You Can’t Kill The Racist Phenomena

by audreymo on September 30, 2014 - 12:34pm

In the article “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist” of Nicholas Kristof published in August 2014, the reality of racism is discussed.  The main point of his article is about the widespread racism and stereotyping that young black men in America suffer. The problem is not really too much racism in America. In his article he explains that there are still many racist people without even knowing it. The larger problem is the people who consider themselves not racist. They deplore discrimination and believe in racial equality but unconsciously, they have a racist attitude. Kristof brought many examples to support his point. For example, he explains that blacks and Hispanics treated by doctors receive less treatment than white patients. In his conclusion, Kristof says that the stereotypes are present everywhere. The challenge is not a small group of racist people but something more subtle, people who consider themselves nonracist but act in the other way.  


The article “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist” of Nicholas Kristof is quite interesting. I totally agree with him, racism still exists, and it’s everywhere. I also agree that the problem is that people who think they are not racist, unconsciously, they act in a racist way. Racist is a system with some erroneous assumptions and actions based on an ideology of the inherent superiority of one racial group over another. In America, racism affects more black people. Many people still racist today but many others are not. The problem is the group of people who are not racist. This is more complex than we can think. Joshua Correll of the University of Colorado create a shooter video game. He created this to try to measure the unconscious racist attitudes of people. In the game you take the role of a police officer and you need to shoot people in front of you. The results show that people will often make the mistake of shooting an unarmed black man than an unarmed white man. All the society has the stereotype in their mind that young black men are associated with danger. I think this is wrong because it’s an unfair generalization. If young black men are associated with danger, I can say that white police officers are associated with brutality. Again, it’s unfair because it’s not every black man that are violent or every white police officers that are brutal. In the article, the word race is used like a problem and linked to some stereotypes. Also, two type of racism are discussed, the individual racism and the systematic racism. The individual racism refers to the people who have discriminatory policies and behaviour. The systematic racism refers to the institutions like doctors or police who have discriminatory policies and behaviour. I think the article of Kristof is very good because it has a clear statement. Also his statement is supported by many examples and proofs. His article topic and all his examples create a lot of anger, empathy and also understanding. Finally, this article helped me to understand that even you claim you are not racist, maybe, a part of you still is.  



Nicholas Kristof. (2014). Is everyone a Little Bit Racist? The New York Times. Retrieved from



I think your point of view is brilliant. Your title is very captivating; this is the first reason why I have chosen to answer to your summary. You are right: we will never be able to kill the racist phenomena. Why? It is quite simple: the majority still has racist statements without knowing it or without admitting it. Like you said, it is maybe unconscious. Racism is an idea created by the society. We, human, have created this concept. In my point of view, this concept is not an image of humanity. Once we create an idea, it is so hard to remove it because people believe in it. We cannot control how people think, and how the idea can be spread. This is why this idea is so vicious. How can people still believe today that some ‘’races’’ are superior? I guess, just like the example you provided about video games, we are not totally conscious of everything. The concept of race is alive in us and in the society. I agree with you: we tend to generalize everything and everybody which leads to racists thoughts. However, I do not think we are all evil. What I am trying to say is that, yes, maybe a part of us still have an unconscious racist background, but I think that the important thing to do is to be able to make concrete actions. We cannot control our subconscious, but we can still control our thoughts, our words and our actions. There is not so much we can do about racism, because it is an idea that we cannot control. But we can talk about the issue; make sure that everybody understands it better. This way, we can make our difference. One day, unconscious will not bother us anymore because we will have understood the atrocity of this big lie. For the moment, we can only work on ourselves. Your point of view is interesting; it makes me think a lot about people’s intention when they claim themselves as being ‘’not racist’’.

