A World Without Racism Listens
Listening to Strangers
One of the biggest challenges to ending racism is to get strangers to listen. The reason this is such a big hurdle is that they do not know you and you do not know them. This in turn leads to the challenge of them doubting your presented information due to them having a suspicion that you have an alternative motivation. This type of supposition and doubt continue to perpetuate the problems that we see today. We can stop this cycle with some simple changes to the way we approach strangers in regard to sensitive topics.
The first change for us to implement is to understand that we cannot be assertive when dealing with strangers. We need to be open and non-intrusive. If we do not commit to those actions, we have very little chance of living in a world of equality and no racism. It is important to note that listening is not the same as hearing and to truly listen we need to have the full intent to understand each other and engage in the conversation in a meaningful way. It also means setting aside your ego and directing all of your attention to what the speaker is saying, withholding any judgment. Listening to what others say is the best form of understanding why people think the way they do. By listening, we are able to understand what their perspective and mindset are. This allows us to provide a connection that helps us understand and interpret things. This in turn helps active listening take place, and active listeners enable us to end racism.
An example of this can be seen by interacting with those who have an opposing view from you, in a non-threatening way, to understand and interpret what their mindset is and see what their perspective is whether it be at a rally, at your workplace, or anywhere else. Engage in a conversation that would allow them to think and reflect on what they believe. This way you aren’t forcing your beliefs onto them, instead, you are just providing an alternative perspective to what they believe. This type of approach rather than one in which you force your belief onto strangers allows for the strangers to be more willing to listen to what you have to say and be more receptive to changing the mindset they have.
Some non-direct ways through which you can become more educated in this realm and gain exposure are through community classes that teach history that may not be taught otherwise, learn information from reputable sources, and interacting and speculating in regards to others’ beliefs to help with the termination of racism. All of these steps are important in the fight to end racism. We need to talk with strangers who promote the current racist situations, and when we are successful, we are able to change the world towards ending racism once and for all.