Every time I see something racist online, I'm going to do a Duolingo lesson. Join me!
I don't know whether or not this is a realistic goal, considering how many racist things there are online - and I'm on Twitter, which is home of a lot of it.
I've decided to do this because it's my way of fighting racism, by learning a foreign language, and doing my bit (whatever I can) to bridge borders between different peoples.
Let's right racism with foreign language-learning!
It's unfortunately all too evident from the news that people can have [and act on] racist feelings towards people who speak the same language.
That said, serious efforts to understand other people's languages for the express purpose of better understanding them can do nothing but help.
I don't know what this will do about racism. But, maybe it will help with xenophobia, if the language you are learning is mainly that of another country.
Being mindful of things in general, rather than numbing out about them, can help us look for solutions. May your studies be fruitful! :)
Most people probably won't agree and I'll probably get downvoted for this, but here it comes:
I think it's a bad idea. Why? Because it encourages you to actively look for racism, including looking for racism in / misreading messages that weren't at all ment racist in any kind of way.
In my opinion actively looking for racism is an indirect act of racism. If I say something to somebody without meaning anything racist, and somebody comes along and tries to find a way to manipulate what I said into something racist, who's the racist in that case?
Racism isn't a simple concept. Words can't be racist, only people can be. Where I live we have a common friendly rivalry where we call people from a neighboring country "stupid" and we constantly make "stupid" jokes about them, and they do the exact same thing back. Literally everybody (from our 2 countries) knows it's a joke. But what if I, out of good heart, make the same joke about somebody from Africa, Asia, South-America, ... It's obviously still not at all racist as there was no racist intent. Yet, there will be politically correct people who would call me racist, while they're the ones to choose to interpret the message as racist.
I personally tend to dislike people who look for racism in everything and I call them the real racists. Side note, plenty of immigrants actually don't like people who indirectly patronize and belittle them. By this I mean people who essentially pretend like they're superheroes who protect "weak" immigrants. With the exclamation on "weak", as if immigrants are unable to defend themselves and sort of need help with everything. I'm not saying that people shouldn't help immigrants, I'm saying that you shouldn't treat them as little children who's hand you constantly need to hold and afterwards take to Twitter to collect pats on your back. There's plenty of them who also appreciate honesty rather than you treating them differently, like avoiding certain subjects etc... (racism is treating people different for their religion or skin color - thus avoiding certain subjects just because somebody has a certain skin color or religion is essentially racist).
I've had conversations with people from a foreign origin that neither of us considered racist in any way and in which they appreciated my honesty. While if we'd have had such a conversation in a public space, like a forum, I can guarantee you there would be accusations of "racism". It's as if certain topics "automatically" make you racist when you speak about them with somebody of a foreign origin, which obviously is ridiculous. If you don't want to be racist, REALLY treat everybody equally and don't be scared of being accused of "racism" by people who don't know what they're talking about or real racists. Whenever you purposely say something differently or avoid a certain subject just because somebody has a certain religion or skin color you're actually being racist as you're treating them differently because of their skin color / religion.
If you want to fight racism, try to look for the good in messages instead of trying to find the bad in them. Literally nobody wins from racism witch hunts.
I completely agree.
I'd also like to mention that a lot of 'racist' comments online are actually just trolls, and a lot of them get a kick out of reading about people that take mostly symbolic actions against racism.
Instead of focusing on tweets made by random people, understanding and explaining why racism is immoral would be a much better way to combat racism than taking symbolic actions.