Racism creates a community where people do not respect and trust each other. It divides people and does not create an environment of unity and understanding. It has long been a problem, and is still an issue in many parts of the world. But, what exactly is racism and how can it be mitigated?
Racism is actually the belief that a certain race is inferior or superior to another, and that an individual’s moral and social traits are predetermined by his/her biological characteristics. This problem gas exited throughout the human history. It can be defined as the belief that the other person is less important in the society because of place of birth, language, customers, skin color or any other factors that reveals the basic nature of the person. Racism has influenced slavery, wars, the formation of legal codes and nations.
According to many sociologists, racism in the United States is systematic, which means that it is embedded in every aspect of the social system. This is characterized by unjust enrichments of white people, unjust distribution of resources across the racial lines and unjust impoverishments of people of color.
Why is Racism a Problem?
Racism can cause huge damages to both the community and individuals. It also has a mental health impact, especially on young people experiencing it, which include:
- having trust issues on anybody aside from family
- ongoing feelings of being left out, depression, anger and sadness
- a constant fear of being physically and verbally abused
- sweating, muscle tension, increased heart rate and headaches
- not wanting to go to school or go out
Such impacts can diminish the quality of life of the person. It can reduce their ability to study or work productively and effectively, and to obtain their goals. It can also create feelings of self-doubt.
How to Fight Racism
There have been a lot of individuals who have fought to fight this ongoing problem. Sadly, this issue remains a problem even today. However, an awareness of the issue has also open people’s hearts, and racism is no longer a big problem as it was many years ago. In order to help mitigate or stop this problem, it should start from you. Don’t be a racist.
At an individual level, you can help fight racism by listening to, validating and allying with people who report systematic and personal racism. Many people of color revealed that whites don’t tale claims of racism very seriously. If you’re white, it is about time to stop defending the idea of post-racial societies. Instead, recognize that it still exists and that we live in a racist society. Trust and listen to those who report the problem because it starts with a basic respect for every individual.
Practice empathy and be mindful of the many commonalities that humans share. Whole it’s important to be aware of the differences, don’t focus on them and their implications, especially with regards to privilege and power. It is important for every person to fight for a just and equal society for everyone.