Racism and your rights

One of the most surprising things about racism is not how prevalent its damage is spread or how deep those that propagate it are willing to descend, but instead how little is readily known about its true nature and what to do when confronted with it.

We have broached the topic of people being unaware of the true realities of racism in modern society within the UK enough times in the past, but to take the opportunity to educate not only those unaware of the perils of racism but those that suffer its indignation on how to handle that sad reality, is one that we cannot pass, so let’s take a look tackling the ugliness of racism.

Is racism truly as big of a deal as it is made out to be? I don’t see racist people and I’m not racist so perhaps it’s not common. I’ve even heard news outlets say it’s just over exposure and political plays

Yes, racism is truly the plague that it is made out to be and certainly still very much a problem for modern society.

This is one of the more dangerous assumptions made concerning the already dangerous assumption that is racism. As many people are not privy to the same exact experience that many people within the UK are still all too familiar with, taking the moment to state that racism is still very much alive may seem like stating the obvious but is quite necessary.

I just witnessed someone discriminating against another person in the street, what should I do?

Facing the ugliness of racism in your daily life is not something anyone readily expects, or at least wishes to, so when you encounter it, it may be a bit difficult to know what to do.

Though first and foremost, safety for yourself, everyone around you, and of course the person suffering the indignation of discrimination should be paramount. That being said, simply ignoring the event is not the right course of action. Instead, gently intervene in a safe way.

That could mean stepping in to let the other person know others can see them being disrespectful and moving in to prevent the harasser from continuing to subject someone to such harm by simply removing them from the situation. Though as situations like this often involve a person who is often intimidating, involving authorities may the best option. So if you see something happening, call the authorities and move to safely intervene if at all possible.

My co-worker often makes very offensive jokes which make me feel uncomfortable. After expressing it to management, actions were taken but I feel not enough was done as my co-worker has yet to stop. Should I quit?

Discrimination in the workplace is not only offensive towards sensible people’s standards but illegal. There are laws in place that govern employers’ actions towards discrimination within the workplace and if you feel your employer is not doing enough to prevent or protect you from discrimination, or even worse your employer is the perpetrator of these actions, know that you can take legal action.

If you made it known to both your co-worker and management that the offensive behaviour is unacceptable than you may have grounds to seek legal action. Before deciding which road to take, it is imperative that you consult a legal professional to consider all the possibilities in rectifying the situation.

How can I take action against racism in my own life?

If you are ready to finally make your voice heard in the fight against discrimination, then you are in good company, and surely plenty of it.
So finding a way to make your stance known can take quite a few different paths.

If you prefer to take immediate action and like getting involved, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for many organisations that educate people against the dangers of racism or help those affecting by it.

If activism is not your particular strength, there are still many ways you can take a stand against racism. Simply commit to standing beside those that suffer the indignation of racism while being open to their experience. Being a true ally to those that suffer the devastating effects of racism is one of the simplest ways you can stand against racism.

While there are no easy answers when it comes to racism, and certainly no easy solutions, taking the time to educate not only ourselves but others about the very real presence and danger of racism in our society is the only way to finally move beyond its harmful reach and move towards a better, more inclusive society.