Join The Race - The Race To Stop Racism
We would like to believe that racism is a thing of the past. Many people, particularly individuals that are not directly affected by racism, want to believe that the struggle is over. However, the truth of the matter is that racism is still a reality for many individuals today throughout the world. This is not to say that we haven’t made great strides in the fight against racism, it merely means that we can do more. How do we work to in effect ‘erase racism’? Well, the first step is to identify what racism is in the first place.
The Need to Define Racism
It is important to define racism, since people will often disagree upon its exact parameters. Making generalizations about a particular racial group's traits or abilities constitutes racism. Contrary to popular belief, making positive generalizations about a race is still racist. Assuming that a person is going to have a particular interest or ability based on his or her race is racist, even if that interest is benign or even if that ability is positive. Racism is very much a spectrum. While a person that occasionally cracks racist jokes is nowhere near as problematic as a person that outright physically mistreats members of other races; however, both individuals are still being racist.
Racism can be very subtle. In some cases there are those that, due to simple population graphics, who may never experience racism in the way that a person of color or certain ethnicities might. And there are others who might be offended if a TV show has a cast that is disproportionately white, while others may react differently. It is the little things like that, that contributes to a culture that favors a particular racial group over others.
How To Help Stop Racism
Education has been instrumental in stopping racism in the past, and it can continue to be instrumental in the future. New generations need to grow up without harmful prejudices about people of other races. Continued improvements in the arena of representation of minorities in the media can also help. Children need to grow up watching positive images of people of color, and that includes children of color themselves. Far too many people of color feel as if their current subject position in the United States is inevitable. The history of racism in the United States has demonstrated that it is possible to make genuine progress, which is comforting to people today.
Part of making racism something that is relegated to history today involves refusing to tolerate it. What does refusing to tolerate it entail? It means to not tell racist jokes or allow other people to do the same. It means to perhaps view the journey of others, of all colors and of all races through a different lens. It means to continue to evoke hope for those around us. It means that knowing inside our hearts that with HOPE, no situation is hopeless.