Last week in Australia, interethnic intolerance reared its ugly head, as racially-motivated rioting broke out in a Sydney suburb. Hundreds of young Caucasian Australians met on the beach of Cronulla to protest a presumed attack on two surf lifeguards by a group of young men of Middle Eastern appearance. According to media reports, this alcohol-fuelled outbreak degenerated into a full-blown riot and confrontations with police.
This last year following accusations of profiling by Montreal Police, the Black Coalition of Quebec (http://www.liguedesnoirs.org/) stated that racism and intolerance are still all to common in our society.
These racist gatherings are often set up by small, very well organized, hate groups who have no qualms about using any tactic available, including rumors and misinformation, in order to convince naive young people to participate. These groups often make the most of available technologies, using text messaging, the Internet, interactive websites, discussion forums and blogs, and will hand out free t-shirts, caps and other promotional items, sending out their message of intolerance at the parties that they organize.
Take concrete actions
We must act to combat racism, sexism, homophobia, bi-phobia and trans-phobia, and take concrete actions that are as inclusive as possible. Even something as simple as voicing our disapproval when someone tells a discriminatory joke or passes a racist comment, this has an impact. Discrimination can sometimes be very subtle but is always negative. In situations in which you feel safe enough to react, don’t let these negative comments and actions go unnoticed.
Include people of different ethnic origins, religions and social classes in your circle of friends. Encourage and support members of minority groups by inviting them to take or share positions of power.
For example, you could encourage a person to represent their class or even their school in social, competitive or sporting activities. Accept people for who they are. We are all human. We are all the same living, biological beings whose differences lie only in our appearances.
You will see that by sharing our strengths and embracing our differences, we will make great strides towards the advancement of our society.
Say NO to racism visit: (http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/e/sayno.htm)
What have YOU done to stop racism? React now by clicking the icon below.