Published on juillet 2nd, 2015 | by Archer0
How To Conquer Racial Discrimination on Social Media
For many years, I have always been aloof of the ‘ASL’ question when entertaining chatmates from across the globe (for first timers, ‘ASL’ means Age / Sex / Location), out of the adamant fear that my honest response would mark my identity forever. Before that, I was bold enough to casually give away my nationality. I would say, “I’m from the Philippines” or “I’m a Filipino” in a nonchalant wave only to be greeted with silence and then a sudden “username XXX has disconnected”. On some occasions, I have even experienced more brutal remarks such as “Ewww, don’t you all drink sewage water?” or “People from your country are homeless,” which left me mute and frozen in shock. It’s only after I had given it much thought that I finally came to my senses. I asked myself, “Why should I care about what other people think of what I am or where I’m from?”
So, if you’re facing a similar situation, here’s a brief guide for you to deal with it. I hope you’ll find it useful.
First step: DO NOT OVERREACT.
For overreaction leads to unwanted confrontations and cathartic emotional outbursts. It’s best to keep your temper at bay when you’re served a racist remark. First, you must convey your discomfort to the other person on the line without sounding too defensive. You can ask, “Why do you say that?” and gauge the person’s point of view as to why he/she feels that way. He may have been misinformed or is just basing on his maligned opinion from an obsolete source of information.
Keep in mind that racist people often want to gain the upper hand through intimidation. Don’t get flustered. They will likely push all buttons to anger you. Instead, keep doing what you’re doing.
« One person challenging a racist comment in a calm and measured way in a train, a bus, at a party, at work can have a profound influence on all those who witness it. » – Adele Horin, Sydney Morning Herald
Second step: SPEAK UP.
According to a research, speaking up is proven to be beneficial for the offended party. It somehow lessens the damage and abuse brought upon by the racist person. In retaliation, it could possibly be good for the offender as well. The act of speaking up may disprove his existing norms.
“People who are racist think they have got more support in society than they actually do. If you don’t say anything they’ll continue to believe it that way. But if you do, they might start to reassess the situation,” says Prof Yin Paradies from Deakin University.
Lastly, REACT ON THE ISSUE, not on the person.
Oftentimes, it is best NOT to fight fire with fire. According to a popular adage, “when life gives you lemons, make a lemon juice instead!” Accept the fact that there might always be someone who’ll just judge you on the outside based on your appearance, race, nationality, etc. One thing to remember is to NOT call a racist person ‘racist’. This would only aggravate their behavior.
Maybe, despite being in the progressive era of the 21st century, somewhere in the deepest part many people’s minds, racial discrimination still lurks in existence. Just remember to live comfortably under your own skin no matter what – and people won’t be able to use it to hurt you.
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