'Why does everything have to involve race?': Students react to that NPR article about 'white privilege' emojis.

NPR recently published an article featuring academics arguing that using yellow skin-colored emojis is a form of 'white privilege.'

Campus Reform spoke to several students who offered their reactions.

Are emojis racist? 

NPR recently published an article in which several interviewees share what skin color emojis they use and why they choose that specific color. The article then listed academics’ arguments for why using a yellow emoji is an act of “white privilege.” 

”For me, it does signal a kind of a lack of awareness of your white privilege in many ways,” Berlin-based researcher Zara Rahman states in the article. 

Rahman’s academic background includes a stint as a “Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University’s Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society,” according to the researcher’s website. 

[RELATED: Colorado State: ‘avoid gendered emojis’]

Campus Reform spoke to a number of students to get their take on the use of customizable skin color emojis and whether they feel “white privilege” comes into play when deciding what emojis to use.

Caroline Fedele, a PhD student at the University of Florida, told Campus Reform that she initially did not believe the NPR article was real. 

“What makes no sense about this article’s claim of the yellow ‘neutral’ emojis being a sign of ‘white privilege’ is that the classic emojis are only yellow,” Fedele continued. “I don’t see why using some yellow emojis (the main smiley faces) would be okay, and some (the more people-like and hand emojis) would be offensive.”

[RELATED: ‘Perfectionism,’ having a ‘sense of urgency’ are examples of White supremacy, academics argue]

Tyler Hertwig, a student at Point Park University, expressed minimal patience for this purported controversy. 

”Claiming that the neutral-colored emoji is anything more than it is, is ridiculous. There are real issues that go on in the world, and emojis aren’t causing any of them,” he said.

“I use the yellow ones. Honestly because who cares about race?” Pennsylvania State University student Orlando Clark asked. “Why does everything have to involve race?”

Joel Lujan, a freshman at the University of Florida said, “The belief that the choice of emojis by people somehow demonstrates some form of ‘white privilege’ is laughable.”

“No normal person would ever find discomfort in using a yellow or different colored emoji than their natural skin tone, because no one is that fixated on minute details,” Lujan added. “It’s only those at the top with no real struggle in their life who find this stuff insulting, because they don’t know what a real issue is.”

Campus Reform has reached out to NPR and Zara Rahman for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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