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Being racist is not a result of being ‘young and dumb’

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Rebecca Mennecke

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Buffalo Bills player’s high school old tweets reveal racist sentiments

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 Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills tweeted some racist things in high school that are not okay.

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills tweeted some racist things in high school that are not okay.

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Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills tweeted some racist things in high school that are not okay.

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The Buffalo Bills have officially chosen their quarterback for the future in the most recent NFL Draft, and it has stirred a lot of controversy over the meaning of what ideals players should stand for.

Josh Allen, a 2018 draftee who was awarded a project score of a 5.90 and shows “chance to become an NFL starter,” recently joined the Bills as the team’s quarterback.

Michael David Smith from NBC Sports said, “The Bills got their man, quarterback Josh Allen, by trading up to the seventh overall pick in the draft. But they wanted to trade up higher.”

However much Allen seems perfectly fit for a role in the NFL, he exemplified some less-ideal traits on his old Twitter page.

Some of his tweets from his high school years in 2012 to 2013 were recorded as follows:

“@FelipeeeeMelo_: Bout to show up these N***** at pong. Gonna do for @j_prodigy_5 @AFlyer5 and @J_Sal_Forever_5.”:)

“@cheriishhh: i dont think you n***** want a troubled son!”

“@Alpha_Patlan: “@J_Prodigy_5: @Alpha_Patlan (uhh) stay schemin…” N***** Trying To Get At Me. ” doe

“Why are you so white ? — If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!”

One excuse that Allen gave in an interview with ESPN is that he was simply “young and dumb” when he made those tweets. However, I could compare Allen with a lot of people who were about the same age as Allen was when he made those racist statements, and it’s simple to see that youth does not play a role in how “dumb” one’s comments are. For example, Malala Yousafzai was just fifteen years old when she was shot by a Taliban gunman for her fight for women to be able to be educated. Youth does not equate to stupidity. Young people can make good decisions, and poor decisions are not made simply because of the age of the individual.

According to TMZ, Allen was simply quoting the well-loved American television show ‘Modern Family.’ Additionally, his use of the ‘n’ word was also referring to a Rick Ross song and was not intended to be racist.

TMZ wrote how Allen said his “teammates know he’s not a racist person.”

However, people can be extremely racist and still believe that they are not because they are not being openly oppressive. For example, Allen used derogatory terminology to refer to black people, and also claimed that being white is somehow better than any other race, and by doing so, reinforced a state of disempowerment for black people by belittling them.

Allen later apologized for his tweets, telling ESPN, ““I’m not the type of person I was at 14 and 15 that I tweeted so recklessly. … I don’t want that to be the impression of who I am, because that is not me. I apologize for what I did.”

It is great that he is able to apologize for his actions, and I believe that Allen has grown in maturity since his high school years, but I think this situation serves as a grave reminder of the importance of understanding racial dynamics and reinforces the importance of talking about race from a very young age.

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About the Writer
Rebecca Mennecke, Chief Copy Editor

Rebecca "Becca" Mennecke is a second-year creative writing student with a minor in journalism and is stoked to be the Chief Copy Editor of The Spectator...

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Being racist is not a result of being ‘young and dumb’