You’ll find multiple, free 10-minute guides here at Hollywood27.com that you can download to help you stop racism (they are essentially developed excerpts from the book HOW TO FIGHT RACISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY). You’ll also find core subject pages, listed under the End Racism Blog menu, that will help you fight racism. And of course, new weekly posts in the End Racism Blog itself can give you a wealth of philosophical ammunition when speaking out.
Beyond that, however, if you’re looking for one starting point, this page is it! Although nowhere near as extensive as the guides or the books, it’s a quick and straightforward launch pad for your future efforts. I focus on three specific keys to start your own personal fight against humanity’s lowest common denominator. Here we go…
THREE KEYS IN YOUR PERSONAL FIGHT TO STOP RACISM
KEY #1: WHY START THE FIGHT?
First, as any good philosophical approach must consider, we look at the why. Why should you put fighting racism in as a part of your life? Why should you care? Why should you speak up? Understand, racism has wreaked so much havoc in our “free” country since its inception here, that it might actually be the biggest thorn in our collective side since the United States of America began. From slavery to unequal rights to massive segregation, if I were to make a movie about racism since the dawn of the USA it would undoubtedly be called “Racism: Americans Behaving Badly”. Quick note: I’m not much of an authority on other country’s racism history (yet), but regardless of your location, the concepts here still apply.
On Hollywood 27’s Definition of Racism page you can learn more, but for now, suffice to say that some people in power here in the USA went to a great deal of effort to enforce an artificial inequality for decades on end… and we are still paying the price. Nothing in that statement is opinion by the way, just in case you’ve been informed otherwise. We, as humanity, should never even have invented the concept, so now we must engage in what’s essentially a childish fight to remove the entire concept of race from our mindset moving forward. The sooner we all step up to the plate and rectify it, the sooner we can advance as a civilization.
Imagine a world where we’re focused on the problems facing humanity, instead of being hung up on someone’s skin color. Imagine a world where it’s no longer even a part of consciousness – think of the stress that would remove from humanity, and then think of where we could instead direct all that energy. The leaps our society might take if not for the weight of racism holding us back. So when you ask why, apart from the obvious answer of all the people suffering under the weight of racism, remember the big picture – think of how much racism still holds us back as humanity.
KEY #2: HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DENT?
Next we take the “Why” question to the next level – “Why make an effort? I alone can’t possible make a difference… can I?” And more specifically, “How can I help fight racism? What can I possibly do?” I’ve heard that refrain over and over again, as it’s actually an all-too-typical response regarding almost any pressing issue these days. People want to help, but they feel that they are either just one person, that they have nothing of value to contribute, or that it would take so much work to make any real headway, it’s just simply not worth the time, hassle, etc. This is something I’ll be discussing regularly when we launch THE WALK A MILE PROJECT in Fall 2014 (you can get free access at http://walkamileproject.com), and I highly recommend keeping in touch with us over there as well.
But back to this “powerless” argument… I encourage people to speak out against acts of racism whenever it is safe to do so, and try to hit home the point that yes, one person can indeed make a difference. But again, I often hear a helpless response – “What good will saying something do? People aren’t going to change anyway.” It’s as if we expect one conversation over a hot-button subject to immediately result in a change within another person. But remember, even if you did change someone’s mind during a conversation, when it comes to touchy subjects, many people won’t admit it in the heat of the moment anyway. Call it ego, or maybe a sense of embarrassment, whatever. It will depend on that person’s level of open-mindedness, but you can’t expect a miracle when first engaging others. The battle to end racism is a marathon, not a sprint. Your job is to ignite a change in another person’s perspective, a change that might take minutes, or it might take years, but make no mistake, altering perspective is the end game.
So the first thing you need to do is overcome any feelings of helplessness you may experience – because that’s fear, not reality. Yes, one person can make a difference. Period. It’s a ridiculous, helpless notion to think that you can’t slightly start to change a person’s perspective. We all go through perspective changes during every phase of our lives – it’s part of our growth as human beings – and to act helpless in such endeavors is a disservice to everyone. We are not static beings, and when we can help each other, we should help each other.
KEY #3: MOVE INTO ACTION
There are several ways you can take action to fight racism, and in my opinion, the absolute number one priority should be to SPEAK OUT! Anytime and every time you encounter racism, if you’re in a safe environment, you should speak out against it. Don’t undervalue your own voice in this world, and the impact it can have on others. You can make a longer-lasting and more far-reaching difference than you might ever think.
Beyond the Big #1 here, however, there are probably more ways you can fight the good fight than I can even list here, but I’ll give it a try…
- First, don’t be quick to judge without getting all the facts – and both sides of the story. Racism is a difficult enough situation as it is without snap judgments complicating the situation. Know the facts before you take any hard stance, because you want to close the gap, not widen it. Keep that in mind as you proceed through the rest here…
- If you encounter racism at a business, don’t just speak out, but start a personal boycott until the business properly recognizes and fixes the racist behavior. There is ZERO place for those types of actions in our 21st century society. Zero.
- Take that boycott a step further and encourage others to join you, let the press in on it, etc.
- If a portion of government is behaving badly, local or otherwise, set up a Town Hall meeting to discuss the questionable situation with the proper officials (proper meaning the people who can actually fix the problem). We just did this in Phoenix to prevent a Ferguson-type incident from happening here, and the police chief actually agreed to implement on-officer cameras – a big deal.
- Volunteer at an organization that actively fights racism already. Change The World Films, my nonprofit film company that runs The Walk A Mile Project, also works on programs to fight racism. Contact us or any other organization doing the same, and pledge your time to help make an even bigger difference.
- Donate to a nonprofit organization as mentioned above, as a good nonprofit organization will make a bigger and more widespread difference with more funding resources available.
- Join or start a protest/march. Please note, however, that protests aren’t always an effective use of time. Make sure the protest has a clear motive and a clear objective and, of equal importance, that BOTH are clearly communicated to everyone who comes in contact with the protest. You’ll also want to ensure media coverage, and again, try to hone that message for the media (they tend to muddle up messages pretty easily if you don’t make things crystal clear).
- Keep reading! You’re here at the END RACISM BLOG: THE DOUBLE TRUTH, which is certainly a great place to start and to keep up with every single week… but there are several other great blogs on racism, each offering very unique viewpoints. As long as the blogger isn’t preaching hate or discord, listen to what they have to say – you might learn something new to help you in your own your fight to end racism.
- If you feel like you really have something to say, and/or that you’re making serious progress on and want to encourage others to join you, start your own blog just like this one. Get the word out!