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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

?Racism of convenience

In a recent Dallas basketball game between Flower Mound High School and Plano East, a group of people in the Flower Mound High School student section held up a sign reading ?“White Power.”

I think racism among millennials is a curious thing because a majority of us have lived in a society where we are largely removed from racial prejudices that characterized the members of a few ?generations prior.

That is not to mean that we are in a post-racism society; events revolving around Michael Brown and Eric Garner show that there is a current of racial tension running ?underneath everyday life.

Whoever you believe was at fault for these deaths doesn’t change that fact. It’s the widespread reaction to these catalyzing events that prove that there are tender wounds prevalent among people of all races.

In my experience, it seems to be a characteristic that millennial racism is largely inherited — not by the generation before but from the idea that racism exists.

This draws from an abstract concept of racism, to be observed and commented on from a distance, often with a healthy dose of irony and the assured presumption that there is no way anybody could believe that.

I can’t prove this by any means.

But I don’t think it’s unfounded to claim the examples of racism we see in millennials, such as this sign or common examples of white entitlement, are far different than the racism we saw in the mid-20th century.

While the Flower Mound High School basketball team consists mostly of white players, pictures on the basketball team’s website show there are several nonwhite players, which makes a sign saying “White Power” seem absurd.

Even if we suppose a person was completely ignorant about the players on the team and came to take a racist stance, the sight of nonwhite players from their team on the court would cause some ?hesitation at the least.

In my high school, our basketball team had a rivalry with a school — Lake Central — whose team was called the Indians (racial prejudices are already appearing in the ?anecdote).

In the week before the game when our basketball team would face them, a student organization hung a banner in one of the locker bays that said, “Make them walk the Trail of Tears.”

That’s pretty bad and, for all intents and purposes, it is essentially equivalent to the sign that said “White Power.”

Now, I don’t think a student organization made up of presumably intelligent people would make a sign like that and actually believe in the ?racist overtones.

And I don’t think the people in the student section of Flower Mound High School believe in the same virulent racism that gave birth to the phrase “White Power.”

Instead, they probably just saw that their team’s jerseys were white and they were playing against a team with black jerseys and, seeing a convenient race dynamic, said, “Hey, this is probably clever.”

Does that make it any less wrong? Of course not.

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