What is Hate Crime?

Hate crime is a criminal offence. It is an act of hatred or aggression directed at a specific person, group or their property. It is motivated by hostility or prejudice against:

  • A personal characteristic
  • Gender identity
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Faith

This may involve bullying, physical assault, verbal abuse and/or insults, damage to property, threatening behaviour, robbery, harassment, offensive letters (hate mail) or graffiti and inciting others to commit hate crimes. The legal consequences for perpetrators can be serious and range from a fine to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Why Report Hate Crime?

Reporting hate crime is important because it provides a platform from which action can be taken against perpetrators and for the abuse to stop. It can often lead to vital support for the victim and it can also benefit wider society by creating safer public areas.

Hate crime can go unreported for many reasons including:

  • Many people do not know that they can report this kind of abuse
  • People do not know how to report it
  • Some people have reservations or fears around approaching the police or authority figures

An increase in reporting will:

  • Provide more accurate statistics which leads to better services within the justice system and improves how hate crimes are responded to
  • Challenge attitudes and behaviours that endorse hatred towards anyone perceived as ‘different’
  • Encourage early intervention to prevent situations escalating
  • Increase confidence for victims in coming forward to seek support and justice
  • Ensure that the right support is available for those that need it
american, cop, car

How to report Hate Crime

In an emergency, ALWAYS dial 999 or 112 – All calls are free and will be answered by trained operators. If you are in immediate danger, or to report a crime in progress, dial 999 or 112 as above.

Other ways to contact the police:

  • Dial 101 to report non-urgent crimes or to make an enquiry
  • Call in at a police station. You can search by postcode via: http://www.police.uk
  • In incidents where the victim of a hate crime does not wish to approach the police directly there may be a police liaison officer for their region, or a Community Safety Partnership Department. Call 101 for further advice on this.
  • Reporting hate crime online: http://report-it.org.uk/your_police_force
  • Understandably it can sometimes be very difficult to report an incident alone. If you do not have a friend or family member to accompany you, help with reporting via voluntary and other agencies can be found here: http://www.report-it.org.uk/organisations_that_can_help
  • You can also report hate crime anonymously via Crimestoppers here: 0800 555 111 / https://crimestoppers-uk.org

Always tell someone if you have been the victim of a hate crime. You can speak to a digital mentor at Ditch the Label who can help you in dealing with this. Join the community today.

We want to believe that we live in a society where the colour of someone’s skin does not mean they are treated differently. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and within our Annual Bullying Survey 2019 we learnt that one in ten people believed that they were bullied because of attitudes towards their race. 

We know that people of colour are disproportionately disadvantaged in society with oppression in the workplace and institutions such as schools and with authorities. This may be out of our hands, but what we can control is the language that we use and create a more inclusive space around us for everyone. 

Obviously, some racism is intentional and in your face. But there is another thing that people of colour are just plain fed up with: microaggressions. Microaggressions are subtle, regular, subconscious discriminations made towards marginalised groups that may not seem like a big deal on their own but together they are a recipe for causing offence. They can be pretty rubbish to hear all the time because it basically means that, despite it being 2019, a lot of stereotypes are still alive and kicking. 

Here are some of the top culprits for microaggressions you may not even realise you are saying:

1) “Your hair is so cool, can I touch it?”

Just because someone’s hair is different from your own, you should never pet them. Appreciate from afar like a work of art. 

2) “So when did you move here?”

Assuming someone wasn’t born in the country just because of the colour of their skin is not a good look. In the UK we are a cultural melting pot and you can still be British and be lots of different races.

3) “Where are you actually from?”

Same as above duh!?

4) “Wow! Your English is just so good”

This person could be a native speaker, they could speak 4 languages, you never know. 

5) “It’s weird, I’ve never really seen you as black.”

THIS. Is something a lot of black people are fed up of hearing. There is no right or wrong way to be black and you saying that you don’t see someone’s race makes them feel erased. 

6) “What kind of food do your people eat?”

…..We all love pizza bro.

7) “Hey, can you tell us what the Indian perspective is on this issue?”

It is not the responsibility of people of colour to speak for their entire race and educate you. We are all separate people with unique thoughts and feelings. 

8) “Wow, you really sound…different….than on the phone”

What were you expecting? The common rhetoric that people of colour all sound a certain way or use ebonics is so reductive. The way you talk is usually influenced by your family or your social group/ where you grew up.

