5 Things You Should Know About Racism | Decoded | MTV News

– I’ve got a challenge for you. Try talking about racism
with your friends, family, or coworkers, and get
ready to watch people squirm. (synthesizer music) So let’s push through the discomfort. Don’t worry, you can do it. We’re gonna talk about racism. Well, the dictionary defines racism as, “The hatred or intolerance
of another race or races.” Well, yes, but racism’s a little
more complicated than that. The dictionary offers a
very simple explanation, because it’s just the dictionary. If you want to understand racism, you need to talk sociology, and sociology explains racism as a combination of prejudice and power. Well isn’t that just convenient. Let’s just ignore what
the dictionary says. No, we’re not ignoring the dictionary. Just going a little deeper. Think of it this way. If your car breaks down,
you don’t look up car in the dictionary to try and fix it, you go to a mechanic. So when it comes to
getting to the nitty gritty of understanding how racism works, I say we should probably
defer to sociologists. Because, you know, they study how people, organizations, and institutions work. It’s kind of their job. So here are five things everyone should understand about racism. Ugh, talking about
racism is so exhausting. It’s like no matter
what I do or what I say, someone’s gonna call me a racist. Good people can unintentionally
say and do racist things. Racism isn’t just burning
crosses and racial slurs. It’s not always a conscious
hatred or dislike. People automatically associate
saying something racist with being a bad person. And while we can agree
that being racist is bad, good people can say racist things, or just wind up supporting
racist institutions and practices, without even realizing it. Oh, so now it’s my fault if I accidentally do something. We’re not playing the blame game here. But accidents can still be hurtful. It’s important to remember that intent isn’t the issue, it’s the impact. Like if I accidentally step on your toe, it’s an accident, but it still hurts. And I can’t just pretend that
I didn’t step on your foot. I have to acknowledge
it, say that I’m sorry, and be more careful with my big-ass feet. If you want to get technical, there’s really no such thing as race. We are all the human race. It’s a social construct. Race is a social construct, but that doesn’t mean racism isn’t real. A social construct is a category, perception, or idea created and developed by society, and then it’s
applied to individuals or groups. So, yes, we’re all part of the human race, but the human race did this funny thing where they categorized everyone based on skin tone and regions. Even though social constructs are made up, they’re still real. I mean, money is a social construct. Fundamentally it’s just a piece of paper. But it still keeps people up at night and has a huge effect
on our day to day lives. Marriage, fashion, good and evil, they’re all social constructs, but they’re still real things. The same is true for race. White, black, pink, purple, polka dots, I don’t know why we need
all of these labels. Let’s just not see race. Just see everyone the same. Colorblindness is not going to fix racism. It’s a good idea in theory, but ignoring race is
not gonna solve racism. Race isn’t the problem. Treating people differently
based on race is the problem. It’s okay to see my race. I mean it’s kinda hard to
ignore how someone looks. There’s nothing wrong with
seeing our differences. Our differences make us kinda cool. Okay, but when are we gonna
talk about reverse racism. Reverse racism is not a thing. I’ve been bullied, beaten up,
and called all sorts of names in my lifetime, and you’re gonna tell me that’s not racism? Whoa, that sounds awful. I’m sorry, none of that stuff is okay, but those are examples of
racial prejudice, not racism. That’s because racism isn’t
just about individuals. It’s about institutional power. Racial prejudice is not cool, but when a person of color discriminates or stereotypes a white
person because of their race, in the United States, they don’t have the institutional power to back them up and say that those feelings are okay. Institutions are things
like schools, government, the military, corporations,
and our justice system. All of these things
shape how people of color are treated as a group,
and as individuals. That’s because racism is not just on a person to person basis. it’s big picture things, like people with traditionally Latino, or
“black” sounding names, having a harder time
getting job interviews, even when they have
the same qualifications as white people applying for the same job. Or people of color facing
harsher prison sentences for petty crimes in
comparison to white criminals. It’s also harder for people
of color to get home loans on top of housing discrimination that often keeps them out of predominantly white neighborhoods. This is how individual
feelings about people of color are supported by institutional power. Prejudice of any kind isn’t okay, but it’s important to understand that prejudice and racism
aren’t the same thing. Oh, I never thought about it like that. Well, you are not the only one. Racism is complicated, and overwhelming to think about, even for me, but understanding what racism is and what it isn’t is the first step in fighting against it. So what are some misconceptions that you’ve heard about racism? Or maybe some misconceptions that you had in the past? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you next week. In our last vlog, I went to Vidcon and asked fans about racism
and stereotypes on YouTube. Here are some of your comments. Yeah, Magical Kappas,
there’s nothing worse than being afraid of the
police when you haven’t done anything wrong. When I was in LA, I had to drive, and the entire time I was
looking over my shoulder, like, “I hope I’m not
doing anything wrong.” Lizzie Heyward, I love Swoozie. His Disney stories are hilarious. Ucamr13, you’ve got really good taste. This is an awesome list. Some of my favorite YouTubers are on here, so you guys should
definitely check them out. And on our last sketch, we wondered what some of our
favorite movies would look like if they were starring black actors. Here’s what you had to say. You know, LoLaS2011, I really
Idris to be James Bond, too, but I heard he doesn’t want to do it. Linda Mitchell, you
are brave to want to go back to 1955, because there is
no way I’m going back there. (synthesizer music)

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