Decolonize This! is our attempt to diversify the viewpoints shown on The Thinker’s Right. Columnist Michael Eric Hymen discusses racism, diversity, inclusivity, and other ways we can make people feel a little bit better about themselves.
Racism is a complicated subject. Its roots grow so deep into our culture, are so systematically entrenched in the fabric of American life, that many things we do and say on a day-to-day basis are actually incredibly racist and invalidate the existence of people of colour.
Here are twenty things you can stop doing today to make the world a more inclusive place.
- Imported foods – Avocados. Quinoa. Be conscientious your ‘trendy’ food choices are not resulting in price hikes in poor communities of colour.
- Your hair – Surprise! Something about the way you’re wearing your hair is probably racist. General rule: if you’ve ever seen a person of colour wearing their hair a certain way, you probably shouldn’t be doing it if you’re white. In fact, the only hairstyle you should sport if you’re white is a Beatles-style bowl cut. It is the only hairstyle that we know for certain was invented by white people, for white people, and that people of colour would never adapt it for themselves.
- Sushi – White people frequently violate the seven sins of eating sushi, and consider it to be a cheap and fun lunch for a day out on the town. Reducing sushi to a simple meal robs it of its rich, complex and unique history, and makes a mockery out of valued Japanese traditions.
- On a similar note: Tea ceremonies – the English hijacked this from the Japanese hundreds of years ago with violence and colonialism. To drink tea as a white person is to ignore bloodshed and discrimination.
- Peyote – Most white people can’t even pronounce peyote, let alone should be using it.
- Purple – when most people speak about purple, they’re speaking about the colour without taking into account the fierce, strong and brave black woman who wrote The Colour Purple and helped the colour skyrocket into fame and even a spot in the rainbow.
- Travelling to Germany – supporting a country with such a history of violence and genocide is just like being Hitler yourself.
- Calling an Uber instead of a taxi – be honest with yourself. Last time you took an Uber instead of a taxi, you probably thought to yourself, ‘hmm… at least there’s a chance my Uber driver will be white.’
- Egyptian mythology – Studies show that many modern-day interpretations of Egyptian mythology depict historical figures as three shades paler than they actually were. Whitewashing is a real problem and needs to be ended.
- Hiring based on linguistic ability – Such harmful and discriminatory hiring policies reduce the likelihood of new immigrants working high-paying jobs. Who cares if nobody in your office can understand a word you say? It’s their fault they all only speak English.
- Episcopalians – Facts prove that Episcopalians are the least likely to have all-black churches.
- Paper – it was invented by the Chinese, and the whites took it, bleached away its soul and turned it white. Off-yellow was the colour given to it by its marginalized inventors, and the whites took that away from them.
- Country music – how many black country singers do you know? Yeah, I thought so.
Major-league sports. 12.1% of Americans are black, yet they make up only 80% of the NFL. There is a huge diversity problem here – oh wait, this doesn’t fit the agenda
- “He/him” pronouns – Face it. When you hear the words ‘he’ and ‘him,’ it’s probably a white man that comes to mind.
- Sandals and other open-toed shoes – This one is just a personal preference because I hate feet. It is disrespectful to disrespect the preferences of people of colour like myself. Also; going barefoot.
- Setting the ‘perfect’ temperature – Different people from different parts of the world have different perceptions of temperature. If you think you’re setting the ‘perfect’ temperature, you are not being inclusive of their feelings.
- The name James – just like country singers, how many non-white men named James do you know?
- Drinking bottled water with a straw – sea turtles are a race too.
- Take a good, long, hard look in the mirror. You’re probably looking at one.
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