Monday, July 31, 2006

Road rage and racism

I'm sure you all know what road rage is. It's when you get mad when someone cuts you off, or just when you generally get angry while you're driving. This anger sometimes leads to insults towards other drivers, and what better way to insult someone than by using racism. You might even be guilty of it. Have you ever been annoyed by a car in front of you, and as you drove past it, you looked at the driver's face? And by doing so, you probably noticed what race they were, and your first instinct in all your anger might've been to insult them based on their ethnicity.

Obviously there's always going to be a case of mistaken identity in situations like this. While you're driving, someone might yell at you and call you a "terrorist" thinking that you're Middle Eastern, when you might actually be Latino. Like I've mentioned here and here, a case of mistaken racial identity can always potentially determine if you're murdered or not; because someone could kill you after they mistake you for an ethnicity that they hate.

One real-life example of this is 25-year-old Thanh Lam, who was a victim of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Lam was murdered in his truck when he was stopped at red light, and someone pulled up next to him and fired. His killer was reported to have yelled a racial slur at him before shooting. His killer was also reported to have been African-American. During the riots, there were tensions between Blacks and Koreans. So it is very likely that Lam was killed because he was mistaken for Korean. Lam was Vietnamese.

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