WHAT BIGOTRY AND PREJUDICE MEANS:
Youth witness news about acts of hate or violence caused by people filled with bigotry and prejudice. What are bigotry and prejudice? Why are people doing hateful acts? What is the meaning of those two hate words?
• big·ot·ry ˈbiɡətrē/ noun: Bigotry is prejudice and/or discrimination against one or all members of a particular group based on negative perceptions of their beliefs and practices or on negative group stereotypes.
• prej·u·dice ˈprejədəs/ noun: Prejudice is pre-judging, making a decision about a person or group of people without sufficient knowledge. Prejudicial thinking is based on stereotypes. Prejudice is a feeling or attitude.
RECENT ACTS OF BIGOTRY AND PREJUDICE
In recent news, Muslim Mosques have been set on fire, Jewish Cemeteries have been vandalized, people of color have been physically harmed and lives have been taken in senseless manners. People complain they don’t want immigrants and tell them to go back where they came from. All of the cruel actions are more hateful than words can describe. These actions probably will leave youth feeling sad, angry and scared. It is unnatural if someone didn’t feel sad, angry, or scared about these types of actions.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE ISSUES
Every day youth may witness bigotry and prejudice amongst peers. It is important to recognize actions that occur from others because of ignorance. Also, a youth may need to stop and think about their own thoughts of people who are not the same as them. Youth should take the time to learn how to understand racial and cultural stereotypes. Remember, hate hurts and deep inside most youth have a desire to not hurt others. They want acceptance and in turn, they must accept others.
You may ask yourself, “What can I do because I’m just a kid?” You may be surprised at the number of things you can do each day. Don’t be afraid and don’t assume because that is a form of stereotyping. Stereotyping is when you judge a group of people who are different from you based on your own and/or others opinions and/or encounters and it’s hurtful. Say hello to the kid with autism or invite the kid with a wheelchair to sit at your lunch table. Study with the kid whose skin color or nationality is different than your own. Get to know the kids with differences. You may find a new friend.
10 WAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD
1. Meet with school and community librarians and local bookstores to discuss ways to highlight literature that is representative of all cultures.
2. Invite clergy representing religions different from your own to participate in services and deliver the sermon.
3. Form a student-faculty committee to write “Rules of Respect” for your school and display the finished set of rules in every classroom.
4. Look for examples of youth who have struggled to overcome oppression throughout history and create an original dramatic performance based on their experiences.
5. Create a calendar with all the holidays and important civil rights dates represented in your school community.
6. Encourage representation of all students on every school board, committee, group, publication, and team.
7. Establish a Diversity Club that serves as an umbrella organization to promote harmony and respect for differences. Reach out to sports teams, drama clubs and language clubs for ideas and involvement. If your school already has a Diversity Club, hold a membership drive.
8. Invite friends from backgrounds different than your own to experience the joy of your traditions and customs.
9. Visit important landmarks in your area associated with the struggle for human and civil rights such as museums, public libraries, and historical sites.
10. Petition government officials to issue a proclamation making your city/town a prejudice-free zone.
WANT TO DO MORE?
Our SuitUp Nation website offers over 100 Calls To Action posts to keep the momentum going! We’re a group of serious human rights and social activists who dedicate ourselves to taking down Trump and his deplorable administration!
Visit SuitUp Nation’s Facebook Group to join in the conversation and become part of the #SUN movement. Make sure to let us know when you’ve taken action! Leave us a comment on our Facebook Page! Tell everyone you’re a budding activist who’s standing up for Human Rights all over North America!