Racism, or the belief that one race is superior to other races, can take many forms. Direct racism occurs when something obvious and blatant is said or done, while indirect racism occurs when something subtle or covert occurs. This ‘hidden nature’ makes indirect racism very hard to identify sometimes, and even harder to challenge. Refusal to engage, benign ignorance, jokes and banter and imitations and mockery are all types of indirect racism, but all can and should be challenged just as long as you remain safe while doing so.
Confronting indirect racism: refusal to engage
Refusal to engage is a type of indirect racism in which others treat an individual of a certain race as an object rather than an individual. This may mean staring at the person, making comments to each other about the person, remaining silent around the person, looking past or through the person or otherwise engaging in behaviours that devalue the person. These behaviou