Thursday, October 1, 2020

How to Fight Racism.

August 5, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Racism is ghastly in whatever form it comes in or whatever shape it takes. We all need to fight against it and here are seven ways you can do so.

  1. Learning to understand and recognize your privilege

The first step to take when it comes to dealing with racial discrimination is to recognize and understand the privilege you have. Racial privilege always plays across political, social, cultural, and economic environments. To get started with the process of dismantling systemic racism, you will need to check your own privilege and use it to dismantle racism.

Privilege is more than just about race. Gender, sexuality, religions, ability-status, language, socio-economic status, and citizenship status can also bring privilege. To use your privilege to empower others, you will first need to be aware of the privilege and also acknowledge the implications. There are many types of privilege, try learning more about them.

black lives matter

  1. Examining the biases you have and considering where they might have come from

Were there messages you received when you were young about people different from you? What was the ethnic or racial make-up of your school, neighborhood, or religious community? According to you, why was that the case? Such experiences are what produce and reinforce stereotypes, bias, and prejudice, and can result in discrimination. When you work on your bias, you will have taken one step towards ensuring equality.

There is a documentary by PBS called Race: The Power of Illusion. This documentary is about the United States’ social construct of race.

  1. Validating the feelings and experiences of people of color

Supporting the experiences of other people can be a good way for addressing bias and recognizing privilege. You should try engaging in tough conversations on injustice and race. You should not fear discussions on discrimination and oppression because you are afraid of “getting it wrong.” You should be doing things that will help you learn more about how racism is affecting society. You can do this by watching documentaries on race like the 13th and books such as Hidden Figures or Americanah.

The best way of learning about domestic violence is by listening to survivors. This is the same approach when it comes to racism. Listen to people of color so you can understand racial injustice.

  1. Challenging “colorblind” ideology

One myth that has been going around is that we live in a society that does not see color. Using this line of thought is a way of contributing to racism.

Martine Luther King talked about a colorblind world, but he did not mean that race should be ignored. Eliminating racism is impossible without acknowledging race first. When you think about being colorblind, you are ignoring a very important aspect of someone’s identity and dismissing the injustices they are going through because of their skin color. Seeing color is needed when working on equality and equity. Show your support of the fight against racism with one of these Malcolm X t-shirts. They celebrate the fallen idol wonderfully.

  1. Calling out racist statements or “jokes”

You should let people know it is not okay to make racist comments. If you are not the type of person comfortable confronting other people, try asking questions and breaking down their thought process. You can tell them you are not getting it and they should explain it. You can also tell them they might be joking, but this type of thing can mean another thing. Engage in conversations with your friends, co-workers, and family.

Microaggression might not seem like a big deal when they come as racial statements or jokes, but they normalize prejudices and biases. When this happens and you laugh or don’t do anything, it could mean you agree with the statement or joke.

  1. Finding out what your school or company is doing to help in expanding opportunities to people of color

There are barriers that make it hard for people of color to get into schools and workplaces because of systematic racism. Some of the barriers include criminal justice bias, wealth disparity, housing discrimination, and education discrimination. There was a case of a 12-year old facing criminal charges and getting expelled back in 2014 because she wrote “hi” on the locker room wall. The education system under protects and over polices black girls, and the campaign #BlackGirlsMatter tries to address it. Schools and companies need to address these issues because it is a good way of promoting equity.

  1. Being thoughtful when it comes to finances

Another way of taking a stand is by using your wallet. Know charities you can donate to and the practices of companies you decide to invest in. you should try shopping at small and local businesses because the money is going to go back to the local community. Maybe there is a directory of local businesses you can use.

Staff Writer; Doug Short

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