2017 was a year of increased tensions in the country, especially between the races, but some people went overboard in declaring certain items and activities “racist.” Here is a list of some of the most absurd things that were labeled “racist” in 2017.
1. Farmer’s Markets
“Farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized,” said San Diego State University professors Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco. “The most insidious part of this gentrification process is that alternative food initiatives work against the community activists and residents who first mobilized to fight environmental injustices and provide these amenities but have significantly less political and economic clout than developers and real estate professionals,” they wrote. In case you were wondering if there was some underlying evil behind home-grown fruits and veggies.
2. Being On Time
South Carolina’s Clemson University declared that expecting people to be on time is not “inclusive.” All employees were expected to partake in the exercise, which basically stated that it is improper to expect people to be on time. “[A] character named Alejandro schedules a 9:00 a.m. meeting between two groups of foreign professors and students. The first group arrived fifteen minutes early, while the second arrived ten minutes late,” reads one of the slides. It is impolite and racially insensitive to “politely ask the second group to apologize,” because “his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.” Time is now a racial/cultural thing. And here I thought my clock was reliable.
…3. Some Trees
A row of trees on the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course in Palm Springs, California was labeled “racist” because it separates the course from a historically black neighborhood. Many say that the trees were planted as a way to keep what was – at the time – a new housing development at a distance. Residents in the area complain that the trees are driving down property values, not allowing the homes to be listed as being along the golf course. One many even said that the trees were “nasty” and “environmentally-unfriendly.” As a result of these many complaints, the city is looking at a $169,000 fee to remove the trees. With such a ruckus being raised about the environment and climate change, is it really a smart idea to be tearing down trees just because some people think they’re “racist?”
I hate math as much as the next sane, self-loving person, but it appears that there is something more sinister behind the art of calculations: Racism. According to Professor Rochelle Gutierrez of the University of Illinois, “mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” and as we all know by now, “Whiteness” is bad. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” she wrote. She also believes that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans,” making it “white math.” Wait, have I just stumbled across an excuse to stop taking math classes??
5. The Outdoors
Hiking, biking, skiing, camping, all of these things have something in common: They’re racist. How, exactly, could such activities be deemed as racially insensitive you ask? According to Malcom McMann, white people – specifically white males – have dominion over the outdoors, and feel more comfortable in that space than minorities do. This has to do, he says, with the white man’s history of conquering land. The word “outdoorsy” is also problematic, he says. “This whiteness manifests in the term “outdoorsy” – a descriptor for those who spend a significant time in the outdoors, who are equipped with the necessary gear, and who feel connected to nature,” McMann writes.“The image of the “outdoorsy individual” is an exclusive classification that gives white people the authority to venture into the outdoors freely, leaving people of color behind.” Who knew spelunking was so embroiled in controversy?