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Five ways to combat racism and prejudice

 

Dare to rise against prejudice demands courage and direct conscious efforts. Here are some practices and actions to tackle racism in our everyday lives. 

1.

Challenge your assumptions about race and otherness.

Here are some questions that can guide your reflection.

To which extent are you a member or not of a privileged social group?

How does this privilege – or absence of it – influence your views about race and diversity?

How do you feel and react when your (well-intended) statements meet accusations of racism?

How do you feel and react when you are the target a racial (or another social difference) prejudice?

How diverse is your social network?

2.

Distance yourself from jokes or statements that perpetuate racism and prejudice.

The least you can do is not encourage those jokes or statements. If it is safe enough, intervene with calm and honesty.

I understand that you intend to be funny. Still, I feel uncomfortable with what I have heard because your joke/ statement seems to consider that all (persons of a social category) are identical, are not individuals. Could you agree that X and Y belong to that category and are still two very different persons?

3.

Cultivate curiosity for others.

Here are some actions that will help you to understand others and stretch your worldview.

Watch documentaries and read non-fiction books about slavery, prejudice, and discrimination.

Read newspapers from different countries, with another political stand than your preferred one.

Visit the site of a political party you will not vote for. What does it value?

Read literature, watch films, or series from different cultures, if possible, in their original language.

4.

Adopt an inclusive mindset in all aspects of your life.

Initiate sensitive conversations about races and social differences.

How does our country relate to slavery and colonialism? How comfortable are we with this part of our History?

How does our police, justice, education system behave with minorities? Why?

How is our group, family, or company inclusive?

5.

Engage sustainably in favor of inclusion.

Here are some actions that will foster inclusion, even when the emotional level drops.

Support financially causes that foster dialogue, inclusion, and education. 

Follow active groups that deter racism and encompass an inclusive society. Spread their words not just after a disheartening event but throughout the year.

What else do you do to combat racism, discrimination, and prejudice? Please share your insights or experience.

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