|Not long ago in America|
by Michael Corthell
Prejudice, Hate and Racism. This evil trinity of human behavior will rise and fall depending on the political climate, economy and spiritual atmosphere of the times. Hating another human being for who they are or what was done to them is a very grave insubordination. It is slapping God in the face. This evil behavior carries with it severe consequences for individuals, as well as nations and societies.
''Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that...The time is always right to do what is right.''
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Prejudice is caused by negative, hateful thoughts and attitudes. These opinions and feelings toward a person or group are formed without adequate knowledge, thought or reason and are based on stereotypes. Prejudice is the result of prejudgment and leads to discrimination of and even outright hate for another human being.
Even though human beings have inborn suspicions about their fellow man, no one is born to be prejudiced. Prejudice is a learned behavior and therefor it can be unlearned. Prejudice and in turn hate are attitudes rooted in ignorance and a fear of differences.
In America today there is a resurgence of negative attitudes toward others. These attitudes were fostered by the drive for power, for political gain. How to we the people counter these hateful and racist behaviors and feelings?
We all basically want the same things for our families, our children, our communities and our country. So we have to bravely, wisely and unselfishly, do the right things for our common good and our united purpose.
Hatred and racism have always been part of the human make-up. Both are equally evil — they kill the human spirit. Hatred and racism have been used to breed divisiveness, disharmony and disunity for expressed political purposes.
At this time in history we can no longer allow hatred and racism to divide American and the world. Today we need more brotherhood, friendship, commitment and compassion. And these things will come to pass, because the nation's citizenry has been shown the true evil of prejudice, hate and racism by it's public manifestation.
How to take direct action to both combat these evils? Below are several ways:
Building a Prejudice-Free Zone Town by Town and City by City
|Establish a Human Rights Commission and a Community Watch Group in your city/town.|
|Organize a local multicultural committee that serves as an umbrella organization for groups which raise awareness about prejudice and provide support for cultural events, holiday programs or community efforts that promote intergroup harmony|
|Volunteer to serve on one of these organizations' committees and work to support their initiatives.|
|Petition government officials to issue a proclamation making your city/town a prejudice-free zone.|
|Plan a community-wide "Walk/Run Against Hate" in which sponsored participants would donate all monies pledged to an anti-bias or other human rights organization.|
|Become aware of your city/town's demographics and compare it to others around the state to better understand the diversity in your community.|
|Hold a city-wide Human Rights Day. Contact representatives of the Reebok Human Rights Board, Amnesty International, ADL and other human rights organizations to participate.|
|Build a community float that promotes understanding and respect for the diversity of your community and march in local and state parades. Contact parade officials to make sure that groups of all different backgrounds are invited to march.|
|Suggest to your local newspaper that it devote a corner of the editorial page each month to at least one opinion piece relating to anti-prejudice and pro-diversity themes|
|Meet with school and community librarians and local bookstores to discuss ways to highlight literature that is representative of all cultures|
|Compile a citizen's directory of the businesses and community organizations that exist to support diverse groups in the community.|
|Research your town/community's involvement in struggles for civil and human rights throughout history, e.g., abolition, the civil rights movement, etc., and create an exhibit for the local library/town hall.|
|Discuss alternative accessibility routes such as ramps, stairs and elevators in your community and invite speakers into your school and community groups to talk about such initiatives|
|Make sure your public facilities accommodate the needs of all residents.|
|Collect traditional family recipes from local residents for a Community Cookbook. Solicit ads to support the cost of reproducing and distributing the book as part of a welcome wagon program for new residents.|
Allegories on race and racism
by Camara Jones
Dr. Camara Jones shares four allegories on “race” and racism. She hopes that these "telling stories" empower you to do something different, and that you will remember them and pass them on.
As a teacher, her allegories on "race" and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She hopes through her work to initiate a national conversation on racism that will eventually lead to a National Campaign Against Racism.