Responding to racism

For this assignment you will write a essay in MLA Style Please answer the questions and respond to the situation listed below. It should have 700 words,proper grammar,citations, and references.


This activity gives you an opportunity to consider how you might respond to the racism of others. Such situations oftentimes come about suddenly. Furthermore, they may be so offensive that we are at a loss for words, or they can be so commonplace that we do not recognize them as offensive or racist. For example, we may be at a party and a friend uses a racist slur to refer to people of a certain ethnic group. One person laughs nervously, another looks away, and yet another nods approvingly. But no one says anything.

ASSIGNMENT: Write a short essay answer that responds to each of the questions posed. Add you reasoning and other possibilities and the why of your answers as well.

What do you do?

Call the person racist?

Walk away?

Explain that it offended you?

Discuss the harm done by racist comments?

Consider the following scenario and imagine being in this same kind of situation.

Kevin and C.J. have been friends since elementary school. Even though C.J. has been attending college out of state for the last year, the two have remained close friends. On some occasions, however, both C.J. and Kevin have noticed some changes in the other. Kevin has noticed that C.J. is a little more serious about life, and C.J. has noticed that Kevin has begun to refer to members of other racial groups in very derogatory ways. After being around Kevin for three days, C.J. has decided to discuss the problem.

C.J.: “What’s with you, Kevin? Why do you call people names like that?”

Kevin: “Ah, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just talk.”

C.J. “Yeah, but it is hard to ignore. It sounds real harsh to me.”

Kevin: “Come on, C.J., don’t take things so seriously. I would never say those things to anyone’s face.”

C.J. didn’t want to start anything with his friend, and so he just shrugged his shoulders and let the issue drop. He felt it wasn’t worth getting into a fight over, but he did not feel comfortable with Kevin’s explanation.

1. Describe in your own terms the dilemma facing C.J.

2. Have you ever been faced with a similar dilemma with a close friend, acquaintance, or

family member? What happened? How did you deal with the situation?

3. Why are we oftentimes afraid to “start anything” with people who have offended us or

made us angry? What keeps us from “speaking up”? Is it easier to say something to a

friend or to someone you have just met? Why?

4. What is the harm of using racist terms if the person or group being referred to doesn’t hear

the comment?

5. Consider Kevin’s phrase, “It’s just talk.” Can some of the things we say be labeled “just

talk” and not really mean anything? Why or why not?

6. How might C.J. have talked with Kevin about his use of derogatory language without

causing a rift between them?

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