Saturday 26 November 2016

Right-Wing Extremism and Racism, what can I do?

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." 
-Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992) 

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 Stories

Individuals 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.
Salma Hamidi
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...
See more
This was posted on Facebook:

 on Kingston Transit:

Tommy Vallier feeling frustrated.
A man, on Kingston Transit, witnessing two young, white men harassing a young black teen, simply went and sat beside her on the bus, ensuring their angry, racist words stopped.

Montreal Gazette, Nov. 15/16

Southern Poverty Law Center: 
hate group map


Olga said...

Thank you for posting this. It is so important that we all do what we can to counter the current permission that has been given to an unsavory segment of society. I am so sorry it has leaked into Canada as well.

Anvilcloud said...

The election unleashed some bad elements who now feel free to TRUMPet their racism.

Cloudia said...

Very sad. We will not be silent. I will say that no one has really spoken to disaffected white people except for agitators, except to correct and 'educate' them, ignoring concerns that have exploded into the election of a manifest idiot to be US president. Deeply disappointing but not the end. Get ready for a bigger penduluum swing to tolerance and the future. Hillary DID get more votes. This will mobilize young americans who never knew a president but Obama who don't know that progress is not to be taken for granted! Society can not go back. Will not. Very honest of you to show that this ugliness is not confined to the south of our shared border, Jenn

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
some strong 'can dos' there Jenn! Basic human sense, you'd think; but sadly the animalistic base nature of our race believes it has been given some kind of permission to turn over all the good work which has taken place for equality and tolerance. Great post! YAM xx

Red said...

Good on you for doing some research and organizing some ideas to help people make a stand against such garbage.

William Kendall said...

I have seen that rabbi periodically in the streets in the Glebe. I was shocked to hear of the graffiti incident.

Kay said...

Thank you for this post, Jenn. I was in Korea when Trump won and we were all in shock. I can still hardly believe it. It makes me ill to see the evening news with Trump walking around as President Elect. I've heard a friend and relative who actually voted for him and just want to shake them! I don't understand it! I just don't understand it! How could this have happened?

Debbie said...

what an excellent post, well worth taking the time to write! the state of our country is so very sad, but we all have to come together and support our new president. with comments like kay's, and people continuing to make those statements, that will never happen! i respect the freedom of speech but i am a person of high respect for our government!!

and racism, which is what this post is really about - is about tolerance, love and kindness. or the lack thereof!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We are living in sad and dangerous times. I have to concentrate on doing what I can... the person who sat besid the Black teenager is a good exa,m,ple ofwhat one person can do.