Chapter 6: Casual Racism
From our focus groups, we found that 93% of our participants experienced casual racism. But what is it?
Casual racism stems from a negative stereotype about a race or a religion. It can come from over-familiarity and can be presented in the form of an off-handed comment or, in some cases, jokes between social groups.
Due to the casual nature of these comments, it can be downplayed as a ‘joke’, or reduced to the realm of ‘not really racist’ – but the impact can be just as harmful as someone being overtly racist.
In some ways, I would argue that it can be more harmful than overt racism because the latter is easy to spot and accept, yet casual or benign racism can keep you quiet in fear of being labelled sensitive or crazy.
Looking at casual racism from another lens, is it racist or acceptable when the joke is amongst friends or family members? How often do you see a Nigerian, Ghanian, Indian or Pakistani imitate their parent’s or uncle’s voice or mannerism?
Or what about comedians? Often comedians make jokes about their own experiences and often they will make jokes about their own race.
When does this cross the line of a joke into racism? Or does it cross the line at all? Let me know your thoughts in the comments...
Read more on Casual Racism by purchasing I Don’t Mean to Sound Racist But… Examining The Different Faces of Racism, through the link on our bio… Stay Adept
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