I'm inclined to believe that it's wired in. A pertinent question would be whether language/culture could sustainably override the behavior. It seems that if it's attempted, the politically correct label starts to get parroted.
One time at the bike shop, I was giving flack to a drunk guy who trying to hustle a free flat fix and had very likely stolen the bike he rode up on.
He turned to me and said, "You f---ing chink!"
I was a little surprised in an amused way. I hadn't been called a chink by a stranger since I was a teenager. I certainly wasn't going to be upset by a drunken bum, and several of my larger and violent friends at the shop chased him away.
I was never personally offended or saddened at the state of society. I didn't care what an idiot thought of me or my race. It was beneath me.
Why was Kenny Wiley, the writer of this post, troubled over this incident? That a couple of drunken kids made a stupid crack that happened to be racist? Would he have written about this if they had yelled, "Hey Forrest Gump" or just "Stop running on the sidewalk like an asshole?"
Now here is the tricky part: why is Mr. Wiley so mad about being jokingly accused of running from the cops and stealing something? Is it because he has taken this incident with four drunk kids and extrapolated that our society is racist.
Or is it because an extremely successful black man can be knocked down a peg by with a spontaneous comment about being a thief?
In my own twisted view, it is hilarious that a self-proclaimed Harvard grad student who is almost guaranteed to reach the pinnacles of our society is stopped in his tracks and profoundly upset by drunk teenagers.
Ultimately, we as a society have to move past racial comments, and the first step is to treat them as asinine insults, not some deeply troubling commentary.
FYI, in that situation, I would said, "Why am I running? I'm going to my job. You try working too instead of being an asshole" or if I was out of breath, "Go f--- yourself"
I’m student body president-elect at Harvard Divinity School. It didn’t matter that I’m the soon-to-be Ministerial Intern at a largely white church less than a mile from where we stood.
what i want is for us to stop pretending. I want us to stop pretending that racism is over. If it were, tipsy strangers wouldn’t have heckled me. I want us to stop pretending that it’s not harder to be female than male. That it's not harder to be gay than straight. I want us to stop pretending that we live in an equal society. We don’t. It isn’t one person’s fault, or one group’s fault. Instead of blaming or evading, we can encourage and confront, together. Instead of pretending that all these 'isms' are over, we can say "things are better than they've ever been, and there's so much more to be done." i don't think that's so bad.
While I firmly believe that racism exists what this guy is going on about is seems a bit overblown.He seems more interested in letting it be known he attends Harvard and therefore shouldn't be subjected to ignorance.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for blacks (14.4 percent) edged up over the month, while the rates for adult men (7.8 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Hispanics (11.0 percent) showed little or no change.