Discrimination Can Be Silent

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Discrimination can be loud
It can cause our stomachs to knot and our hearts to ache
It can be emotional
We can feel sad, disappointed, fearful and angry all at the same time

Discrimination can cause our world to quake

Discrimination can also be silent
It can be subtle
It can be “polite”
It can be understated

Discrimination moves through insecurities and ignorance
No matter the decibel, discrimination breaks

Discrimination breaks down relationships, communities, countries
Discrimination is rampant in our society
And if we don’t take it seriously
We may unknowingly be part of the problem

To accept is an active process
We need to work for it
We need to educate ourselves every single day

Discrimination is not only the loud, bigoted rants
No, it can be far more subtle than that

So we must work
We must work to see people for who they are
To acknowledge the labels that come to mind and let them fly
To give the people in our lives the chance to speak
And we need to hear them even when it can be uncomfortable

We need to strip down the stories we have of who we think they are
And listen to the intricacies of who they actually are

Underestimating someone because of what you think they may or may not become
Will be discovered eventually
If you find yourself searching for anecdotes to justify your position
You may need to face your own facts

Discrimination affects us all
We need to work to be more accepting, inclusive and aware
It is not the status quo

Discrimination does not just come from strangers
It happens with friendships, neighbours, families, communities
People we trusted yet they didn’t even see what they were doing
Instead, stereotypes and generalizations informed their behaviour

The rallies and protests matter, because discrimination is still here
And I mean here – not out there somewhere
Here
And we have to work to change this

We cannot be silent, nor do we need to shout

We need conversations
Honest, humble conversations that teach us to see someone truly
Discrimination does not just go away
We need to forge a new path and work on it each and every day

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