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Racism Doesn’t Exist

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I’m only human, but I think it’s long past time for me to shrug off the pitiful garments of my victimhood and take a stand, and as a person with Black heritage, I believe that I am an authority in my community and can thus speak for all of us. I mean, all Black people are basically the same, and it’s not like there are intra-community nuances, right? Why else would white people keep confusing me with the three other Black people at Middlebury? Actually though, I don’t even want to claim the label of “Black.” When I look at myself I don’t see race. I don’t see anything at all; I don’t even have a reflection. I’m not sure if I’m “colorblind” or just a vampire, but that’s beside the point.

What is the point, you ask? It’s that I can say pretty much whatever I want in the Op-Ed section, call it freedom of speech, and get away with it. Psych. The point is that racism is over — that at this point if people of color don’t succeed, it’s on us. Who cares that Black women only earn 63 cents to a white man’s dollar; it’s probably because we’re lazy. We just need to work 37 cents harder so we can pursue the traditional American dream of getting rich, and maybe, someday, finding a marginalized group of our own to oppress.

Which group could it be? Who can I persecute? Refugees fleeing conflicts that were caused by U.S. policies? Children with chronic illnesses that were the result of federal negligence? Some people might say, “that sounds evil Elizabeth!” But I say, “yeah, so what?” If I’m doing well, who cares about other people? This country is founded on the powerful exploiting the weak, why break away from such a great system now?
I get it though. Maybe our first instinct when we see such imbalanced and unfair dynamics of power between people is to respond with sympathy or empathy. But those emotions have no place at Middlebury College. I’m pretty sure “treat everyone who is not white, cis, straight, male or rich as subhuman” is a rule in the student handbook. Not that I’m going to fact check that.

When people of color experience racism, I think we need to ask the question, who is really being hurt here? Is it us? Or is it actually white people? It may hurt to experience “racism,” but imagine being accused of racism? Imagine living in a community so “politically correct” that you have to go on Yik Yak just to call someone the N word? Imagine not being able to check your own white privilege long enough to not become immediately defensive when a person of color looks you in the eye, and has the pure unadulterated nerve to not be cleaning your house or working in your fields? Imagine how much that hurts.

It’s just not fair.

Elizabeth Dunn ’18 is from Atlanta Georgia

9 Comments

9 Responses to “Racism Doesn’t Exist”

  1. some guy on March 24th, 2016 9:56 am

    I support the shit out of this article. However I just want to note that I think people having difficulty differentiating people of the same race they don’t know well is a result of having grown up in a society without many of that race (i.e. in this situation you’re probably encountering all the white people that grew up in areas without a significant black population) It’s seen in the roots of the old stereotype that all Asians look alike and it’s something that people of separate human races all struggle with when growing up in a monoracial area of the world. Humans are conditioned to be able to tell other humans apart by minute differences, the same way animals can differentiate other animals of the same species apart much better than we can, and it’s definitely influenced by how much exposure you have to those racial differences. Now with such a relatively small population of black people at Midd the argument stands that they should be able to differentiate better, but probably these people you refer to don’t know you so well and have yet to experience enough exposure to you or the differences between you and the people who to their perception look similar to you.

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  2. some guy on March 24th, 2016 9:59 am

    Oh wait also gotta pop in to say that you can say whatever you want in the Op-ed section as long as it’s not blatant hate speech, even if it’s monumentally stupid. Obviously in this case what you posted was satirical, and a good case. That is in fact, the point of the opinion editorial. Whether it should be this way is for Midd to decide, however I am a proponent.

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    someguy Reply:

    *a good article

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  3. Samuel Tauriskii on March 24th, 2016 4:15 pm

    Elizabeth Dunn. Though you claim to identify with the Black community, you advocate what is essentially an equally problematic post-racial marginalizing perspective as the one found in “I am only Human.”
    As a POC (1/8 Turkish 7/8 Caucasian) at Middlebury college, I empathize with your vulnerability to joining in on the hate-mongering spewed by this white-supremacist community instead of standing in solidarity with other members of your community that do not feel as welcomed in their identity as yourself.
    I’d actually want to think you wrote this satirically. But enough brilliantly brave voices in the Black community have reaffirmed that, on the contrary, this article is nothing short of reflecting the anti-Blackness that permeates this whole campus and culture, which sadly is rendered even more ridiculous by the fact that what should be heavy-handed satire is actually the literal opinion of this student body. I’m just upset it had to come from a member of the very community most hurt by this language.

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    ralph Reply:

    Hey Samuel, this is definitely satire, not sure if you missed the boat or are just on some next level meta shit (if so props), or what. What exactly is problematic about the piece?

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    Samuel Tauriskii Reply:

    Throwing the words “ironic” or “satire” on a piece of writing or statement doesn’t change its meaning or the fact context determines the way we respond to structures of radically poor service on this website. It takes so long for it to start another process, there are people who have been waiting since the time Katrina Drury’s opinion’s on race were in vogue.
    *snaps*
    And no, as a 1/8 Turkish rest white POC, I did not make some ‘mistaking-theOnio- for-real-news’ fool of myself in missing your proverbial boat, which is sinking under the weight of your own failure to detect satire.
    I don’t spend enough time doing this.

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  4. slaymama on March 24th, 2016 5:11 pm

    yaaaaaaaaaaasss hahahahaha OMG this is amazing thnkyu elizabeth

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  5. Gram on March 25th, 2016 11:43 am

    I think the important question is this: Does the fact “we” consider this satire make it any less hurtful or racist?
    If you’re still fumbling for an answer, then let me help you out “NO!”
    Hate is still hate. Racism is still racism not matter the veneer of irony you paint on it.
    As a white ally, I plan to protest this article with equal spite as I would “It’s not fair”

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Racism Doesn’t Exist