Racism has come to the fore in many conversations in the United States and other parts of the world. With outrage manifested through mostly peaceful protests over the murder of George Floyd with the knee of a police officer pressing against his neck, the issue of race has once again emerged in full force.

This is not the first time that there have been protests against police brutality towards black men. It has happened several times with people upset over the deaths of black men who were unjustly killed by police officers who appeared to have racist tendencies. There have also been protests when civilians, ordinary citizens, have attacked black men whom they suspected of doing something wrong. Some of the murdered victims were unarmed and totally innocent. Some were mere children.

People are often prone to turn the other way if they see a racist event taking place. If someone calls another person a racial slur or tells them to go back to their own country (even if they were born in the USA), those are acts of racism. It’s not easy to intervene if someone sees such behavior, but speaking up for the innocent person could go a long way toward starting the path to ease racial tensions. More people could help rather than ignore the situation.

Hate crimes are sometimes perpetrated against people of minority races, people who are or are perceived to be immigrants, LGBTQ people, or other people who may be different in some way. If it seems dangerous to get involved or talk, a passerby might call the police. Hate crimes are not allowed and must be eliminated.

Although not all police are sympathetic to minorities and some have been shown to be racist, most police can be trusted to respond carefully to calls for help. Police work is dangerous and not always appreciated, but they are the ones who respond when help is needed. Good police will be instrumental in stopping the racism that is too often manifested against black men and others unjustly.

Racism and hatred of people other than the majority were the reasons why Japanese Americans were unjustly incarcerated in camps during World War II. Although some people tried to help them, no one stopped the unfair treatment these innocent people received due to racist actions.

Stopping a racist attack personally can be difficult and scary. There are things people can do to stop racism. Being kind and caring are the first steps in helping people who may be bullied and attacked with racist actions. Calling a bully can curb name calling. It will take courage, but speaking up will help curb racism.

It can be almost impossible to completely eradicate racism in the United States as long as there are ignorant and intolerant people. Blacks and other minorities facing racism need a fairer and more equitable chance of success and fair treatment.

Can you stop a racist act? Maybe and maybe not, but the world would be a better place if more people tried to help even just by saying something.

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