On Wednesday, musician Sam Smith tweeted about an upsetting encounter he had with racism on the streets of London. He doesn't get very explicit about what happened, but it seems like someone said something racist to a friend, who is presumably not a white man like Sam Smith. Smith's tweets also sound like he maybe thought racism was over?
Well, Smith knows now. On the one hand, it's great when someone in a position of privilege acknowledges what other people live with on a daily bases. On the other hand, the Internet had a bit of a giggle at Sam Smith's "awokening":
And as Jezebel notes, coverage of the incident on various websites were pretty cheeky, ranging from "Sam Smith Just Found Out That Racism Exists And We Guess He Deserves A Cookie Now" to the more damning "Sam Smith Only Just Waking Up To Racism Shows He’s Part Of the Problem." Maybe he thought society was colorblind because he won a BET award last year (despite Donald Trump's claims that there are racial rules for those)?
Smith responded on Instagram, posting this:
His message reads:
For the record, I was merely sharing an experience I had in the hope it would draw attention to how ridiculous it is to be racist in 2016.
This is not about me in any way, it’s about a deep rooted issue we have in our society that should now be extinct.
I don’t profess to know or remotely understand what it means to be on the receiving end of racist abuse, but having been bullied my whole life for being gay, what I do know is that it is wrong and completely unacceptable.
Here’s to people being allowed to be people.
It is ridiculous to be racist in 2016. It is also ridiculous not to know racism exists in 2016. Everyone's right, for once.