What can individual people do to help eliminate racism?
How can individual Americans fight against racism? What ideas do you have to bridge the gap between races? I'm not thinking about political solutions or movements but rather what each individual person can do. How can we work to create a less divided society?
That's a tough question. I think the best thing to do is to lead by example.
1. Treat all fellow human beings with respect and dignity.
2. Act in a way that will reflect well as a representative of the various groups you belong to. (gender, race, career, socioeconomic, etc.)
3. When people say negative things about other people, don't participate, and speak up.
4. Get to know people from other groups. In this way, they get to break a stereotype about your group, and you get to learn about the differences and break your own stereotypes about their groups.
Virginia this is a fun one for me. I think we need to love each other more. Embrace different subcultures and diverse cultures more. One hand reaching across to another is the building block of understanding and the erasure of racism. I am not blind to races but rather I recognize them and appreciate them.
The reason I like this question so much is that I am married to a person of another race and of course therefor our child is different yet the same as both of us. Racism in this home is only a race to see who gets what! And I am usually the loser ;-)
Make every university entrant travel the world for 18 months pre university preparation course, plot them a travel schedule that will engage them with the aspects of the course they wish to do, so it they want to study architecture, set them off on Rome, Athens, Niarobe, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta... i.e guaranteed to show them the good and the bad.
Give them an iPad or similar and have them produce reports based on their travel and questions posed, provide them with a state debit card loaded with specific expenses to be collected at specific points on the route.
They will meet and live with different cultures, see alternative lifestyles, encounter different religions, aspirations, expectations and values.
Some will never come back, some will never take the course they intended, but all will have realised that people are people, some are dumb, some stupid, some smart, some kind, some ignorant, but all created equal.
Those who come back will be braod minded people who know what they want to do, most of them will choose alturistic lifestyles, some will realise they hate anyone different to themselves, they will lock themselves away from the world.
Overall the cost would be less than the expense of failed university students leading boring lives.
Interesting question - aimed mostly at Americans I see but answered here by an Englishman! Hopefully your question will also be seen by people world wide.
I think within the confines of your question lies part of the answer - we all need to become less insular and become more accepting of other races, a message given us by all the spiritual icons many tend to follow or admire, from Jesus Christ to Nelson Mandela, from Martin Luther King to Mother Teresa.
As individuals we can each do our bit by trying to point out to those who exhibit racist tendencies that we are all humans, genetically sharing a common base - fact - so any differences between us is solely due to conditioning and upbringing and local culture.
Problems tend to surface when the gang mentality creeps in, when established groups of whatever race develop power, in big groups and small, and a system builds which undermines the individual's rights.
In conversations over the years -with young people - in the role as teacher - I try to convey the benefits of free thinking. You don't become influenced by the media for example until you know the facts, or you don't take to heart what a politician might say or infer.
I try to emphasise the importance of dignity, which means that you don't follow the herd, you don't seek to divide simply because someone tells you to.
I think that people need to make small changes in their own lives, before racism even has a chance of becoming a non-issue. My individual protest against racism is that I do not entertain racist jokes. I do not allow racist language used in my home or in my presence. If someone says something racist or uses the word nigxxx, I do politely say that term is offensive to me personally. I believe to nip those types of conversation in the bud quickly.
I am always super nice and polite about telling people who I know are a touch racist that I just do not tolerate nor entertain racism. If someone asks me if I want to hear a joke, I immediately say sure as long as it is not about a black man, a polish dude, or dirty.
Lots of things must be done.
I raised four children by myself and when ever a racial joke popped up, joke or not they were reminded that we are all equal and a joke is one thing but that's all it is. As a parent you can't let one racial incident go by over the years without a reminder comment.
That also applies to the adult world. On my first day at a new electronics job the boss drove me to a manufacturing facility and on the way he used the "N" word. I was compelled to respectfully correct him. He never used that word around me again and I believe he respected me more for correcting him.
Another absolute need is to educate and help minorities prosper so they can earn the equality and respect they deserve. It's much more difficult to look down on a being that is your intellectual equal or better.
Another requirement is to stop black people from using black backlash evey place they go. Thanks to great people like Martin Luther King and hundreds of others we are all supposed to be equals now. All Americans, but still, all you hear today is black this and black that, African American and so on with a street language that separates them from everyone else on the planet. It's not even a dialect, it was born from ignorance of the English language but for some reason they think it's cool to talk like an uneducated moron.
These are just a few of the works needed to be done yet but the biggest by far is teaching our children and racial equality is an absolute MUST.
Terrific answers Craig. I teach many first time college students who are also minorities. My parents weren't minorities, but they were very, very poor. I want to help my students to succeed so their children won't have it as hard (just like me).
