Both Neil Bissoondath’s ‘‘No Place Like Home’’ and Wayson Choy’s ‘‘I'm a Banana and Proud of It’’ are persuasive in their own way .They both have expressed that our diverse society, racism is facing one of humankind's major tensions in this day and age. Many people are unaware of the use of prejudice and discrimination when they communicate. It is evident that racism is a fatal perception because it portrays an expression of hatred and surprisingly, there are still a quite number of people who still engage in making negative remarks to insult a minority victim. The two authors demonstrated a good understanding of how racism is created by the colour of the skin, wherein, how a race judges another race by its negative impression. In fact, the stories describe the specific origins of racism where it can be a brutal, a negative force in human society, and a downfall to human resources. In the two readings, "I'm Not Racist But..." by Neil Bissoondath and "I'm a Banana and Proud of It" by Wayson Choy, racism is based upon stereotyping what's unfamiliar; racism causes real psychological damage to people who are stereotyped; and racism is not easy to change.
First and foremost, racism is based upon stereotyping what is unfamiliar where an individual would classify a specific group by its characteristics. In the writings, the authors arrange the race with xenophobic terms, where a race is given a very rude label. For example, Bissoondath stated, "And so a black might become 'nigger,' a white 'a honky,' an Asian 'a paki,' a Chinese 'a chink,' an Italian 'a wop,' a French-Canadian ' a frog.'" In the other passage, it follow an exact same format of xenophobic terms where Choy said, "After all, in Canada and the United States, a native Indians are 'apples' (red outside, white inside); blacks are 'Oreo cookies' (black and white); and Chinese are 'bananas.' "(206). Throughout the essays, it appears people like to stereotype an individual by saying a racist comment at their skin or religion. For instance, Bissoondath said, "A friend of mine... has the impression that their one great cultural contribution to the world is in the oft-repeated boast that 'We (unlike everyone else) know how to party.'"(273). Whereas, Choy has a similar phrase in essay where Choy stated, "I don't mind being called a 'banana,' yellow on the outside and white inside: I'm proud I'm a banana. "(206). When it comes to meeting a person of another race, there is a chance that the person hasn't meet another type of race before and this will make the person to feel racist by judging on person's religion or skin. On the other hand, Bissoondath uses an example in his essay where he said, "Or the oil company executive... who, looking for an apartment in Toronto, rejected buildings with East Indian tenants not because of their race -he was telling me this, after all-but because he was given to understand that cockroaches were symbols of good luck in their culture and that, when they moved into a new home, friends came by with gift-wrapped cockroaches." (206). Consequently, both of the essays express how stereotype groups can affect individuals by the use of negative insults or name calling.
On the other hand, racism causes real physical loss to people who are stereotyped whereas one person in a particular race will insult another race. Although, people have a tendency in believing their self and also, the act of stereotyping is mostly an unconscious. In Choy's essay, he elaborates how another race takes control of his race where Choy stated, "We began to feel Chinese home life was inferior. We co-operated with English-language magazines that showed us how to act and what to buy. Seductive Hollywood movies made some of us secretly weep that we did not have movie star faces. American music made Chinese music sound like noise." (207). This clearly indicates Choy's race wasn't liked in the American society. As a result, Choy points out to the American music as being loud and how Hollywood movies do not include any Chinese's faces. Stereotype also proves to show how an individual would put racial hatred of another race by using it as a way to discriminate the group. For example, Bissoondath said, "I'm not racist, but the Chinese are the worst drivers on the road." (273). Psychological damage usually happens when a race calls another race by a racist term, for example, Chinese are called "Chink" because of the shape of Asian eyes. Such as, Choy said, "'Chink' is a hateful, racist term, stereotyping the shape of Asian eyes: 'a chink in the armour,' an undesirable slit." (206). Individual, who stereotypes a specific race, often makes a person to feel bad. In this case, let's use the oil company executive as an example where he started to feel uncomfortable with East Indians who use cockroaches as good luck and Bissoondath expressed, "Neither of these men thought of himself as racist, and I believe they were not, deep down."(273). In addition, racist individuals often cause psychological damage to innocent groups whereas racism would likely to rise when one race meets another race.
For the most part, racism is hard to change. If a particular race is taught not to respect another race, than the outcome of that the race will likely to become eternally prejudiced. For example, Choy said, "They came as unwanted 'aliens'. Better to be an alien here than to be dead of starvation in China. But after the Chinese Exclusion laws were passed in North America, no Chinese immigrants were granted citizenship in either Canada or the United States." (206). This passage clearly indicates Americans did not approve Chinese to have their own citizenship in North America because they think Chinese immigrants do not deserve the right to be American citizens. As well, Bissoondath uses an example to distinguish racism occurs almost everywhere such as the media where he said, "We must be sceptical about those who depend on conflict for their sense of self, the non-whites who need to feel themselves victims of racism, the whites who need to feel themselves purveyors of it - Does the Miss Black Canada Beauty Contest still exists?" (274). Reading from this passage, Bissoondath tries to explain how racism can take place in beauty contests where he uses black beauties as a case of how people would react to the media. In addition, racism can occur when one race starts calling another group by the colour of the skin or food as to mock them and this obviously shows racism has not changed. For example, Choy stated, "-Chinese are "bananas" (206). In Bissoondath's essay, he uses food as an example to show stereotyping can represent a Chinese by their language where he stated, "Chinese as chow mein..." (272). Simultaneously, racism is becoming a widespread factor when victims have no choice but to follow what's best for them. In Choy's essay, he clearly said, "They had no choice. They adapted... If they had not, they and their family would have starved to death." (208). Wherein, Bissoondath he uses how Jews and Klux Klan as a racial hatred terms where he stated, "They may indicate ignorance or stupidity or insensitivity, but pure racial hatred - such as the Nazis held for Jews, or the Ku Klux Klan for blacks..." (272). Hence, racism is becoming a crime in both of the essays as people start to abuse one another.
In conclusion, the two writings on the subject of race are shown to be the same. As previously stated, both of the essays express how stereotype groups can affect individuals by the use of negative insults or name calling; racist individuals often cause psychological damage to innocent groups whereas racism likely to rise when one race meets another race. Furthermore, racism is becoming a crime in both of the essays as people start to abuse one another.
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