“Dear White People” hits theaters October 7th, but I want you to watch the trailer and get excited about this movie (hint: you can find the trailer and some info about the film here). There is still a huge racism problem in the US, and I don’t need to quote statistics or numbers for you; just go outside and you’ll clearly see the problems that still exist. Everything seems to revolve around race and race-blaming nowadays, and it’s hard to focus on the progress made towards equal rights when it seems like we’re always backpedaling. If you think you aren’t racist, ask yourself these questions (side note: most people have some racist thoughts or beliefs and hey, you’re human, so it’s natural to get caught up in what society, your family or your friends believe, BUT you can change your racist thoughts and beliefs once you identify them. There’s always room to improve so don’t beat yourself up; just learn how to change and grow):
1) Do you use any kind of derogatory phrases or names for people of other races/cultures?
2) Do you associate things like poverty or the lower class with people of certain races/cultures?
3) Do you believe that if minority people struggle, it’s because of their race/culture?
4) Have you ever made inappropriate comments, which may have seemed appropriate to you, about someone’s skin color, hair or other physical characteristic? Or have you ever touched someone’s hair or skin without their permission?
5) Do you believe you deserve better than people of other races/cultures?
6) Do you generalize and/or create beliefs about an entire race based off of your experience with one or two people from that race?cultures?
7) Have you ever started a sentence with “I’m not racist but…”?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you might be struggling with racism. There’s so many more questions you should be asking yourself, but those were seven that I’ve actually witnessed/heard from white people, revolting as that is. We should be challenging our beliefs about people who are different than ourselves, and we shouldn’t blindly accept what we hear from our family, friends or society, and we also shouldn’t be generalizing everyone from a certain race because of an experience with one or two people from that race. I’ve met some really stupid white people, but I hope that I wouldn’t be generalized as stupid simply because I’m white too.
I hope that this film sparks some constructive debate and conversation about the lingering racism in the United States, because whether you believe it or not, racism is still here and it’s still a major problem. People are still being judged regularly by the color of their skin and in 2014, when we have the scientific technology to tell us that when you look at our DNA, there’s no way to differentiate between race (AKA at our core, we’re all just humans), that’s absolutely ridiculous. Try to get to know someone based on their personality, their life, their interests; and stop focusing so much on the color of their skin. Oh, and don’t forget to check out “Dear White People” in theaters October 7th!