The racial discrimination and loathe you give.
Photo by Raphael Brasileiro from Pexels
Written by Sumayyah Namusabi
As we all already know, racism/racial discrimination is any kind of discrimination on individuals basing on their skin color, race, ethnic or national origin, physical appearance, language, religion and culture. You would think that we are in modern times and the “world has changed” but child, the world just can't get past hate and racism. This pandemic is part of a big virtual system of hierarchy that it is impossible for us to escape the grip of its hand.
Why racism is still extant?
How we are raised: Most of our life habits (or what is good and bad) are acquired at home, in society and everything surrounding our upbringing. Racism can start with people around us expressing racist views which we later in life take on ourselves or it can kick-off from when we raise our kids in bubbles where it's hard for them to interact with other kids from different backgrounds. When we are young, there are different factors that can shape our attitudes towards different things.
Categories: It’s common for people to keep company of people with the same interests, background, culture or language to feel a sense of belonging. However, this leads to an ‘Us’, ‘Them’ mentality over time creating sectors (which cause ingroup allegiances and intergroup conflicts) thus discriminations, which solidify racist perceptions and beliefs.
Stereotyping: We have these over-generalized beliefs and expectations about certain groups of people’s personalities, abilities or preferences regardless of individual differences. The good good news is we can beat stereotypes by not judging a whole group of people, get to know people from different backgrounds and find out how much you have in common instead.
The downside of racism | Health Effects
Studies show that experiencing racism (e.g. harassment, direct and indirect racial discrimination) can be a key factor in physical and mental health issues in both young and adult victims.
They further enlighten racism significant associations with physical health outcomes, particularly blood pressure and hypertension, & cardiovascular disease Plus mental health or well-being outcomes being self-esteem and psychological distress, anxiety and depression.
How to deal with racism.
It's going to be a long road to the eradication of racism but first, it's important we recognize and accept we have a problem and then unlearn the ways that created the problem in the first place. Meanwhile, here are some of the ways to deal with a racist;
- Ignore them; Most racists are bigots and so full of them themselves looking for an argument or fight, seeking for some kind of attention. It’s best to deflect the conversation and completely ignore them or simply walking away from the situation.
- Call out the issue, not the person; Present your feelings about the issue with disapproval or discomfort. Question their views without provoking an argument or a debate.
- Try not to get triggered; Racists want to push your buttons and get you worked up. Control your anger because in the end getting worked up only brings high blood pressure and stress.
- Be kind; Sometimes people make racist remarks based on the things that they have heard before. Being kind to them might just make them realize their ignorance about somethings.
Coping is also a way to defend yourself against racism’s mental health effects. Learn generally how to deal with negativity and get support from family and friends.
Not only is racial discrimination/racism wicked and unethical, it can also take a toll on the victims' health, both mentally and physically. Treat everyone like you would want to be treated. In the end, we all belong to the human race.
Check out informative books written on racism below.