9) “So is your Dad black and your Mum white?” 

So many people jump to thinking that mixed-race people all follow this formula in their genetic make-up. There are so many different variations of mixed race out there and assuming there is only one makes us all feel a bit crappy.

10) “That’s a weird name, its hard to pronounce is it okay if I call you Jim?”

A name is only weird to you because it’s not what you are used to. Learn someones name, learn how to say it, it will mean a lot to them and never just rename them to something you can pronounce! 

And finally…

11) Any variation of “Damn girl you are so sassy/fierce/strong/ *finger snap* you tell em sista!”

No…just no. 

Recognise any of these? 

Don’t worry if you were guilty of making one of these mistakes. A lot of us are. Remember lots of different micro-aggressions built up over time can become mega-aggressions. So have a look at our tips to help de-programme your unconscious bias and try to communicate with empathy. Finally just remember the number 1 rule – don’t be a dick! 

Not sure if you have unconscious bias, take our quiz to find out! 

Have you been affected by bullying? You can speak to one of pour trained Digital Mentors here for one-to-one support and advice.

A group of runners on a track

Who doesn’t love watching the worlds greatest athletes do their thing? Sporting pros are often our first role models in life so we put together a list of just some of the sports pro’s working towards complete inclusion in sport. Be it opening up about their mental health, overcoming the odds or just being who they are; these stars are as cool as it gets.

1) Gareth Thomas –@gareththomas14

Gareth Thomas was a rugby player for Wales and is still one of their highest try scorers ever. As well as being up there with the greatest players to ever play the game, Gareth was one of the first professional rugby union players to openly come out as gay. To have the bravery to be a trailblazer for LGBT sports professionals in a very masculine profession is more than enough reason to be considered a fantastic role model but Gareth Thomas isn’t done there; he also does a huge amount of charity work. What a hero.

2) Amy Purdy – @amypurdygurl

After becoming a double amputee at 19 and being given a 2% chance of survival, Amy Purdy broke the laws of what’s humanly possible and took up para-snowboarding. Within a year, she achieved silver and bronze medals at the Paralympics and now runs an organisation to help other disabled people get involved in extreme sports. If anyone is proof that you can do anything with determination and hard-work, it’s Amy.

3) Sarah Taylor – @sjtaylor30

Sarah Taylor is a world-class cricketer who plays for England. Being the icon she is, Sarah was the first female to play men’s grade cricket in Australia. What’s really incredible about Sarah is that, despite cricket being male-dominated, she’s widely considered as the greatest wicket-keeper in the sport; be it the men’s or women’s game. Sarah Taylor has also been open about her struggles with anxiety and starting the conversation about professional athletes and their mental wellbeing.

4) Megan Rapinoe – @mrapinoe

What happens when you cross incredible football talent with selfless charity work? You get Megan Rapinoe. She’s just finished a fantastic tournament at the Women’s World Cup, with a winners medal, the golden ball and golden boot to show for it, and is one of the best players for the USA. Despite her glittering career, there is more to why we think Megan deserves her role model status. After coming out as lesbian, she’s become a leading advocate in the sport for LGBT+ causes and donates a percentage of her salary to football-related charities. Legend.

5) Danny Rose

Danny Rose was one of the first footballers to openly talk about the pressures of playing football at the highest level and the effect that has had on him when it crosses with his personal life. After being diagnosed with depression, Danny was asked to meet a club interested in signing him because they wanted to check he “wasn’t crazy’. We all know it’s absolutely ridiculous that these are still views people have in professional sport and he’s working to break them down by normalising the conversation. Danny, we think you’re doing a fantastic job mate.

6) Kevin Love – @kevinlove

Basketball is literally a marathon and a sprint. It’s not only an incredibly fast-paced game but the league is also played over 9 months of the year and all over the USA. Kevin Love has voiced his personal experiences with panic attacks and continues to be one of the biggest mental health advocates in Basketball, along with Demar Derozan and Nate Robinson. He said that speaking out has been one of the greatest things he’s ever done and if that doesn’t prove that anyone can be going through something and it’s better to open up about it, then we don’t know what does.

7) Yuna Kim – @yunakim

If there’s something to be won in figure skating, Yuna Kim has already won it. She is the first female ever to win every official figure skating title; including at the Olympics and World Championships and is regularly referred to as “Queen Yuna” in the media because of her prominence. Having the talent to be one of the greatest in your sport is already incredibly impressive but, to add to that, Yuna has donated around 2.6 million US dollars to charitable causes. Let’s all bow down to Queen Yuna.

