Better than reaction

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Belittling a culture is never funny. Last week’s attack on Team PDA’s Vice-President of Operations candidate Craig Draeger was well called for, but it failed to deliver the appropriate message.

A Tumblr page entitled “Queen’s is better than racism” called for Draeger’s removal from the AMS elections race, after an older YouTube video featuring Draeger in “brownface” circulated online.

In this case, Draeger was clearly parodying Mexican culture.

The video shows him shaking maracas to mariachi music, wearing traditional Mexican clothes.

The video, which was taken down, sparked a marked reaction from the group, who accused Draeger of racism and microagression.

“You cannot separate the racist history from said action just because you want to cosplay [costume play],” the page read. “It’s extremely selfish and racist of you to disregard those very real emotions and realities for your own self-interests.”

The campaign, which had good intentions, was misdirected by its extreme and accusatory nature.

Instead of calling for Draeger’s resignation, it should’ve campaigned for an explanation or an apology from him regarding the video.

What they did was effectively prejudge Draeger based on past actions, to the point where any explanation would have been rendered futile.

I don’t condone racism and I’m not excusing Draeger’s actions, but in order to combat acts of racism, or any act of bigotry, it’s better to call for reason than reaction.

I don’t intend to speak on behalf of racially marginalized groups, but I have experienced my own forms of discrimination on campus for who I am and what I stand for.

The fact that a person committed an act of racism in the past doesn’t mean that person was or continues to be a racist.

We can’t take one action and judge a person — that in itself is an act of discrimination.

We should use this to better understand how and why acts or racism are still occurring today, instead of calling for measures too extreme for the situation.

Vince is an Assistant News Editor at the Journal.

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