Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Apple: For Once, Downgrading America by Ashna Mediratta

Apple: For Once, Downgrading America
“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put out fire best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.” Fred Hampton may have even used the wrong word – “gonna” doesn’t cover it. We MUST fight racism with solidarity. Is there any other way?
The United States has continually taken small steps towards ending all forms of racism in America; we’ve tried to loosen stereotypes, tried to educate the younger generation to avoid the issue in the future. At one point we’ve even tried to ignore it, ignore all the inequality and separation in our country. We’ve slowly moved a little closer to that perfect world where people don’t judge off the color of your skin, though nothing yet has worked as effectively as we’ve hoped. But we’re getting there.
Or at least, we used to be getting there. Until Apple decided to shove all the efforts off a cliff and bring back the intensity of the issue of racism.
The company has decided to create a more diverse collection of emojis on the iOS 8.3, for the iPhone. iPhone being synonymous to the phone in the hands of every teen across the United States. So pretty much, by a more diverse collection of emojis I mean Apple has created a collection of racially unique emojis with differing skin tones and appearances through which teenagers, who are yet unaware of the harms of inequality and lack of opportunity in the real world due to racism, have been given an even stronger weapon to harm others with.
I think we all expected more from Apple.
Even behind a screen, where we have started to lessen our tendencies to notice different skin tones, we’ve been given the ability to do so once again. And, even if that exposure to different races doesn’t lead us to harming others with the tools we have been given, it still inevitably exposes. We still acknowledge our differences whenever we pick up the phone. What happened to trying to change the younger generations for the future? What happened to trying to stop the exposure of our differences so much? What happened to fighting racism with solidarity, and not by providing us with a way to separate one from another?
Now, obviously, Apple didn’t make this decision to worsen the condition of our nation. They made it in order to allow us to embrace our cultural individuality… which would be fine, if that’s what it accomplished. But it’s not. So it isn’t.
Many people don’t understand the difference between embracing their own culture and belittling someone else’s. Apple’s intentions were genuine, but they clearly didn’t take this into enough consideration. Therefore their decision turned out to be a mistake, and one that will now further expose thousands of people to our nation’s racial differences.

Ashna Mediratta

No comments:

Post a Comment