Are you racist? Have you ever asked yourself this question?
In this video, I share my experience with racism when I was growing up and living in the Czech Republic.
As much as you would like to refute this idea, I urge you to look inside and be honest. Do you have friends of a different color, culture, or religion? I realize that I have been living in a bubble. I work in the UN and it is a very multicultural environment. I don’t judge my colleagues based on their color or religion because this environment is inclusive.
But if I look at my friends who work at a Swiss bank or for a local government, their world view is often different. They work in a predominantly white environment. And most of the people in managerial positions are men.
My friends rarely undergo trainings that would help them identify and work with unconscious bias. Even the jokes and comments that I heard shocked me because they were homophobic, racist, and chauvinist.
I remember a friend of mine who mentioned that his company refused to hire a black banker because their clients might not like it. It is shocking but it reflects how people think if they are not exposed to different cultures and religions. 99% of the staff in that company are white, Swiss, French, and Christian.
I believe that the first step to changing our old habits and beliefs is to become aware of them. And even if you think that you are not racist, you may be surprised. We all have unconscious bias and that is why it is important to bring them out into the light.
So are you racist?
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