America has changed significantly through its two and a half centuries of existence. However, the relationships and dynamics between races in the United States have only evolved and adapted to the times. There are many people out there who think that racism in America has disappeared and been replaced by a feeling of brotherly love. This could not be further from the truth. Racism has simply relocated itself underground. The anonymity of the Internet allows for anyone to speak their mind without suffering the consequences that restrains the public from mimicking the racism of the past. Anyone who has read comments on YouTube videos or Yahoo! News stories could undoubtedly recall hundreds of quotes that show racism is still alive and kicking.
The biggest catalyst of this new wave of racism is the pretentious and distracting phrase, “politically correct.” I have seen this phrase thrown around everywhere from school assemblies to national TV newscasts. Politically correct signifies the need for American’s to disassociate himself or herself from the possibility of being seen as racist. Everyone wants to be politically correct so that they can get that job promotion or get into the college that they want too. Unfortunately, this phrase is poisoning our society and solidifying a new type of racism that has no aggressors, only victims. The idea of being seen as politically incorrect makes Americans skittish and afraid to ask questions and find out new information. If you cannot vent your feelings on race and culture to someone then they only remain inside and become exacerbated. How are we supposed to come together as a nation if everyone’s true feelings are swept under the rug? What is a fourteen-year-old kid who sees Borat in theaters supposed to think when he is suspended from school for making a similar joke. How do we look as a country when it seems that racism is all right as long as somebody is making a profit from it.
Our country is making a huge mistake by trying to get rid of a social problem by making it a silent one. Problems like racism can only be effectively addressed through open discussion. Kids should be able to have discussions in school on topics of race, rather than be punished for saying something and having no idea why its bad. After all they are only mimicking the behavior they witness in the media daily.