8) Raheem Sterling – @sterling7

If you put a quick search in Google for the work Raheem Sterling is doing to battle racism, your screen will be filled with hundreds of articles. As well as being England’s most exciting talent, Raheem also made a substantial donation to those who were affected by the Grenfell tower tragedy and is vocal about the positive influence his mother had on him. Sterling’s doing just as much off the pitch as he is on and his work in the public to combat prejudice in the world’s most popular sport make him someone we think of as a great role model.

There are hundreds of fantastic athletes who are making strides to bring inclusion to all sports. Nigel Owens, Serena Williams, Robbie Rogers, and Heather O’Reilly are all worth a research (along with plenty of others) if you’re looking for more real sporting idols.

For more inspiration, cute pics and everything else, follow our instagram @ditchthelabel.

what to do if you're experiencing racism

Our research found that 34% of young people reported being bullied for prejudice based reasons.

Racism is a hate-crime; it is illegal to treat someone differently because of attitudes towards their race, religion, nationality or culture. Unfortunately we can’t identify the exact reason why somebody decides to act in a racist manner – racism, like a lot of other prejudice-based hate, is a learnt behaviour.

No-one is born with the ability to read or sing a song, nor are we born with the ability to discriminate against someone because of where they were born or the colour of their skin.

People who are racist, normally feel threatened or intimidated by a culture or race that is not well-known to them or that they have limited understanding of. Unfortunately, instead of taking the time to understand or embrace that difference, they act negatively towards the unknown.

Is it Racism?

People experience racism in many forms; including physical attacks, verbal abuse, damage to your property, racist jokes, threats and cyber-bullying (this could be via email or social media). If someone is making you feel uncomfortable – It is your right to report it.

Some people find it hard to determine whether or not they are experiencing racism, as everybody has a different threshold of what they consider to be bullying; to help clarify – the police define hate crime as:

‘Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.’

If you are experiencing racism, it can be incredibly difficult to know what steps to take next, so DTL compiled 6 tips to help guide you through the process. If you are experiencing racism and need any help or advice, or just someone to talk to – do not hesitate to reach out to Ditch the Label – join the community today.

1. Don’t see yourself as the problem

Know that what you are experiencing is in no way your fault – never blame yourself for what is happening to you. Always remember the person bullying you is the one with the issue, not you. You are not being targeted because of your race, it is because of the attitude towards this factor. The only thing that needs changing is their attitude – you are perfect as you are ❤️. 

2. Speak to them

If you feel it is a safe and appropriate action to take, try talking to the person who is being racist. Remember to challenge the behaviour, not the person – instead of accusing the person of being a racist, explain that their behaviour or words are racist and have caused you distress – explain that it’s not ok to say those things.

It might be appropriate to request that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between you and the person who is being racist. A mediation can be scary but is often incredibly powerful; it is essentially a face-to-face conversation between you and the person bullying you in a controlled, equal environment.

If this is something you are considering, read this first.

what to do if you're experiencing racism, girl, in seat, black and white image

3. Report it

If you are experiencing racism from somebody you go to school or college with, report it to a teacher immediately. If somebody is threatening you, giving out your personal information or making you fear for your safety, contact the police or an adult immediately. It is important that you tell someone that this is going on.

4. Walk away

Whether you experience a micro-aggression or a more blatant form of racial hostility, make sure you are first and foremost, aware of your safety; you are under no obligation to have to respond to this kind of behaviour and can choose to walk away at any time. However, if you feel it is appropriate to speak with them or call out their behaviour, see point 2.

5. Get support

It is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining and taxing to endure racism. This stress can have impact on all areas of your life, including your mental wellbeing, ability to communicate with others, performance in school and self-esteem.

It is therefore incredibly important to tell somebody that you trust about what you are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label.

We also have a really simple exercise available on our website called Stress Reprogramming which you can do either alone or with somebody else in around 30 minutes. The exercise will help you see stress differently and hopefully help you on your journey forward.

6. Look after yourself 

It is important during this time, that you take good care of your mental wellbeing. As well as finding a support system, you need to make sure you are looking out for yourself too.

Little things like eating a balanced diet, working out, getting a good night’s sleep, relaxing and having quality time with friends and family can really improve your physical and mental health, which will in turn, reduce stress. Reductions in stress increase your clarity of vision, allowing you to clearly analyse difficult situations, which will make them much easier to deal with.

