Interpersonal Racism is the biased response that occurs when individuals interact with others that are considered racially different than themselves. There is visible evidence of this in the time of COVID-19, with the escalating attacks on Asian and Asian-American communities.
Everyone has a role in calling out racism and bigotry. Taking actions can be challenging. Calling out someone that has said or done something that perpetuates racism in a productive way requires practice and courage.
Microaggressions are forms of Interpersonal Racism. These harmful acts are learned and inherited from the biases in our society and our upbringing. We have been socialized to adopt these responses that are often beyond our conscious awareness and lead us to engage in actions that harm and discriminate against others.
- Look for subtle and not-so-subtle racist aggressions around you this week, including in the media.
- Review this checklist of racist behaviors and interventions (p. 6).
- Explore your role and responsibility around addressing interpersonal racism. What actions can you take?
- Watch an unscripted portrayal of white millennials in this MTV documentary from journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas. The documentary is White People.
- Read the article Love While Challenging Racist Behavior depicting a true story and a facilitator’s guide for handling situations where racism is involved.