Challenging a social ill like racism is no easy task. In countries like the United States, slavery was legal in some states for a very long time, between the sixteenth and nineteenth century. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and the Thirteenth Amendment (1865), it took a Rosa Parks in December 1955 to ignite the Civil Rights Movement.
Racial inequality is still a widespread problem in the United States.
Must we wait hundreds of years for immigrants and minorities in Europe to be treated as equals?
In Finland, for example, the Romany minority has waited for half a century for social equality.
There was a distressing story on Jyväskylä-based Keskisuomalainen about a young dark-skinned twenty-year-old woman who was in a toilet. One of the white Finnish women standing in line exclaimed upon seeing the black woman: “I’m not going to [sit on the same toilet bowl] as that n-word,” she said speaking to a woman behind her. “You go ahead if you dare.”
The insults by the woman in a Jyväskylä toilet didn’t stop here: “You can fucking go where you came from. I can’t stand people who live off my taxes and leech in this country and live like insects.”
The sad matter of the story is not only the loudmouth racist, but the woman who wrote about what happened on Keskisuomalainen. She didn’t speak up on the spot and tell the racist woman that what she was saying was out of line.
Challenging a social ill like racism isn’t easy. I therefore raise my hat to the woman for at least writing about what happened. I’m certain she’ll never forget what she heard in that Jyväskylä toilet because what she heard is disturbing. Racism not only hurts its victims but some of its bystanders like the rest of society.
Racism can rally some pretty “colorful” people as the video clip below shows.
The English Defense League is a dangerous organization. One of its followers claims that he’s marching against “Muslamic law” and “Muslamic ray guns.”*
How do you challenge racism?
By raising your voice and expressing your disapproval if somebody speaks or treats anyone n a racist way.
Since racists are cowards, a strong show of disapproval of their behavior can make them think twice before they think again before opening their mouths.
* Thank you Mikko Kapanen for the heads-up.