If you feel you need further support, it is important that you seek emotional and mental support from your GP, a therapist or counsellor.

Join the Ditch the Label community to see what others have to say about their experiences and have your say in a safe and equal environment – we want to hear from you! 😍

What is xenophobia

So, What is Xenophobia?

Xenophobia (pronounced ‘Zeno-phobia’) is a dislike or prejudice towards people from other countries. The ‘phobia’ part is a bit problematic really, because Xenophobia isn’t actually a ‘fear’, it’s a societal or political problem. A bit like homophobia – when we say ‘-phobia’ we imply that it is an irrational fear that can’t be helped when in actuality, it can be helped.

And nope, it’s not a bizarre fear of xylophones. That would be Xylophonophobia (true story – it’s a real thing).

An example of xenophobia would be a group of people at school, excluding Sandra from activities because she is Polish. They are not scared of her, they are prejudiced towards her because of her nationality.

Racism often gets mixed in with Xenophobia and the two often come hand in hand, however, xenophobia usually refers to a persons nationality and culture rather than exclusively their race. Unfortunately, there has been a significant rise in Xenophobia in the US and UK in recent times. The term, ‘go back to your own country’ gets thrown around a lot 🙄. If you’re on the receiving end of Xenophobic abuse, remember that the problem lies with that person, not with you.

Reasons why some people are Xenophobic:

  • They are unfamiliar with a particular nationality
  • They had a bad experience with one person of a particular nationality or heritage and therefore associate bad feelings towards everyone of that persuasion
  • Because of something that happened historically between various countries – for example: WWII
  • Ignorance or narrow-mindedness (so they don’t like, what they don’t know)
  • Prejudice
  • Belief in stereotypes (particularly negative ones)
  • Blindly following what the media says about immigrants (which is usually always negative)
  • Racism
  • Intolerance to religions other than their own
  • Inexperience with diversity – fear of the unknown
  • Not agreeing with the politics of a person’s country of origin
  • Opposition to the cultures of other countries/nationalities

Are you experiencing Xenophobic bullying?

A sharp increase in the (often negative) discussion of immigration both in the US and the UK online, in the media and in schools, means that more people are experiencing Xenophobic bullying and bad attitudes towards their nationality and culture. For example, in England ever since the European Union Referendum, hate crime has increased by up to 100% around the country.

Examples of Xenophobia and Xenophobic bullying include:

  • Making fun of someone’s nationality
  • Making prejudiced assumptions about a person based on where they come from – for example, saying that all French people like to eat snails.
  • Imitating or making fun of a person’s accent
  • Saying that someone is not welcome because they are from a different country
  • Actively excluding someone from events or conversations because of their nationality
  • Saying hurtful things about a person’s culture
  • Assuming that one culture is better than another
  • Physically harming or attacking someone because of their nationality
  • Sending hurtful comments online about someone based on where they are from/where they were born
  • Hating an entire country because of something that a handful of people from that country have done in the past
  • spreading hateful messages about a culture or nationality on social media.
  • Accusing immigrants of ‘stealing jobs or national services’ from the native inhabitants of a country.
  • Using derogatory names or ‘nicknames’ to refer to a person from a different country.
  • Not employing someone because they are foreign, even if they are fully qualified for the job and speak the required language fluently.
what is xenophobia

Reporting Xenophobia

If you’re experiencing negativity at school or work which is based solely around your nationality or culture – you should report it. Xenophobia is considered to be a hate crime and you should not have to put up with it. We are lucky enough to live in a multicultural society which means we can share and enjoy lots of different traditions, foods, languages and cultures which is something that we think should be celebrated, not used against someone.

Start with reporting it to an adult such as a parent or teacher first. If it is serious – report it to the police. You can get full advice on how and where to report hate crime in our Ultimate Guide to Hate Crime, below.

If you need further advice, check out:

If you’re unsure and would like to talk, join the DTL community where you can get advice from our awesome digital mentors or chat with other users about xenophobia today.

About Lois:

Lois is currently a PhD research student at the Institute of Education, University College London. Their research is aimed at exploring the awareness of the existence of a gender identity and gender stereotypes in autistic adolescents. They have experience as an Educational Psychologist, a Special Education Needs Teacher and Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator.

