The Southern Poverty Law Center recommends the following steps:
- Be Ready.
You know another moment like this will happen, so prepare yourself for it. Think of yourself as the one who will speak up. Promise yourself not to remain silent. Open-ended questions often are a good response. “Why do you say that?” “How did you develop that belief?”
- Identify the Behavior.
Sometimes, pointing out the behavior candidly helps someone hear what they’re really saying: “Janice, what I hear you saying is that all Mexicans are lazy” (or whatever the slur happens to be). Describe the behavior; don’t label the person.
- Set Limits.
You cannot control another person, but you can say, “Don’t tell racist jokes in my presence anymore. If you do, I will leave.” Then follow through.
- Appeal to Principles.
If the speaker is someone you have a relationship with – a sister, friend or co-worker, for example – call on their higher principles: “Bob, I’ve always thought of you as a fair-minded person, so it shocks me when I hear you say something that sounds so bigoted.”
- Find an Ally/Be an Ally.
When frustrated in your own campaign against everyday bigotry, seek out like-minded people and ask them to support you in whatever ways they can.
- Be Vigilant.
Remember: Change happens slowly. People make small steps, typically, not large ones. Stay prepared, and keep speaking up. Don’t risk silence.
For more, visit: www.splcenter.org
Repost from March 18, 2016.
Photo: Respect Image, Dreamstime.com