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Dear (Some) Black People

NC State Free Expression Tunnel

NC State Free Expression Tunnel

@Ducttapeavenger / http://en.wikipedia.org / CC-BY-SA-3.0

You can be racist too.

Last week NC State University decided to show the 2014 movie "Dear White People" as part of a "Diversity Education Week", which was organized by their campus Union Activities Board (UAB). In predictable fashion, the resulting antics from the students afterward showed that racism is alive and well in America, by all races.

Signs began populating the school bulletin boards that were largely inspired by the film. Far from the voices of tolerance and unity that you'd hope to find on a college campus, the messages of the signs were riddled with bigotry and hostility -- but this time it was apparently by some black students and aimed specifically at whites:

Dear White People... Black people can’t be racist. Prejudice, yes, but not racist. Racism describes a system of disadvantage based on race. Black people can’t be racist since we don’t stand to benefit from such a system.

Dear White People... There is no such thing as ‘colorblind'. You are perpetuating racism and white supremacy.

Dear White People… I am here to burst your post-racial bubble. Yes, Oprah may have her own network, but Ann Coulter is still writing best sellers, black kids are still getting shot for wearing hoodies, and even here the few vestiges of black culture are under attack by conservative groups.

Dear White People... The fact that my rights are amendments to the Constitution in the 1800s shows they were an afterthought.

Dear White People... Are you tired of your hum drum, Wonderbread existence of accidental racism and wishing you could sip on Henny out yo crunk cup without a B**** giving you the side-eye? Course you are.

Most of these are inspired by (or directly taken from) the movie, so not only are they inflammatory but they aren't even original. As expected, there was outrage over these signs and as it turns out the "Diversity Education Week" did nothing for race relations on campus except cause further divide. Less than a week later, some students even threw a CMT vs BET party (Country Music TV vs Black Entertainment TV) where participants would dress up as stereotypical country folk and black folk.

Of course racism (and other forms of prejudice) still exists worldwide. Nobody is denying that. But to address a message using "Dear White People" shows that not only are you no less racist than the people you are trying to condemn, but you're unoriginal too. Blacks and other minorities have made tremendous strides in America over the last several decades. This shouldn't be allowed to be undone by a small handful who take their ideologies from a sub-par 2014 satire.

Signs of bigotry.

You cannot make people accept you. You can not bully them into submission for their approval. Spewing vitriol and anger about other people's hatred won't bring understanding. The only real way to increase awareness and inspire change is through positive actions and open dialogue. And in the end you have to realize that no matter how many strides are made by humanity, some people will always be prejudiced. But beware, if you're creating "Dear White People" signs, you just might be one of them.

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