Emojis of color

Commentary by

James Gillespie 

aquinas photo / benjamin turcea  NEW, MULTI-RACIAL emojis, pictured above, have given iPhone users the ability to express their subtle emotions about the increasing diversity of our racially-charged world. When words simply aren’t enough, the yellow, white, tan, darker tan, light brown, brown and dark brown faces will help us truly communicate our ethnic differences.

aquinas photo / benjamin turcea
NEW, MULTI-RACIAL emojis, pictured above, have given iPhone users the ability to express their subtle emotions about the increasing diversity of our racially-charged world. When words simply aren’t enough, the yellow, white, tan, darker tan, light brown, brown and dark brown faces will help us truly communicate our ethnic differences.

It was fated to be the case that on one fine afternoon emojis would finally be available in more than one race. (To those of you who do not know what an emoji is, please Google it.) The Black Lives Matter campaign which arose in response to the Trayvon Martin shooting — murder — served as the ideal precursor to the then-forthcoming restructuring of the emoji keyboard to include multi-racial emojis.

To some (racists), the #blackemojismatter movement — a hashtag borrowed from Baratunde Thurston — may be seen as nonsensical. They argue that the cartoonish-yellow coloring of emojis does not lend itself to racial identification, though Matt Groening — the creator of “The Simpsons” — would likely disagree; the Simpson family is of this cartoonish-yellow race in a neighborhood of many cartoonish-colored races. Does that make Homer Simpson and C. Carlton Carlson Jr. (“the black one”) the same kind of person? That cannot be! Who could be so liberal to think such a thing?

The neo-racists who now attack the emoji movement fail to see past the illuminated screen of their oversized — but reasonably priced — iPhone-6 (plus!). Though just a caricature of the much larger issue facing our nation, giving every upper-class female the (equal) opportunity to use a cartoonish-yellow, white, semi-white, slightly-darker white, slightly-darker still white, or black (African-American) emoji to represent her inner anguish provides the opportunity to make the race issue known.

“I am just glad emojis are finally going to make people aware of the race issue in our country,” says Jamie Gillespie.

“The fact that I can use a black (African-American) emoji to express my anger when the Starbucks barista misspelled my name just makes it easier to connect, you know?” Gillespie said. “It will solve a lot of issues!”

We can only aspire to be as optimistic as young Gillespie is. But Apple is certainly assisting us in our cause. By forcing us to pick between these cartoon pseudo-races when utilizing the emoji tool, Apple has completely evaporated the issues of racial inequality.

We all begin to sympathize with the #blackemojismatter movement. It transcends all racial boundaries and unites all via the emoji-selection process. Emojis are engendering a new age; one where we can choose to be black or white when the context is appropriate. And if we turn out to use the wrong race in a certain scenario, we just send a quick follow-up message: “Sorry, I meant to be white today.”

2 Responses to Emojis of color

  1. ichsan akbar Reply

    May 12, 2015 at 5:03 am

    its not race issue, that was equality looks like 🙂

  2. Desy H. Reply

    May 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I’m really interest with the topic of this post, but I think it’s not a race issue 🙂

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