The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines racism as “racial prejudice or discrimination.” In other words, it refers to any behavior that judges people based on their race or nationality.
Fortunately, racism is not much of an issue in Dubai, since most of the residents here are expatriates. Still, if you encounter racist behavior or discrimination of any kind, it is important to know how to respond properly. This article provides steps for dealing with racism.
5 Steps for Dealing with Racism
Step #1 – Be Patient.
When someone says or does something bad against us, our natural instinct would be to react negatively. However, this will only make matters worse and could lead to a full-blown fight. If you find yourself the target of a racist act or slur, be patient. Take a deep breath and count one to ten. This will give you time to think clearly and be in control of the situation.
Step #2 – Respond in a Positive Way.
Remember the saying, “two wrongs don’t make a right?” This also applies to racism. Instead of responding negatively, fight with kindness and wisdom instead. Show them that you are not affected by what they say, and just keep on doing what you think is right.
Step #3 – Be Confident and Assertive.
Believe in yourself, because self-esteem and confidence can go a long way. When you are confident about your skills and abilities, no amount or racist behavior can bring you down. If someone tries to hurt you with negative words, assert yourself calmly and firmly. Explain that he or she is wrong to discriminate, and that your race does not dictate your abilities.
Step #4 – Confide in Trusted Friends.
Of course, there may be times when you feel angry, hurt, and affected by racist behavior. Hence, it is important for you to have friends that you can trust. Most likely, they have also experienced discrimination, so they understand where you are coming from. Don’t try to face it alone.
Step #5 – Report the Situation.
If a person still tries to hurt you repeatedly despite your patient and positive response, you may need to report about it to an authority figure. For instance, work-related racist behavior may be reported to a supervisor, manager, or a “grievance committee,” if possible. These authorities can help mediate and resolve the situation before it gets worse and affect more people.
Always remember that nobody has the right to make you feel bad or inadequate. Your appearance, accent, gender, or race do not make you less qualified or inferior to others. By being patient, confident, and assertive, you can overcome any acts of racism that may come your way.