The concept of racism in America has often been discussed and debated. No matter if violence erupted as a result of it or if the debate was as civil as possible, there is still no clear answer or solution to the racism that does or does not exist in society. As a result, Americans are often concerned with being politically correct or not. This topic is often discussed in my “20th Century African American History” class.
Throughout the semester, we have discussed the fact that America is supposed to be a “racially blind” country where people are not limited or oppressed because of their skin color. Although there are many clauses and laws in place to protect and encourage this notion, racism is not blind and continues to cause conflict in our society.
America attempts to combat racism by pushing racial slurs and racism to the outskirts of society. I personally think that this is a good idea. However, it does not eliminate the racism it only removes it from the public. Racists continue to exist and oppress people by their skin color, sexual orientation, and country of origin. It may be argued that the elimination of racial slurs in conversation has given them more power. You can take a weapon away from a criminal, but don’t they continue to have the same beliefs that breaking the law is okay?
Today’s society has become too uptight regarding everyday language and has lost focus on the actual issue. We need to encourage a different way of thinking, rather than being overly concerned with the language used in everyday life. I do not think it is appropriate to ever use slurs negatively. However, I do believe that some words that may be considered slurs have evolved to take on multiple meanings.
These words are not intended to hurt anyone in particular, but it is true that they do. There are alternative words that can and should used that do not hurt. My point is that we should be less concerned with the words associated with racism and more concerned with changing the beliefs associated with those words.