Racism is not a naturally acquired ability that people are born with. Instead, it is derived based on how an individual is brought up and how they are educate when they are younger.
There are endless solutions to stop, prevent or fix racism. This does not means that racism would end because racism will always exist for as long as we live. This is a fact that we must accept. However, what the schools, government and the rest of the communities can do is help to minimize racism. It's a shame that many people feel such hatred towards a group, but if they try to deal with such anger or negative feeling maturely and correctly, they will be able to be more comfortable and relax around the minority groups.
There are no genes for race. The DNA of any two humans is 99.97% identical. We are all related, all connected, all one people. Therefore, if one can be of broader minded, and does not judge people based on their skin colour and embrace them for who they are. That would definitely be a significant step towards minimizing racism.
Racism in Australia against the Indians
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As mentioned in the article, one Indian student was admitted to hospital with 30 percent burns over his body when a suspected petrol bombs was hurled at him. It was the fourth attack on Indian students in three weeks. Prior to this, the most serious incident involved a student from Andhra Pradesh. He was stabbed with a screwdriver by a group of teens.
An Indian community leader in Sydney said that there had been at least 20 attacks on Indian students in the city in a month alone, but most went unreported. He estimated that there have been more than 100 attacks on Indian students studying in Australia in the last 12 months.
A rash of what are seen here as ‘racist attacks' on Indian students in Australia has prompted calls for India to warn students against going there for studies.
Racism had caused so much harm and pain to so many people in so many countries. It's a big thing for a small word.
Racism is destructive. It denies people by devaluing their identify. It denotes a blind and unreasoning hatred, envy or prejudice. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society. It is the exact opposite of the democratic principle of equality and the right of all people to be treated fairly.
Racism is a global phenomenon which has its roots in the belief that humans beings can be divided into races and that member of some races are inferior to members of other races. This might be because they belong to a particular race, ethnic or national group. People who believe in racism are called racist.
The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one. It is essential to understand racism in order to recognise and counter it successfully.
Effects on the society
Racism in schools and workforces are often not recognised or addressed by teachers or others in authority that has the capability to do something about it. It seems that those who do not experience racism themselves either does not see the need to acknowledge it. They tend to dismiss it as trivial and do not see its potential for damage. Even worse, such prejudice were generated and enforced by social agents such as peers, family and media etc.
This danger is when racist attitudes and behaviours are permitted to go unchecked in school, workforce or even in public. This subconsciously creates a climate which sees theses actions as normal and acceptable and therefore allows racism to become entrenched and rooted in our society.
University of Sydney conducted a survey on the extent and distribution of prejudice attitudes in Australia, as well as testimonials on the reported experience of racism. 5056 people participated in this telephone survey throughout Australia.
Findings suggest a substantive degree of racism in Australian.
82% of the participants recognise the problem of racism, leaving the rest of the percentage in denial. Racist attitude are positively associate with non-tertiary education, age and to a slightly lesser extent with those who do not speak a language other than English.
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About 15% of Australians have experienced racism within settings like workplace and in schools. Frequencies of racism happening in workplace were higher than for in the institutions. Among all, the experience of racism at shops and sporting events were the highest. About one-in-every-four (25%) Australian reports the experience of ‘everyday racisms.' This includes name calling, making racist comments or jokes, and making fun of people's accents.
Furthermore, about 12% of respondents admitted that they are prejudiced against other cultures therefore self identifying their own racism. This is horrifying as we are talking about having one-in-every-ten Australian who are racist by the narrowest of definitions.
There is still a general inadequacy of concrete evidence as to the extent of racism worldwide.
Racism breeds hatred and such hatred can create potential dangers to the society. Here is an example - the murder of James Byrd Jr.
In June 1998, Byrd was mercilessly beaten and towed for miles behind a pickup truck with a heavy logging chain wrapped around his ankles. Byrd died when his body hit the edge of a culvert, which cut off his arm and head. His death was absurd and beyond senseless, recognized as an inhuman hate crime committed for no reason - other than the fact that he was black.
There are still thousands of similar cases out there and this is terrifying as one can get killed for being different.
Inequality in society
Even till now, many people still choose to ignore the problem of racism. Here is a simple example - my friend's parents will not let their daughter date anyone outside their race. As you can see from this simple example, racism creates inequality in society with their prejudice in race and therefore must be addressed in our communities.
Suggestions to minimize racism
Institutions play a crucial role in the contribution towards the development of a community free from racism. There are indicative responsibilities for institutions in relation to tackling racism.
One of which is to afford an inclusive learning and working environment that allow all students and personnel the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Furthermore, the school must also acknowledge and respond to the specific requirements of students, personnel and community from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This would prepare students and personnel to contribute towards the development of just and harmonious society. Even further, school can develop a policy statement against all forms of racial discriminations.
In school, as students, they can stop racism by saying no to racist jokes and insults. In addition, students can organise events such an inter-cultural music and film convention. They can show films on prejudice, discrimination, racism and stereotyping. This would be much more effective than attending talks on related topics as students are generally more interested in music and movies.
Families should also educate their children that it is never acceptable to make fun of people from different cultures, disrespect and bullying students from different linguistic groups.
Kevin, M.Dunn. (2003, February 18). Racism in australia: findings of a survey on racist attitudes and experiences of racism. Retrieved on November 27, 2009, from http://www.chilout.org/files/RacismSurvey.pdf
(2005, November 15). Understanding racism. Retrieved on November 27, 2009, from http://www.racismnoway.com.au/library/understanding/index-What.html
(2005, November 15). The Role of school education. Retrieved on November 27, 2009, from http://www.racismnoway.com.au/library/school-education/