It’s no coincidence we all have stories and woes from family members’ racist, shameless commentary and jokes. Ronald Reagan’s media campaign on drugs brainwashed an entire generation into thinking that black men are criminals, and women “welfare queens.” In the midst of this brainwashing we were also told that racism doesn’t exist anymore because of the success of the civil rights movement and suppression of blatant racism. Because of these things I believe many are blind to their privilege, blind to the subliminal racist language we use daily. The most obvious one today in the news is the code word “thug.” When black people respond–correctly–to systemic oppression it’s called a riot; thugs are starting another riot, when it’s a bunch of white guys lighting cars on fire and breaking windows after a sports game they’re called some stupid name by media and made out as innocent and casual, these normally kind men where just emotionally unbalanced, intoxicated and caught up in the moment. The media perpetuates racism, and ultimately fails at even maintaining–if it ever did–the true brilliance that is the freedom of speech.