“That’s racist!”

So the other day I saw a picture posted on Instagram of the packaging of an Egyptian chocolate brand which showed a milk chocolate bar with a cartoon black man and a white chocolate bar with a white man. This sparked complaints in the comment section with lots of people shouting racism with no logical justification, simply that the dark chocolate was allegedly being correlated with the skin colour of black people. How this is racist I don’t understand. If this is racist then you would expect white people to be complaining, too, no? Since they were also supposedly being associated with the colour of white chocolate. But this wasn’t the case as they were not complaining at all. When I joined the discussion and tried to get people to explain why the image is racist/offensive nobody could answer my questions directly and continued to simply state that it’s racist.

The reason I decided to write about this is because I see this issue of people shouting racism for uncalled for situations way too often and it’s really quite damaging as well as irritating. What it does is it reinforces pre-existing divisions and prejudices between whites and blacks and simply adds more unneeded conflict to the world. I see people shouting racism at the slightest glimpse of opportunity and it really needs to stop. No doubt that racism does exist, but we need to talk about it only at times that truly and evidently call for it, other than that, you are underlyingly victimising a whole group of people many of which live their lives having not experienced situations of racism at all.

Another example where people irrationally began pulling the racism card is the 2017 Grammy Awards. The Album of The Year award was to be given to one of Adele or Beyonce – two very popular talented candidates with popular albums. Adele was chosen as the winner of the award via fair and square conditions but still, people began pulling the racism card as the reason to why Beyonce didn’t win. People began claiming that, because Beyonce’s album encompassed issues regarding black people, that this is why she did not win the award. Why must people bring up these excuses whenever it suits them? Adele won fair and square given that her album, like Beyonce’s, was very good and popular.

One last thing I want to talk about is the way people are quick to complain about diversity issues within films/shows, with people saying things like “why do they all have to be white” or “why are there no black people in this” and the way film/show producers try extra hard to make sure there is race diversity amongst their cast to avoid criticism. For some situations, this is appropriate as people don’t feel considered or represented when the people they watch are all of the same race. However, other times, it is clear that producers feel unnecessarily pressured to include a black person, for example, just to cancel out criticism about lack of diversity, even at times when the film is traditionally supposed to represent only white people. But don’t get me wrong, diversity is a great thing and I love that it is considered, but if you’re going to try to show diversity then you should also include an Asian Westerner, too for example and not restrict your presentation of diversity to just African Westerners. Why are only blacks and whites considered? This kind of represents the way society sometimes tends to think – in black and white terms only. There are loads of other colours in between that should be looked at if you’re seeking to see or present the full picture.