The American Psychological Association defines racism as “a personal belief in the superiority of one’s race over another,” and institutionalized racism as “a system of assigning value and allocating opportunity based on skin color.” The latter “unfairly privileges some individuals and groups over others and influences social institutions in our legal, educational, and governmental systems.”
While it’s true that we have made some progress in this area, we still have a long way to go. Racism continues to be a source of stress for the majority of Black Americans. In fact, 67% of Black adults cite discrimination as a significant source of stress in their life. And many of the events of the past year have only intensified those feelings. If, like so many Americans, you’re wondering what you can do to take a stand against racism, the following steps are a good place to start.
- Support the need for change by participating in peaceful protests and exercising your right to vote.
- Look for ways to interact with and get to know people outside your typical social circle.
- Speak out against racist comments and jokes.
- Educate yourself by reading books and articles and watching documentaries about racism and how it continues to affect our society.
- Recognize and check your privilege. That begins with taking a closer look at the advantages you have in life while also acknowledging the struggles of others.
Dr. David Lowenstein is a Columbus, Ohio-based psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. He conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions in his German Village office and also via telehealth. Dr. Lowenstein is also available for expert forensic testimony, and for educational workshops and presentations. He is frequently called upon as an expert source for print, radio, and broadcast media. Contact Dr. Lowenstein at Lowenstein & Associates, 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.