Double Standards? They’re Black and White

There is a huge problem in society in how we react to certain situations based on who a person is. The racial double standard is evident everywhere. Although not stated outright publicly, society has set people of color inferior to whites. We see black and POC public figures be humiliated and talked down on, representing just a fraction of how society treats ordinary people. Events like this happen everywhere, the workplace, in public, and in the media. Even in the sports scene, we see people talk down on a team or a specific person solely based on their race. 

A recent example of this was In the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament following the LCU versus Iowa game. Angel Reese was criticized for taunting Caitlin Clark when she did John Cena’s “you can’t see me” gesture while she pointed  at her finger, signaling her team getting the championship ring. Earlier in the game, Clark was seen doing the same, but her actions were praised and she was even nicknamed “The Queen of Clapbacks” by ESPN. 

Reese was called names like “classless” and “idiot”. This is one of many occasions where people of color are given the opposite attitude compared to white people, not just in sports but in other professional environments.  

This is not just a one time thing, multiple times in the past black athletes have been given different media reactions compared to white athletes for doing the same exact thing. New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the New England Patriots former quarterback player Tom Brady both had public outbursts with their offensive coordinators, but Brady’s incident was overlooked by the media, and even got praised for being passionate about playing. Beckham, on the other hand, was called immature.

Another incident that has occurred recently was right at the Tennessee State Capitol Building, where three representatives participated in a protest regarding gun laws, and two of those representatives, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson (who are black) were expelled. Gloria Johnson, who is white, was able to retain her seat by a single vote. Although her seat was barely safe, there is still an obvious reason why she wasn’t kicked off unlike the other two. 

 In each of these incidents, white people are either praised or excused for their actions, while black people are attacked and shamed for the same actions. We, as a society, need to  take accountability in overcoming the ongoing practice of praising one person or group, while shaming another. We need to hold everyone up to the same standards or not hold anyone accountable at all. People who have been discriminated against because of their race should not have to be walking on eggshells, while others can do and say what they want without any fear of punishment or retribution. It’s up to everyone to call out the hypocrisy of these types of behavioral double standards, so we can hold everyone to the same standard, regardless of race, religion, or creed.