Top tips from expert Lois Mosquera

In various settings, particularly at school and home, children are often put under pressure to think and behave in certain ways that define them as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. This can lead to bullying in that people with strict ways of thinking and behaving may not have the tolerance and acceptance to welcome people who do not behave in ‘typical’ ways.

Top tips to help combat bullying due to stereotypes:

Ask why someone who is bullying holds stereotypes

Every moment is an educational opportunity. By encouraging open, non-judgemental conversations about this issue, you can have a massive positive impact and help to eradicate this issue.

Be a role model and educator

By modelling behaviours and ways of thinking that are accepting of all regardless of stereotypes, you are contributing towards eradicating bullying because of it. This is especially important to teachers and parents as they are often the most influential people in the lives of children and adolescents.

If a free gender-role is modelled by teachers and parents, then students will view gender as not being something that influences decisions, views, roles, and expectations.

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Talk regularly and specifically with people about issues with stereotypes.

This is especially important for teachers and parents. Let them know that they can come to you for an open conversation about this issue and that they will not be judged if they do hold stereotypical views.

Don’t underreact to bullying just because it is due to stereotypes.

As gender stereotypes are so common, comments like ‘You throw like a girl’, ‘Crying is for girls’ and ‘Why are you acting gay?’ are often just brushed under the carpet and dismissed as being playful. It is important to never underestimate the adverse impacts that such comments can have on an individual’s social, emotional, and academic welfare.

All bullying is serious no matter how playful insults may be perceived to be. This is especially important if people are bullying you based on stereotypes. Even if the stereotypes are not offensive to yourself, and you do not class them as bullying, it is still important to react appropriately and challenge such views.

If you need support on any bullying issues, join our community here.

Read about gender stereotypes here.

Read about the long-term effects of bullying here.

What is Racism?

Racism can be defined as prejudice, discrimination or hostility. In other words, having a great hate or dislike directed towards a person, or group of people because of race, ethnicity or religion. This is based on the belief that the perpetrator’s race/ beliefs are more superior that the race/beliefs of the recipient.

Is stereotyping a form of racism?

Stereotyping is often based on assumptions. Making “stab in the dark” guesses about what an individual may be like has very little evidence or proof about a certain group that an individual may belong to. In today’s society it can be difficult not to stereotype. The brain works in a way where we are automatically ‘trained’ to associate an idea of someone with a perception we have stored in our mind from the past, or from images that we are exposed to in the media.
In most cases, racist comments stem from negative stereotypes.


A bearded guy is wearing a black trench jacket, huckleberry hat and skinny jeans. Some people may automatically assume he is Jewish; however, he could just as easily be a Christian who grew a beard because his partner found it attractive and he’s following the latest style trends from Men’s GQ.

Why are people racist?

We can’t define the exact reason why somebody decides to act in a racist manner. Racism like a lot of other prejudice-based hate is normally a learnt behaviour. None of us are born with the ability to read an email or sing a song, nor are we born with the ability to discriminate against someone because of where they were born or the colour of their skin. No one is inherently racist.

Racist people normally feel threatened or intimidated by a culture or race that is not familiar to them or they have limited understanding of. Unfortunately in society today, people tend to act negatively towards the unknown rather than taking the time to understand or embrace that difference.

What is racial discrimination?

Racial discrimination can be defined as two different categories: Direct and Indirect.

Indirect racial discrimination takes place when a person or organisation introduces a rule that discriminates against people from a certain racial minority. Normally the factors of this idea/rule are unclear and not justifiable.


A Hair Salon states in a job ad that they’re unable to employ people who wear religious head attire because they want their customers to be able to see their stylist’s hair. This is in-direct discrimination; this rule has no bearing on the capability of the candidate’s ability to style hair properly.

Direct racial discrimination takes place when a person purposely goes out of their way to exclude someone specifically because of their race. These actions are normally very direct, thoughtless and are intended to get an instant reaction.


An Afro-Caribbean Society restricts admission based purely on applicants’ skin colour. This is a form of direct discrimination. They haven’t taken into consideration the amount of people who may indeed be from BME that are also of Caucasian descent.

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What can you do to overcome racism?

