By now, you’ve probably heard about how Yuli Gurriel from the Houston Astros made a racist gesture at Dodgers Pitcher Yu Darvish, who is of Japanese descent, during the World Series. After hitting a home run and returning to the dugout, Gurriel pulled at the corners of his eyes to make them slanted in an all too familiar racist gesture. How is this still considered “ok?” oh, he probably didn’t mean any harm and oh, he was just being childish. Or oh, people are so sensitive, and oh, we need to be politically correct. But that’s not it. Saying that people are “sensitive” or needing “political correctness” or that it’s all in “good fun” minimizes and silences the conversations that really need to be happening surrounding this. The player made a racist gesture during one of the most highly televised games and got away with not missing a single World Series game. Not only are people traumatized by this gesture, but they are doubly traumatized by the lack of response and minimization.
So for those people who say, it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t bother me, don’t be so sensitive, it’s all in good fun, I hope they stop and think about what that gesture means. It’s about what happened, but it’s also about those memories of trauma that the gesture invokes. It’s about those times when people like me, who were too young at the time to have the words to fight back. Just because someone may not know enough or have the lived experiences to understand the hurt that this gesture holds, that doesn’t mean that they have the right to say it doesn’t matter. So that’s why I voiced my opinion to the Astros and the MLB and I would encourage you to send a message to the Astros and to the MLB too.