issue 260 - October 1994
Groups to contact...
CCANZ Programme on Racism
Maori Legal Service
Maori Congress Foreign Policy Committee
Matariki (Maori Language Committee)
Committee to Defend Black Rights
Aboriginal Support Group
The Aboriginal Support Group - Manly Warringah Pittwater (ASG)
Canadian Centre on Racism and Prejudice is an autonomous research centre.
Salmon Arm Coalition Against Racism (SACAR) - David Lethbridge
The National Association of Friendship Centres
World Council of Indigenous Peoples
Institute of Race Relations
Jane Elliott’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise
When Hate Groups Come to Town by the US Center for Democratic Renewal (Montgomery, Alabama, 1992) is a handbook of community responses to the far-Right. It’s first chapter offers one of the clearest insights on the roots of racism. Michael Banton’s Racial Consciousness (Longman, 1988) is an illuminating dissection of the idea of race. Rodolfo Stavenhagen’s examination of The Ethnic Question (UN University Press, Tokyo, 1990) disentangles the role of ethnicity in conflict worldwide. For an anthropologist’s view read Thomas Hyland Eriksen’s Ethnicity and Nationalism (Pluto Press, London, Boulder, Colorado, 1993). Race by Studs Terkel is a gripping collection of interviews with people from all walks of life in the US. Passionate and punchy this is essential reading. On state racism two short, well-researched and shocking books – Inside Racist Europe by Liz Fekete and Frances Weber (Institute of Race Relations, London, 1994) and Racism: The Destruction of Civil and Political Liberties by Anti-Racist Alliance and the National Council for Liberties (London, 1993). On race gender and feminism, the writings of Bell Hooks are accessible and wise. Her first book Ain’t I a Woman: black women and feminism (Pluto Press, London 1981) is a good starting point. On interpersonal issues Lesbians Talk Making Black Waves by Valerie Mason-John and Ann Khambatta (Scarlet Press, London, 1993) is wide-ranging yet succinct and of use to all readers. On scientific racism Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man (sic. Penguin, London, 1992) takes on IQ testing, while Anti-Racist Science Teaching edited by Dawn Gill and Les Levidow (Free Association Books, London, 1987) is strong on strategy for the classroom.
Some things to do...
The workplace is a good place to put your anti-racism into practice. Here’s a checklist:
Is there a written equal opportunity policy which includes plans for hiring and promoting staff fairly and is supported and monitored by both unions and management?
Does the staff include people from minorities and reflect the multicultural mix in society at large?
Do advertisements for recruiting new employees state a commitment to equal opportunities and are they placed in newspapers or magazines which are likely to be read by minority groups?
Is it recognised that women from minority groups face the double disadvantage of both race and gender discrimination?
Are people from minority groups represented on interviewing and selection committees?
Do all employees get training in Equal Opportunities?
Hate groups often fuel racist behaviour among people who might not otherwise be so inclined.
Here are some ways of combating racism in your area:
Keep informed, document the problem and inform others.
Speak out and create a moral barrier to hate activity.
Build coalitions; violence against any particular group can be used to legitimize activities against other groups as well.
Provide support and aid to victims of racist groups.
Work with those targeted as potential recruits. People join hate groups out of frustration, fear, anger and the need to blame someone else for their troubles. Provide them with more rational political, social and economic explanations.
Target your own community. Hate groups manipulate community tensions in order to exist.
Encourage anti-racist youth activity. Most hate groups rely on disaffected youth.
Special thanks for help in researching this issue to: Franca Tranza at Survival International, Suhith Shivanath and Olukemi Williams at World University Service, Liz Fekete at Institute of Race Relations, Peter Wade at the University of Liverpool, David Owen at National Ethnic Minority Data Archive, Oxford DEC, UNRISD, UNHCR, The Runnymede Trust, Pat Stocker, Patricia Sellick at Minority Rights Group, Deborah Eade at Oxfam, Liberty, Human Rights Watch/Africa, and Center for Democratic Renewal.