  • Embrace and accept who you are. It may be unfortunate that some small-minded people may try to judge and discriminate against you because of your ethnic origins. Always feel comfortable and confident with who you are.
  • Do not let racist attitudes exclude you from society: Racists want people to be segregated so by you withdrawing yourself from that situation you are letting them win.
  • Racism is a learned behaviour. If you are being subjected to racism in school, college in the workplace or online, report it. People, such as teachers can speak to perpetrators to help change their behaviour and attitudes. If you feel the appropriate action is still not being taken, report it to the police.
  • By reporting racism you are not only helping yourself – but you are also helping someone else from experiencing this prejudice.
  • Be open to accepting people of all races; encourage your friends and family to do the same.

6 Things you didn’t know about racism:

  • People of the same ethnicity can practice racism. For example, if a white female made a negative comment to another white female because of the fact she was raised in a Romany Gypsy community, this is racism.
  • Saying “racism is better now than it was 30 years ago” is the equivalent of saying “cancer is better now than it was 30 years ago”. Yes, we’re better at understanding and tackling it, but cancer is still cancer.
  • A racist incident can be defined as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”
  • If you witness a racist incident that causes you offence, you have the legal right to report that incident to the police, even if you don’t know the victim or the perpetrator.
  • A racially or religiously aggravated offence can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years in the UK Criminal Justice System.
  • Skin colour really is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. The genes influencing skin colour have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or intelligence. Knowing someone’s skin colour doesn’t necessarily tell you anything else about him or her.

If you are being discriminated against or bullied because of your race, speak up! You are not alone, and together we can beat racism. Get help from Ditch the Label and start a conversation in community.

racist parents


This blog post is fundamentally flawed. We should not have to write an article on how to deal with racism…

Instead of teaching people ‘how to deal with it’ we should be teaching people ‘how not to be racist’. Telling someone how to deal with racism, implies that the problem lies with the person on the receiving end, not the perpetrator. It says, in a roundabout way, that “racism is here to stay kids, so you’d better learn to deal with it” – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the problem here.

Unfortunately we live in a world where racism does exist and we do need to talk about it. Dealing with racist parents is really difficult. Very few people actually acknowledge their own racism. So, let’s start with the fundamentals:

So, what is racism?

Well, according to our good old trusted friend Google, the definition of racism is ‘Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior’.

Prejudice – if you break it down, is a ‘pre-judgement’ of a person or group of people. It refers to the act of assuming something about someone based on their appearance or demeanor before actually finding out anything about them as a person. For example, assuming that an Asian person is good at maths would be a prejudiced assumption. Actively hating an Asian person because they are Asian, is racism.

Most of the time, racism comes from ignorance. Feeling threatened or being unfamiliar with a particular race or culture can lead to racist behaviours. Racist behaviours include physical attacks, verbal abuse, damage to property, racist jokes, unwanted comments towards someone’s race, culture or religion, threats and online abuse. Racism is a hate crime [check out our Ultimate Guide to Hate Crime for all you need to know]. It is illegal and is a learnt behaviour. N.B: No one is born racist.

So, your parents are racist?

Racism seems to be more common among older generations. This by no means, excuses racist behaviour. Often with older people, it can be as simple as unintentionally using an outdated term to refer to a person’s race or group of people – with no real offense intended. Sometimes, however, it can be much more than this. Whether it is a nasty comment, assumption or outright abuse, if a parent or adult in your life is being racist, here are a few things you can try to tackle it.

They are the problem.
First up, remember that it is their problem, not the person or people who are at the receiving end. Secondly, always remember that you are not your parents. Use your critical thinking and remember that your opinions do not have to match those of your parents.

If it feels safe to do so, challenge them.
This is difficult especially if you are young and trying to speak to an older person about their racist behaviour. Try explaining that when they use racist language, it offends you. Even if you are not the subject of the comment, explain that you find this language offensive and so do other people. Try to explain why. Don’t be too quick to label them as a racist; instead use this as an opportunity to educate them.

It’s likely that they’ll get defensive.
People don’t like being told that they are wrong. In fact, people don’t like to hear that they are being offensive. The vast majority of the time, people won’t even think that they are being racist. Start by suggesting that they use the correct terms.

Walk away.
We’ve all been there. The heated discussion at the dinner table which turns into a full-blown row. We’re powerless over other people’s behaviour but we can educate them by leading by example. Just to reiterate, only ever challenge them if it feels safe to do so. If you don’t succeed, walk away and try a different approach some other time, once the dust settles.

Stay aware.
Get educated and make sure you’ll be able to spot it when it does happen. Instead of randomly bringing it up with them out of the blue, wait until they say something and if appropriate, give them an example as to why it is offensive. Most importantly, be an ally.

