “see” nor want to see racism, others can see it for the sad spectacle that it is. Someone who is being victimized and proud to be part of the victimization. I honestly have no words for this type of acceptance of self-humiliation.

As for Rich, he’s the stereotype of a Trump supporter.

Not only is the white man always a victim, the whole system is against the white man. Minorities are taking over the world, women’s voices are actually being heard these days, and you just can’t say things like you used to anymore because everyone’s just so damn sensitive. Rich has previously commented on my posts about Brock Turner, calling him a “kid” and basically presenting the classic “don’t drink and you won’t be raped argument”.

So we know who Rich is. He’s old news, we all know people like that.

Our crazy uncle, our friend of a friend that no one really likes, our weird college classmate who never really fit in (also someone who none of your other college friends remember!), that guy who women always found creepy and awkward, the guy who hangs out with other people who everyone knows are racists, misogynists, and otherwise cringeworthy. In the worst case, these complex psychological issues of perceived victimization (when none actually exist) manifest into crazed radicalism and support for all the wild, hateful rhetoric illustrated by Trump’s campaign.

I am grateful that we’re headed in the right direction though. Thanks to the internet and the courage of everyone speaking up everywhere, we’re finally addressing this issue.

No matter what your economic situation is, no one should be subject to abuse, disrespect, and unequal treatment.

I have no fear now, so bring it on.

Let’s continue the conversation. #ThisIs2016