Dodging Racism

Trevor Noah said it best. "America is the kind of place where someone can get more offended at you calling them a racist, than at the fact that they are racist." Sure sometimes people pull the race card unnecessarily in order to get what they want. I won't deny that, but when there are times when racism is clearly present, it can get swept under the rug because people claim that they are not violent, have friends of different races, etc. Those excuses are made time and time again. However, this does not make them immune from have racist tendencies, behavior, thoughts, or practices. How many times does this need to said?

Spending most of my youth growing up in Southern California, most of my sports teams centered around Los Angeles. These past few weeks have been tense because the Los Angeles Dodgers are on their way to game seven. Some negativity comes out through the competitive spirit of baseball. I get that. It's normal to have a friendly rivalry, especially when the World Series is at stake. You have a draw a line. I was so sad to hear that over the weekend, hitter Yuli Gurriel from the Astros made a slant-eye face and said chinito to Yu Darvish. There are so many problems with this.

1. The MLB has people from all over the world regardless of race or faith who play together on diverse teams. It is supposed to be the example of the world's finest baseball association. Professionals have to maintain appropriate behavior because many of them are the role models of many young children.

2. Racial gestures should be left in the past. We should be aware of what they are and why they are inappropriate, but they should not be propagated as a joke. Teaching children this at a young age will allow them to treat each other better. In a country where diversity is a strength instead of a weakness, it is important for the U.S. to understand this. Anyone who tells you that making racial gestures are just light-hearted jokes does not understand the hatred and history behind them.

3. We need to be better than this. Generation X and Y are obligated to make sure that we teach the youth to be better. We should not accept that older people grew up in different times and pass it off by saying “oh, well that’s just the way they talk.” The fact that most of the world is ignorant of other cultures, languages, and people is clearly evident by the way we refer to foreigners. In this case it was through the Latin term of chino/a. Yuli clearly did not mean to say that the man's hair was curly, which is the other definition of chino. Rather he meant to refer to a person from China, but this term has been used to describe anyone of Asian descent regardless of whether they come from China or not. Darvish is not Chinese. His father is Iranian and his mother is Japanese. Why does this happen? Its because people are too ignorant to know any better, too lazy to learn the difference, just plain racist or a combination of the three in various ways.

I am not saying that everyone feels this way. Many Latin Americans know the difference between ethnicities and know how to correctly use the appropriate terms. It is always the bad apples that make an entire group look bad. There are some people who continue to use these terms and behavior and it has been accepted as the way to address Asians. I have seen it in Indian communities as well. This issue is not only within the Latin community, but occurs with any individual who thinks that making racial gestures or undertones as jokes is ok. Darvish accepted Gurriel’s apology, which was pretty amazing. He chose to forgive him and put his personal attack on hold so that fans, the teams, and the organizations wouldn’t be punished for the actions of one. So humble. I hope Gurriel can learn from this and stop being such an ignorant immature kid. On that note, go Dodgers.