It's your right to stand up for yourself and your family; but mostly, for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Who decides a comment is offensive to someone or not? Is it the people who make such intolerable remarks, or should the power rest in the hands of the one being judged due to of his/her race? Time changes everything; but does it really? Since decades, we have seen countless occurrences of racism against people of a particular skin color or ethnic group.
There are different forms of racism that still linger in our so-called "progressive" society. Verbal attacks are one of them. It doesn't just offend or hurt someone's feelings; the existing hate in such comments has the ability to destroy an entire community.
Even though it is tough to predict when or for how long racist comments will plague our world, one thing is for sure―we can try to deal with them, one remark at a time.
Dealing with Racist People and Their Remarks
However, as cruel as the truth is, such comments don't disappear after a single appearance; a repeat performance is always due in one way or another. So, what should be your reaction when it comes to being the target of racist comments? Read the rest, and find out for yourself.
Ignore, and you lose the right to speak freely and initiate a discussion.
Often, keeping quiet and ignoring such comments may be an easier option. But for how long, and to what extent? Such comments are like a disease; if not cured (or even treated), it will spread like the plague. There will be moments when you may be caught off guard, and a reply might not be at the ready.
But know this, no matter what the comment, joke, or remark may be, there is one thing you can say, "I am proud of who I am, and more so because of the color of my skin." Confronting someone is never easy, whether they are strangers or someone you know. Which is why, you should focus on being direct rather than defensive with your statements.
Choose not to begin an argument or a debate, otherwise your stand won't make any difference.
The last thing you want to do is start a racist debate. Once you've had the chance to say your piece, and the "discussion" is turning towards becoming an "argument", it is best to agree to disagree with the person. The racial stereotypes and hurtful comments made by this individual probably won't go away if he/she thinks that they are valid.
Wasting your time and ruining your peace of mind over this is futile. So, the best thing to do is to end the discussion right then and there, and say one simple thing before leaving, "Your comments are hurtful, and I would appreciate if you do not say such things in front of me."
It is essential to stay calm, not get angry, and react only to convey your feelings.
More often than not, racist comments are directed only to provoke the individual for a heated reaction. So, it is completely natural to feel angry and disheartened that even today, there are people who differentiate between human beings.
No matter how strong a person is, such remarks are upsetting. A reaction is necessary which lets the other individual know that racial comments will not be tolerated. And if your talk makes no difference to them, distance yourself and your family from them; explain to them that you would rather not know the individual, or subject your family to an insult.
To a stranger, your personal details will not make a difference.
Revealing personal details about your life, various experiences, and struggles will never make a racist person understand his/her mistake. Instead, they will want you to give more information that can be used against you later on. So, the best thing to do is to walk away.
If a person cannot understand that his/her comments are stereotypical or racist, how will it make any difference when he/she knows more about you?
Pity them, for they do not know.
No specific religion, culture, race, or skin color is superior to another group. But sadly, this truth is not known to many. Educating them, or even preaching won't work.
When such individuals have decided not to alter their malignant thinking, your energy will fall on deaf ears. And at such times, the best thing to do is feel bad for them. Their negative energy is not only spreading hate towards others, but it is also consuming them from within.
We have always inferred and agreed upon one ideology when it comes to racism―it never is because people are ignorant. But to make more clear, there is a quote by Alex Haley, author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and co-author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which fits the bill here.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "We must become the change we want to see." Even though there are people in this world who wish to bring about a "change", it is tough to sustain such emotions as there will be those who wish to destroy the will. What we need now is to stand together, clasping each other's hands, and be a hero for a better world.