Racism is when people, societies or systems prejudice against someone based on their color, creed, race or religion. For any country to progress, racial inclusion is crucial. The world is increasingly globalized and as such, discrimination against races cannot work in anyone’s favor. More importantly, it is against fundamental human rights.
Unfortunately, there are cases of racism every day, in everyday life, in the workplace, perhaps even in the supermarket. So how do we combat such racism?
- The Rule Is To Confront People Privately
“Typically, when someone is being racist or prejudiced, they’re not expecting what they say to be challenged because it’s so common for them and the people who think like them. So rather than starting with a public argument, you should always start by approaching the person privately and calmly raising your concern.
“My advice is to approach them privately, meaning don’t resort to name-calling or generalized statements, but rather go back to their perspective as politely as possible and point out the error in their logic. It always starts with dialogue – the rest will follow if it’s sincere enough from both sides at least. You could also mention your non-racist family members who would listen so that you can come off like a good person instead of someone angry for no reason.”
Sarah Walker, Founder of DogGoodDesire.com
- Know the Laws
“The key principle behind any question on a job application is whether the question on the application is ‘necessary as related to performing the job’. The EEOC prohibits discrimination against a job applicant because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), or disability. The intent behind the question could potentially be used by the EEOC or the courts to determine if any discrimination has occurred.
“Applicants should be asked questions only that are legitimately job-related. As such, an employer should carefully assess whether the requested information is really necessary to judge the applicant’s qualifications, level of skills and overall competence for the job in question. An employer is generally allowed to view any social media pages that a person makes public as part of a hiring process.
“Nevertheless, an employer still must follow other employment laws. An employer is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin, religion or other legally protected bases. An employer that views an applicant’s social media posts cannot discriminate based on information acquired in viewing social media posts. An employer that discovers information online and uses it as a basis for hiring decisions could face a discrimination lawsuit.
“There are multiple state jurisdictions that have passed laws that prohibit an employer from not hiring an employee based on their legal conduct while off-duty. In New York, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire an applicant because of political affiliations, tobacco and alcohol usage. That is to say, that a potential employer that discovers information on social media may not always be allowed to act on it.”
David Reischer, Esq. Employment Lawyer & Labor Relations Specialist, LegalAdvice.com
- Keep Calm and Practice Gentle Correction and Guidance
“As an Asian American, I am almost constantly or daily bombarded with what people would call racial microaggressions. I am a physician in a relatively underserved area and see many farmers and salt of the earth kind of patients.
“There are casual racist remarks that I encounter often- sometimes “positive” racism such as how they’re glad they have a smart “Oriental” doctor. Then there are the questions about where I’m from or where I was born (which is Oakland, California). Then there are questions like if I am married to my associate (who has a different last name from mine- mine is Tran; hers is Chan, but we’re both Asian and work at the same practice). There are also times in my life when I’ve been cut in line waiting at a store or restaurant as if I were invisible.
“I believe that part of it is recognizing racism in all forms and then providing gentle guidance and correction. Most people mean no harm when they ask questions like I mentioned above. I believe that becoming angry and upset in reaction to these situations is not going to change anything.
“Change starts from within. Mother Teresa said if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. The first step here, I believe, is to recognize that we are all connected and we are all the same- we are all one. That if you had grown up and lived that other person’s life, then you would say and do the exact same thing that they did.
“The second is the gentle correction. Problem don’t respond well to aggression and can become defensive due to their egos. So the gentle correction is along the lines of ‘hey actually oriental is an older term that some people get offended by. I believe the term you’re looking for is Asian or Asian American’ and then it can be followed with ‘while I appreciate your confidence in my ability, there are many physicians who are excellent doctors of all skin types and races. We’re all in this together, and I have full confidence in any of my fellow physicians’.”
Patrick Tran, M.D, physician, specifically a Board Certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon