If you’ve been thinking lately that pretty much everything has been deemed racist these days, you are absolutely right. The word has been bandied about so much that it is rapidly losing any real meaning.
Here are 10 things beginning with the letter ‘A’ that somebody, somewhere has deemed racist.
Academic freedom is racist, according to Sandra Korn, a senior at Harvard University and a columnist for the Harvard Crimson. In a February column, Korn unambiguously insisted that the Ivy League school should stop guaranteeing professors and students the right to hold controversial views and should instead only pursue research that strives for “justice” by opposing “racism, sexism, and heterosexism.” (RELATED: Harvard Writer: Free Speech Threatens Liberalism And Must Be Destroyed)
In May, the obscure leftist website Salon published a rant reviling once-funny comedian Adam Sandler for all his bad movies. The tweet promoting the piece read: “At long last, audiences are waking up to just how lazy and racist Adam Sandler’s films are (and have always been).”
U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and his wife Angela are white. They have four adopted children of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent. In January, after MSNBC tweeted – and then deleted – a bizarre tweet about conservatives and biracial families, Huelskamp tweeted a family photo. In response, notes Twitchy, a tweeter named Sarah (@ojc1234) wrote: @CongHuelskamp you fucking borrowed a black family for a photo op? What a dick! (Twitter suspended Sarah.)
Air is racist, according to a Think Progress article published in April. “[N]on-white people breathe air that is substantially more polluted than the air that white people breathe,” the breathless piece explains. “Altogether, people of color in the U.S. breath [sic] air with 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide in it than their white counterparts, particularly due to power plants and exhaust from vehicles.”
In its daily struggle to create content, BuzzFeed published a March 2013 listicle explaining why several Disney movies are racist. “Aladdin” is among them. The 1993 flick’s sin is “its portrayal of Middle Eastern culture, especially the intro song ‘Arabian Nights.'” BuzzFeed also calls “The Little Mermaid,” “Peter Pan” and, of course, “The Jungle Book” racist. (RELATED: Prof: Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Was Racist, Should Be Sanitized For Remake)
At Dartmouth College, America’s most disturbingly fragile Ivy League school, junior Daniela Hernandez was offended by an all-you-can-eat taco bar planned as part of a “Phiesta” fundraiser for cardiac care by the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority. The Greek groups canceled the event after racism allegations. It also would have included a live band, virgin piña coladas and guacamole. (RELATED: It’s Official: At Dartmouth, The Word ‘Fiesta’ Is Racist And White People Can’t Use It)
In May, American Girl – the overpriced doll company – came under fire for stopping production of some dolls: Marie-Grace, Cécile, Ruthi and Ivy. Cécile was a black doll. Ivy was an Asian doll. An American Girl Facebook post from the company garnered well over 1,000 responses, reports Vocativ. Many Facebook users suspected racist motives for the move. A representative for the company noted that “American Girl will be archiving a total of nine Caucasian characters since 2008,” according to ABC News.
At Live Oak High School in Northern California, school officials banned students from wearing anything emblazoned with the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, due to concerns that such displays of patriotism would inflame racial tensions by offending Mexican students on their holiday. The district’s policy concerned many free speech advocates, but was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (RELATED: Students, It’s Illegal To Wear An American Flag Shirt On Cinco De Mayo)
Arresting international gun runners is racist according to an attorney for Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was arrested during an FBI raid in March in connection with an investigation into official corruption by California state Sen. Leland Yee. Chow and Yee face various charges including laundering $2.3 million, gun-running, conspiracy and other crimes, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. (RELATED: Arms-smuggling Democrat Leland Yee spoke at Obama campaign headquarters)
The movie Avatar is racist, because it smacks of racially paternalistic overtones. The racist aspect involves a white good guy who appears to save a group of people of color – in this case, the color blue – from subjugation. “As Left-wing conceits go, this one surely tops all the others,” writes conservative film critic Will Heaven, according to Moviefone. “[T]he ethnic Na’vi, the film suggests, need the white man to save them because, as a less developed race, they lack the intelligence and fortitude to overcome their adversaries by themselves.”
(Photo credits: Getty Images, YouTube screenshot/MOVIECLIPS via linchpin313, YouTube screenshot/Tim Huelskamp for Congress, Getty Images, YouTube screenshot/Rustam Shukurov, Flickr/Creative Commons/TheCulinaryGeek, Getty Images, Creative Commons/Mike LoCascio, Getty Images/Justin Sullivan, YouTube screenshot/Machinima)