“Injustice for one is injustice for all.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Racism is a systemic issue in almost every country on Earth. People of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and different ethnic groups are the primary target and unfortunate victim when it comes to being discriminated against and receiving hateful, derogatory, and offensive comments. Unfortunately, we can not change the absurd mind of a racist individual, but we can definitely use our own voice and ability to raise awareness and educate ourselves and others on how to stop racism.
Here are five ways for you to raise awareness and educate others about racism.
1. Learn to recognize and understand your own privilege.
One of the primary steps to disposing of racial separation is learning to recognize and understand your own privilege and biases. Racial privilege plays out over social, political, financial, and social situations. Checking your privilege and utilizing your privilege to destroy systemic racism are two ways to start this complex process. You should begin with being mindful of your own privileges and look at your own biases.
2. Validate the experiences and feelings of individuals of color
Another way to address bias and recognize privilege is to support the experiences of individuals of color and engage in intense discussions around race and injustice. We cannot be anxious about talking about abuse and segregation for fear of “getting it wrong.” Take initiative by learning around the ways that prejudice proceeds to influence our society.
3. Call out racist “jokes” or statements.
Let individuals know that racist comments are not tolerated. In the event that you’re not comfortable or don’t feel safe being confrontational, attempt to break down their thought process and ask questions. For example, “That joke doesn’t make sense to me, will you clarify it?” Or “You may be joking, but this is what it means when you say that sort of thing.” You don’t have to be a person of color to call out racist behavior. If someone is blatantly wrong in what they are saying, you have a right to voice your opinion.
4. Discover how your company or school works to extend opportunities for individuals of color
Systemic prejudice implies that there are barriers including financial disparities, criminal justice bias, and education and housing separation against people of color. These all stack the deck against individuals of color within the work environment or at school. It is vital for companies and schools to address these issues and advance a culture of value and diversity. Raise your concern for a more diverse team and quick action against racist comments or procedures.
5. Support organizations for people of color
Research the mission and values of organizations that contribute to the development of anti-racist strategies and advocate for people of color and victims of discrimination. Also donate to charities that are geared towards making a positive change. Support in any way you can whether that is financially or voluntarily to minority-owned businesses and to people of color living within the community.
If you have experienced racism or discrimination and need professional help, reach out for support!