With the current chaos and protests going on in the United States for the past few years, things are looking rather bleak. While racism is currently a trending topic that people are fortunately speaking out on, it’s perpetually been there and still is. So we need to do what we can to get rid of fear, discrimination, and violence so that our world can be a better place. Here are some ways that we can all work to move from a place of unnecessary violence and discrimination to create more love and acceptance:

Stop Judging Appearances

The way that people look says nothing about who they are as a person. The bottom line is that we’re all human, and we all deserve equal acceptance and love. Discriminating against others because of the assumptions you draw when you see them is completely unacceptable.

Thinking that you’re separate from other people because they look different than you is how fear is born. And fear is the prerequisite of discrimination and violence. It’s important to alleviate any ignorance or fear by being open to the fact that everyone on this earth just wants to be accepted. 

At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. It’s horrific and unfortunate that racial divisions have become so deep-rooted amongst us. 

To avoid making initial judgements off of someone’s appearance and create more love, it’s a good idea to consider why you’re making those judgements. Assuming something based on a person’s race or look is always incorrect.

Another important strategy is to decenter yourself. Through systemic injustices beyond our reach, we’ve all been trained to view other races differently. This is most obvious with white privilege, as millions have been wrongly taught that whiteness is the “default,” and everyone else is an “other.” But there are many other examples, as no matter your intersectional identity, there’s always going to be a group you’re not a part of, and are likely wrong about.

The best way to decenter yourself, is to realize there’s much more to this world than you, or your community. You’re never going to know it all, and sometimes, you should stand back and let the experts speak. But this doesn’t mean be passive. You should absolutely attend protests, donate to community funds, help people register to vote, and many other actions.

If you’re a white person looking for more ways to create racial justice, check out this article by Forbes on 10 Actions You Can Take to Promote Racial Justice in the Workplace.

Keep Taking Action

Just because racism seems to be a trending term on the internet doesn’t mean it’s new. And when it isn’t, that doesn’t mean it’s over.

The greatest lie of modern America occurred in 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidential election. The lie was that racism is over, and it’s smooth sailing from here on out. But as great as that administration was culturally, it couldn’t and wouldn’t come close to that promise. Not only did they fail to undo the damage caused by George W. Bush’s presidency, but they also failed to prevent the disasters to come. The Obama years were nothing more than a calm in a storm, and as a result, we went to sleep.

And then 2016 came. The grace period was over, and all of the horrors of the world came in full force. Or at least, that’s what it seemed like. The reality is, everything that shocked and appalled us was already here. We just didn’t know or act upon it. That’s a shame, because it could’ve made all the difference. Could you imagine if we got a March For Our Lives response to Sandy Hook? Or a George Floyd level awakening to Trayvon Martin? That could’ve forced some real, lasting change. But no, instead these issues got worse and worse, and that’s where we are now.

But as they say, it’s never too late. In fact, now more than ever is the time to act. Because we don’t want this to get any worse, and if we fall asleep again, it will. So what will it be? Will we again expect our broken government to take care of it? Or will we force those bums to do their jobs? It’s our decision.

Some great ways to take action are to make sure your kids are diversely socialized. Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep donating to causes that are working to bring about better equality into our world. And if you see any racist events occurring, don’t be silent.

While racism can escalate into physical violence, it is also at the level of words and other actions. Microaggressions or anything that can cause psychic violence to others is just as damaging. It’s important to educate others on what is okay. 

(And if you’re white, it’s vital to educate yourself on this situation because chances are, there’s a lot you don’t and never will understand. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be an ally and support your fellow human beings.)

If you’re ready to take a stand, here is a list of ways that you can take action.

Always Educate Yourself

There is no way that we can understand all of the struggles that people around the world have to go through daily. But everyone still needs to work to educate ourselves on these other struggles if we hope to cultivate more love and acceptance across the world.

It’s no one’s job but your own to understand the deep-rooted issues that our society faces. And being more educated on the topic makes it easier for people to speak out on things that they’d previously feel uncomfortable facing. 

Staying silent and ignorant is never the answer. If we are to change the state of the world for the better, everyone needs to consider how the events in the world affect others.

Books are a fantastic way to learn ways to create more love and uplift our underprivileged men and women. For some great options, check out these Books to Read for Black History Month.