Join the community to talk it out with other members of the Ditch forum or get advice from a DTL digital mentor.

multicultural household

Whether you’re half Asian, three quarters European, one quarter African, half Hispanic or a fifth Polynesian or all of the above and more – we think you’re awesome! Here are 14 things you’ll relate to if you grew up in a household with multiple cultures, languages and heritages… can you relate?!

1. Food fusion –  Christmas dinner consists of turkey, potatoes, veg and plantain with spring rolls and stickyrice 👍🏽

2. Language fusion –  Chances are, you can speak more than one language which is always a bonus. Sometimes you even like to combine the two together. Everyone, meet Spanglish: ‘necesito an Ice cream por favor, thankyou.’

3. Double the festivities – According to the religions and cultural traditions in your house, you get to celebrate a whole bunch of national holidays, not just the one! You get Christmas, Eid, and Diwali all in one year, oh and don’t forget Chinese New Year and Hanukkah! Triple the presents (#winning)

4. World domination – Chances are, you’ll have extended family all over the world which means you get to visit your nan in Barbados, uncles in Greece and cousins in Mexico and you’ll always have a free place to stay.

5. Candy – The bumper haul of goodies you bring home after visiting family means candy that your mates have never even seen before! “Gulab Jamun, wtf is that!?!?!”… “I dunno, but I LOVE IT!”

6. “Hovno!” – You can impress your mates by swearing in 5 different languages and you can secretly sas your teachers without them even knowing! 😏

7. You’re an accent chameleon – Which means your accent changes according to who you’re talking to! You can blend in perfectly with your friends when you want to, but all of a sudden you can unleash your inner Jamaican- y’know, just to keep everyone on their toes.

8. When one parent gets angry – They shout in a language you didn’t even know existed, so you can just hold up your hands and say… ‘No entiendo mamá, lo siento?!’

9. School lunches – Making people jealous with your amazing packed lunches. When your Indian dad packs your lunch you get Dosa and chutney (#winning), when your British mum packs your lunch, you get ham sandwiches… (not so great).

In the same vain, you also get teased for your ‘weird’ lunches… (when this happens, just remember that they’re jealous cause’ they probably got ham sandwhiches in their lunchbox… 😂)

10. On the other hand – It’s not always great food combinations and swearing in multiple languages. Sometimes you feel like you don’t quite fit in with the rest of the family…

11. Stupid questions – When people ask if you’re adopted because you don’t look too much like your parents either… 🙄

12. The Guessing Game –  People trying to guess your ethnicity… 😒

13. Form issues – Filling in the ethnicity section on forms can sometimes be more confusing than it needs to be…😳

14. But you always know that you’re unique and have a whole wealth of amazing history in your ancestry to keep things interesting. 🙌🏾

Most importantly – don’t let the haters get you down!

Remember that if everyone was the same, things would get pretty boring, pretty quickly! Diversity and difference is what makes us humans amazing, if you’re experiencing negativity towards your race or appearance – talk to us! DTL can help you today. 😍

Everyday Racism

Everyday Racism is like…

Everyday racism is not necessarily all about the hatred of person of a different race. Instead, it can refer to the general lived experience of racism in its many forms. For example: assumptions of a person’s character based on common racial stereotypes. These stereotypes are often untrue generalisations which only work to divide us or are exaggerations of certain elements of a person’s culture.

What may seem like a genuine comment in passing to one person, can be offensive and uncomfortable for another. On the surface, they might seem harmless but when you pause to reflect a bit further, you notice that these comments can come across as just plain ignorant and rude.

Here are some comments that get thrown around on the daily that you’ll probably find all too familiar!

“I’m not racist, my best friend is black!”

“How come your mum is white?”

When you’re expected to speak on behalf of all black people everywhere coz you’re the only black dude in the room…

When you feel like you have to play down your personality because you don’t want to play up to the stereotype

When people instantly assume you’re a great cook because you’re Indian…

“You act really white”

“Ooooh I love your hair soooo much” *touches hair*

“You don’t seem Black”

“Is that your real dad?”

“But…where are you actually from, like, originally?”

When old ladies cross the road coz they think you’re gonna try steal their Nokia 3310…🙄

“So, what are you, exactly?”

“Ooohh you look like *insert random celebrity of similar skin colour here*”

“So, I think I’ll do a ‘Cowboys and Indians’ theme for Halloween this year….”

“You’re Asian so you must be good at maths…right?”

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