We at Teen Central know that racial injustice, prejudice, systemic racism and all of the different ways that one person can react negatively to another person’s racial differences is not a new conversation. It’s nearly impossible to go online, or watch TV without being reminded that treating each other equally is still a work in progress. Sadly, there are many ways that people marginalize others (or treat another person as “less than” themselves) – like gender identity, physical disability, cultural background, religious affiliation, language of origin – the list goes on and on.
What we’re talking about is how we treat people that are different from us. Do we believe the best or the worst? Do we assume they will hurt us, or are we safe around them? If we don’t understand them, will they take advantage of us or will they help us if we are struggling?
It comes down to fear – fear of differences, fear of not being safe.
You may have experienced being treated differently because of how you look first-hand. You may have heard stories in your family about how relatives were (or are) treated in their every day lives. You may see news stories about horrific events that lead to people dying because of their race. And in school, you have probably learned something of the dark pieces of our history outlining how discrimination, prejudice and racism led to slavery, oppression and ongoing problems with unequal rights.
Understanding the history of racial inequality is important throughout the world because we cannot ignore how, even though we are all human, we are SO different from each other! We embrace these differences, and we know it can be a frustrating, sad, infuriating or even terrifying experience to face being treated differently only because of skin color and trying to figure out how to respond.
We hope this new “Learn” content found HERE about racial injustice and HERE about systemic racism – and this new TOOL that shows examples of racial microaggression – helps you find a way to respond, a way to speak up for yourself, a way to speak up for others, but ABOVE ALL, a way to take care of yourself and STAY SAFE!