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We were all shocked after seeing the washing machine commercial by Chinese washing machine brand Qiaobi, because it just screams racism. The topic of racism is an ongoing one. It is also a controversial topic, because it touches everyone. It so happens there is no one single race, although many would say there is: the …   Read More

We were all shocked after seeing the washing machine commercial by Chinese washing machine brand Qiaobi, because it just screams racism. The topic of racism is an ongoing one. It is also a controversial topic, because it touches everyone. It so happens there is no one single race, although many would say there is: the human race. People always like to break things down. For this reason, I would like to argue that everyone (including me) is racist, why? Because we all like to identify with a particular group of people, whether it be by religion, nationality, skin colour or ethnicity. The topic of sex can be also be added here, but that is one type of segregation that deserves a topic of its own. Racism though is one issue that sticks and concerns many, movements like the Black Lives Matter, are not new, but blacks are not the only ones that feel targeted against these days. Donald Trump, for example, stirred a lot of what can be called a fundamentally racist mentality that runs rampant. Latinos, among others, for example another target. I can personally speak to this, because I am a Latino. Latinos are targeted when everyone likes to think all Latinos come from Mexico, and in consequence, we are all, in one way or another, the type of people who are only good to mow the lawns of rich white people, or even the ones that do all the cleaning. This perception was made super clear when daughter of famous rock star Ozzy Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne made an attempt to defend Latinos only to exposed a very common misconception. When people think they hear someone with a dark skin colour speak Spanish, they might first think this person must be a Mexican, second they might imagine that this person to be a maid or a cleaner, but if the person speaking Spanish is a white European, they might not, because Spaniards don’t suffer from this stigma, this being purely because Spaniards then to be of lighter coloured skin or have blonder hair and blue eyes.

I am not trying to paint Latinos as victims, this is my point exactly, Latinos are also racist. In fact, Latinos are not only racist towards other races, like Blacks, Asian and especially Whites. Latinos perhaps are most racist onto each other. Even when you zoom in a country racism happens among the different peoples in that specific region. To present an example, in Peru, where I am natively from, racism runs rampant specifically against people who come from the mountain region. Racism is so severe in Peru, many of the racist terms that would never be accepted in the West just happen as normal. For example, in Peru, there is a saying: “El que no tiene de inga tiene de mandinga” which when translated means: He or she who does not have white blood has black blood. Blacks (and homosexuals) are treated in a very despicable manner. I remember well going to high school in Lima, Peru and hearing how people of African descendance being called “negros,” which is a word used to refer in a derogatory way, in English we use “nigro” or the equivalent  “nigger.” But in Peru, it is still very common and accepted for Blacks to be referred to as “negro” or “sambo.” In fact, as of today, comedy shows in Peru still depict black people as mentally challenge or as criminals. The highly rated comedy TV show by famous comedian Carlos Alvarez among many characters features the “negro mama” who is protrayed as mentally challenged street worker who washes cars. The video below might be on Spanish, but it is very clear how the character’s facial features and mannerisms have been exaggerated to create laughs of millions.

The same type of mockery happens unscathed in regards to people from the Andes mountains region and, as mentioned before, as despicable when it comes to homesexuals. I can’t really speak much to other cultures, but can reference what has been said about racism in other cultures and countries. One example for which I have been reading about is Japan. This one is interesting to me, because Japan has a special closure with me. For a good 10 years of my childhood, I lived under the reginme of dictator Alberto Fujimori, who was originally of Japanese origin. And it was because of him that a lot of Japanese culture was introduced throuh state television, whether it was origami DIY shows or animated cartoons. A good example of the struggle in Japan is what happend with Miss Universe Japan 2015 Ariana Miyamoto, whose nomination raised up a lot of misconceptions given Ariana was not a “pure” race Japanese, otherwise known as hafu, or half race, therefore lesser race.

ariana-miyamoto
Many in Japan had an issue recognizing Miss Japan 2015 Ariana Minamoto, given she was not consider a “full” Japanese or mixed race.

What I would really like to point out, aside from the fact that racism happens in every country, the point of my argument is that we all individually hold a certain degree of pride, whether it would be because of our nationality, ethinicity, religion or skin colour. There is not a person in world who has hidden sense of pride about their nationality, ethinicity, religion or skin colour to be better than others. And you know what: there is really nothing super wrong about this, until it starts to hurts people. Let me paint an example: I think Peru is perhaps the most diverse country in the world, I think Peru has the best of all cuisines. Well, I think, perhaps I grew up there and emotionally I made this to be my choice, therefore If someone says for example: Italy has the best cuisine in the world, I might disagree, since I think Peruvian food is best. I am not a religious person, but I like to think I am a spiritual person, in that I respect humans and living creatures, I would not hurt people intentionally for this reason, this is why I would not think people who think Italian cuisine is best are stupid or lesser. Or I don’t think anyone is inferior because they are not from Peru. The problem is a lot people make the choice to make their inside voice louder in complete disregard of other people’s origins and choices. This is where the trouble begins, no one wants to admit that some of what would be called racist ideas do exist. Of course there is an spectrum, some people’s ideas are stronger than others. This is perhaps why Donald Trump’s following is as stronger as ever and why many known to be racist groups have decided to endorsed his campaign, everyone from the K.K.K. to neo nazi groups. Because everyone, I affirm, live within themselves with a degree of racism towards lurking on the surface of our skins. I therefore think, when we accept this, we begin to understand what to do and what not to do. I think it would help us shape a new paradigm to target racism to make sure we do not hurt others in the process of leveling our humanity, because then we really start to fit in and shape a better society.

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