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Can You Be Accidentally Racist?

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Racism, like sexism, ageism, or really any -ism, is somewhat of a hot button topic for me. But, probably not in the way you are thinking. I realize that discrimination and prejudice happen all over the world, and even in our own neighbourhoods, but I do not think that the way we perceive or handle it (at least in North America) is beneficial or productive.

I find that many people tend to have verbal diarrhea when it comes to terms like racism and discrimination. Calling someone a racist does not automatically make you “win.” Screaming discrimination does not automatically entitle you to whatever you want. Sometimes, probably usually, race or culture or sex or religion has nothing to do with it. Now I realize that there are some instances when it’s clear that there is a bigger, underlying problem (such asĀ Ferguson) and I’m not talking about countries/areas that have obvious concerns (like the middle east), but in most circumstances we need to take a step back and reflect.

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