-Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Reports of racist incidents, and vulgar, open indications of intolerance have been on the increase. No more covert racism, which pervades North American society, but public, overt, loudly stated words, calling upon the strength of Trumpistic bombastic words. It's not just teenagers, but adults on social media, and on public transportation, as well.
I wondered what I could do, other than rant. I don't hear this kind of thing amongst my friends, yet I know it exists. I've culled a few ideas, having done some research, and found that there are many anti-hate groups in both the US and Canada, despite many of us being immigrants.
What Can I Do?
- Listen, validate and honour the feelings of those who suffer racism
- Ask questions
- Celebrate diversity
- Report hate crimes: there are laws against hate crimes all around the world
- Educate yourself about different cultures
- Learn how to pronounce your friend's difficult names
- Clarify issues, read and learn
- Challenge racists around you, if you are comfortable doing so
- See something, say something
- Correct your mistakes
- Respect people as individuals, not as representatives of a specific group
- Refuse to listen to racist or stereotypical jokes
- Contribute to anti-hate, advocacy groups, e.g., Canada: Stop Racism and Hate Canada or the USA: Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Laud the great stories of those who care about one another.
Share Positive Change-making StoriesIndividuals are making a difference. This story has made the news. Basically, a group of immigrants, and visible minorities, helped a young man on the TTC his way to a job interview. Total strangers.
This morning while waiting for the subway to leave Finch station, a Latino guy entered the train looking very angry and irritated. Sitting down in front of me, head in hands...
|Montreal Gazette, Nov. 15/16|
|Southern Poverty Law Center: |
hate group map
There's red, anti-Semitic graffiti all over the door, side and sign for Machzikei Hadas synagogue. The cleaner just arrived. pic.twitter.com/JubRUGFFSu— Andrew Foote (@amkfoote) November 17, 2016
Hamilton woman alleges racism in the wake of Trump win https://t.co/7w2gj2F5YB— Adrian Emmanuel (@bradrian) November 15, 2016
Be careful Canada, your racism is showing :) https://t.co/mxWk44erB4— Mustafa (@MustafaThePoet) November 9, 2016
'Very disturbing' signs call for white people to mobilize against multiculturalism in Toronto https://t.co/Sq6to9fTvX— Global BC (@GlobalBC) November 14, 2016
Under this paper, on a door in the Glebe, are a spray-painted swastika and the word KIKE. A rabbi lives here. pic.twitter.com/MP5xxo88NE— David Reevely (@davidreevely) November 15, 2016
Workers have already removed graffiti from the front door of a Glebe Jewish prayer centre, tagged w/swastika, ethnic slur. #ottnews pic.twitter.com/2uMwI5gEIP— Jason White (@1310JasonWhite) November 15, 2016