EQUALITY AMONGST ALL
RIGHT TO LIFE FOR ALL
TEACH THE NEW GENERATION TO BE COLOR BLIND
ALL RACE NEED TO SEE THEIR FAULTS AND ACCEPT THEM AND CORRECT THEM
I think more than fight against racism we need to fight against racial inequality and discrimination.racism is something many people have within them and that is very hard to change, but the good news is that time itself is eliminating racism,each new generation is less racist than the one before.If you have children you will notice that their generation is less racist than yours and if you have grand children you will see they are even less racist. Imagine a map that shows racism in any color as time goes by you see the color become dimmer and the stronger color spots appear more and more isolated and even they become dimmer.
Taking each and every individual that one comes across as an individual and not "the" representative or mouthpiece for an entire group of people goes a long way. It's good to not stereotype because there are significant numbers of people who will never be anywhere near the negative and also the positive stereotypes of any given group. Holding inaccurate assumptions and stereotypes leads to small, moderate and extreme problems in the world. There is no reward and they serve only to divide.
It's also helpful to recognize that there are many people who are multiracial or whose looks simply do not reflect their backgrounds and ask yourself, why is anyone's skin color so important to ME? It would be useful if people stopped putting so many assumptions and so much value on anyone's skin color or lack thereof. We cannot go by the color of another person's skin, hair, eyes, etc. to put people into a box. And putting people into a box is all that race is about. People are individuals, act that way and that can help eliminate racism.
We can do so much as individuals, not just Americans, as racism is just as strong in many other countries or cultures. I have friends who fear marriage of their children to races they don't know. We do need to start embracing other cultures such as including them as friends, inviting them to our homes and visiting their own homes. Travel and meeting other people of different cultures do this to me. While my mind says I am not a racist, my heart tells a different story, my fears and anxieties share what is more real. So, for me, working on my own prejudices is key to the point when my heart is safe for everyone.
Stop identifying with the color of ones skin and assume the greater identity of a homo sapien-sapien, a reasoning being.
I believe it comes to us individually and it has to come from within , yes education , self or instilled from outside , is very important , but it is always going to be an individual and private journey . Kindness , compassion , consideration of others , trust , all of these are but the evolving of ones self education , gaining of wisdom and maturing . So much of what's wrong in our culture today is because of the failings of us , individually to grow from within. Hope this helps . Look to our children !
Racism is only in our heads and thus we practice it. Its like making a perception about someone you don't know and constantly judge them.
Everyone should think that "I need to change" only then, the society can. Opening up with different people with different cultures and backgrounds will surely help.
Doing so, the younger generations will learn the same and follow. Hence, creating a world free from racism and more humane.
A very interesting question! Racism is not only in America. Growing up in a racism country as I have in the past was tough for me. It is most difficult even in this time of life to actually fight against racism in most parts of the world.
DDE--I appreciate your perspective that Racism is a fact outside of America.
Yes, sadly, racism is alive and well throughout the world. Those who promote the perception that Americanism is at the root of all racism are knowingly or unknowingly part of a movement to deny the truth about the issues.
The thing that everyone can do, and must learn, is that raciscm, or genderism, or any other kind of whole-group-hatred, is NOT inborn. It is TAUGHT!
Parents must stop putting others down for any reason, and stop teaching their children to hate others based on anything, be it race, bodily appearance, gender, sexual orientation, handicaps, or any other thing that makes people appear "different" from one's own standards or appearance.
In the big picture, it is not important, and if we could get that one lesson across, worldwide, wars would finally end!
That is the SINGLE most important thing any one person can do:
Do not hate or teach hatred!
I think the best route is for us as individuals to learn about those of other ethnic/racial groups. We each have our issues, but to try to come together we have to learn about each other.
People must recognize that we are all the same. Regardless of color, or race all of our body parts are the same! Organ transplants do not see color, or race, donating blood does not involve color, or race!
If the body internally does not recognize color or race it means we are the same! (anti-rejection drugs are needed even for people who are immediate family who donate an organ)
There is simply no such thing as race difference, we are all from the same family tree (well, except for the Rh- persons who come from all races, they are less than 1% of the earth's population) - "Over the last 50,000 years, populations have gone from dark pigmented to lighter skin "
Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor … =100057939
Once people understand that we are all FAMILY, racism will end. Until governments and medical professionals clearly explain to people that we are biologically all the same, racism will continue.
Individual people who become aware of this biological fact, need to spread the word to END racism.
do your bit ... don't be a part of it and don't let it play a part in your family. when you are in the presence of those who listen to you (workplace etc) ... bring the issue up and make people realize how wrong it is.
I see the caste system as a kind of racism too and i speak against it loud and clear whenever i can. the ripple will take time to grow, i may not be alive to see it grow, but it WILL grow.
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