You really brought up many valid points with which I completely agree! What caught my eye the most was the title of the article that you had to summarize, “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist,” as it really triggered my curiosity. I was interested in knowing what the author had to say about the role that every person plays in racism, even the ones who consider themselves as not being racist; and I was interested in hearing what another student had to say about it in response. I feel that many are convinced that they do not act in a discriminatory way when, in reality, they just do not acknowledge the impact of their words and actions that can be a lot more offensive than what is thought. I was really intrigued by the fact that this issue was discussed because I think that it is an angle of the situation that we do not pay enough attention to. It is important to deal with instances of racism that seem more obvious to us, but it is also important to make attempts in resolving the part of the problem that consists of individuals who cannot see that they are, in fact, part of the problem. I very much agree with your comment, “if young black men are associated with danger, I can say that white police officers are associated with brutality.” We are so used to seeing people of color getting put down; very rarely do we see white people getting attacked for the color of their skin. It is a very appropriate comparison that could stimulate people to really reflect on it and perhaps feel a bit of what it feels like to be in the victims’ shoes. It is also very interesting that you brought up stereotypes because, as we have seen in class, they are a huge concern. They are powerful enough to govern our thoughts and to influence our behavior towards others, which really needs to stop. Overcoming the barrier that racism puts up will allow humanity to grow and to evolve.

So, what needs to be done to bring us closer to progress?

The title of your post brought immediately my attention. The article, also, has a lot of great information to share. As you say, ''the racist phenomena'' will never end. The word ''race'' has brought the entire case of Racism to a level that can not be downgrade.

I am agree with the point that the worst thing about racism is about people that are considering themselves has non-racist individuals. Is it possible to be entirely non-racist? In my opinion, everyone has a part of them that has racist presumptions about any kind of ''Races''. I often hear some individuals say that because they are black, they can not be racist. The assumption of being black and, therefore, non-racist is completely not valuable. Indeed, many victims of racism are thinking that Whites are the only people that can be considered as racist, while several persons from the ''Oppressed Group'' are frequently complaining about how White people are dangerous, selfish, etc. But in reality, these allusions are racist assumptions.

Your post was really interesting and I am happy to see that some people a assuming that they can have a part of them that can be a little bit racist. If people could realize that more often, Racism would probably be less worse than what it is actually in the world.

The title really caught my eye in the first place. I do not know if it was intended, but I found the pun brilliant. “You can’t kill the racist phenomena” as a way of saying that racism will always be there in our society and maybe a reference to the number of innocent colored people who are killed by racist individuals. You are right and I agree with your post. It is true that racism is everywhere. I cannot count the number of times I hear at school or in the street a racist joke or comment. I will admit that yes, I have laughed at some racist jokes and yes, my friends sometimes do some racist comments. The problem is that we do not say anything about it. We let it go, like if it was normal. However I am wondering how we can say that it is normal. There is nothing normal in discriminating people because of their skin color. I also agree with the part of your article that says that people are not conscious of their racist comments. People are in denial and it is a major problem. How can we solve the issue of racism when people are not even aware that they are racist? I am tired of hearing the same sentence over and over again. “Relax, it was just a joke!” is the perfect example of a sentence people would say to excuse their behavior. People are saying that, in 2014, racism has disappeared. Maybe it is time for them to open their eyes and realizes that the problem is still there. There is this feeling of numbness around the issue of racism. Nobody really does anything, either because of a feeling of indifference or powerlessness. There is only one way to solve this issue: we need to talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more people will be aware that their jokes, their comments or even their thoughts are not right. I am not saying that it will be easy, but is there really another way of ending this?

Your title is great and that’s what caught my attention from the start. Also, you brought some important points that really need to be addressed. I completely agree that there is a big problem about people denying the fact that they are racist. In our country, most of us agree that racism is bad, but most of us also unconsciously act in a racism way sometimes. I agree with you that we “can’t kill the racist phenomena”, but we certainly can decrease it. As a student commented on your post, the problem is that no one says anything about it, so the first thing to do is probably to make people realize that they are racist. When someone acts in a racist way without realizing it, people around him/her should immediately tell him/her in a gentle way that his/her action or comment was racist. With small steps like this, racism can slowly decrease, and eventually come close to disappear from our world. Why shouldn’t we try to take part into this movement to decrease the place of racism in our country?

About the author