Your view: racial sensitivity can be tough to gauge

By Camille Park, JCamp reporter

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As an Asian American student and one who is attending a journalism camp organized by the Asian American Journalists Association, I can say that I’m always eager to talk about race and racism.

Some people think I’m easily offended. Some people are too offensive. What can be considered racist today?

“Race is not a binary issue,” Michele Norris, NPR host and founder of “The Race Card Project.”

Gwen Ifill, moderator of “Washington Week,” described race as “like the weather” at the same appearance.

Both women spoke at a JCamp panel held in Washington.

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When hate crimes take place against a certain ethnicity, yes, that is racist. But, because race touches everyone differently, people describe racism differently.

Teachers and textbooks have taught us that racism 50 years ago came in violent forms from race riots to internment camps. What about today?

There are still some hate crimes and lingering racial tensions and there are subtle comments, generalizations and stereotypes.

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I’m not saying I hold race riots to the same level as culturally appropriating jokes, but my unimpressed and blank stare should let people know that I’m not accepting of them.

Does that make me overly sensitive?

Maybe, but when somebody is offended, it’s not somebody else’s right to label sensitivity, whether they’re older, younger, ignorant or aware.

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It was Ricky Gervais, award-winning writer and comedian, who said at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, “Just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right.”

I’m not saying I’m always right when I’m offended. Everybody is different, but I try to stay as politically correct as possible.

Respect is key, for the entire ethnic spectrum.