Countering Racist and Other Stereotyping

Anti-racism protest

We like to accent here resources for dealing with various forms of racism, sexism, and heterosexism (Creative Commons License photo credit: uwdigitalcollections). Leslie Aguilar has put together an important website and book that suggests various strategies for dealing with stereotyped and prejudiced commentaries and performances that you may encounter in your daily rounds.

The suggestions include responding to racist and other stereotyped comments from acquaintances or others with a simple reaction like, “ouch, that hurts” or “ouch, that stereotype hurts.” I have suggested similar modest counters such as, “what does that mean?” or “what did you mean by that?” Or “can you explain that joke to me?”

Such counters are important for several reasons, including the act of calling out the racist, sexist, or homophobic remark for what it is–that is noting the stereotyped image, notion, or emotion in such a remark and not letting it pass by unremarked upon. By calling it out, you often keep more such remarks from coming. Calling it out also may allow a further discussion about why that remark or joke hurt, and who was hurt. We need to build such actions into regular Stereotyping 101 and Racism 101 courses at all levels of U.S. schooling.

Try out his video preview here.