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 Fighting Injustice & Active Tolerance

Tolerance is an essential quality in the modern world. We often see campaigns promoting a “more tolerating society” and without a doubt, we are getting slowly there. An important thing to have in mind is the difference between tolerance and indifference or indulgence.

What is tolerance?

What exactly is tolerance? In its essence, it is the willingness to accept someone/something that you do not agree with or differs from your norms.

In other words, tolerance implies respect and appreciation towards the variety of our world’s cultures and ways of being human. However, it is important to note that the term tolerance does not mean we have to be passive.

It sets the foundation for universal human rights and freedom of expression. Humankind is diverse and it is unacceptable to undermine this uniqueness because someone doesn’t match our personal beliefs or understating of “normal”.

Beyond Tolerance

Being respectful towards others and their human rights is our moral duty. We have seen a great improvement in accepting differences in terms of culture, religion, sexual orientation, freedom of speech, however, our society still has a long way to go.

Tolerance in itself is the starting point of eradicating an issue that has been around for way too long. It means establishing a relationship with yourself which makes it clear that every human being is entitled to have his/her own beliefs, ways of expression, and passions as well as that everyone should have equal access to opportunities and be treated with respect.

Once we are aware of that the next step is to ensure those human rights are not violated by others who haven’t understood the importance of diversity and respect.

 

Why is being respectful still a problem?

Sadly, systematic forms of injustice continue to exist in society. Some actions – like theft and murder are recognized as unjust by governments and prohibited by law. However, equally unfair and harmful tendencies like racism, homophobia, and various forms of oppression aren’t treated as such.

Oppression, discrimination, and marginalization are dangerous tools of injustice which can lead to devastating effects.

Being undervalued and convinced that you are not entitled to equal access to opportunities and respect just because you are different from someone else can be extremely dangerous. It leads to self-doubt and the belief that being deprived of those human rights is normal. Fear, exclusion from social groups, and underappreciation are other effects that can occur.

What can be done?

People will keep practicing those toxic and undermining behaviours unless they are confronted about it. Taking action in one way or another can make a huge difference.

Witnessing forms of discrimination or other types of harassment in public spaces is disturbing but it is not always the case that people do something about it. Sometimes it is easier to walk away and forget about what we saw. But will this help solve the issue?

Taking action against those practices does not necessarily mean confronting abusive people directly or engaging in violent actions. Sometimes showing the person on the receiving end that you are there – and ready to help – is enough.

Sitting next to them or starting a casual conversation indirectly neutralises the act of injustice and helps people feel they are not alone. On the other hand, being a bystander implies taking the side of the harasser and supporting the oppressive behaviour.

Being a form of support is essential – showing people they are not alone in an unfair situation and being ready to assist further if necessary can make a life-changing difference. Collective action is the key to tackling the issue of discrimination in its various forms.

The future is bright

The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures, personalities, and ethnicities should not be a pretext of conflict. Exactly the opposite – a treasure that should be appreciated and respected.

To completely eradicate the phenomenon of deprivation of human rights the issues should be addressed on a governmental level. However, there is a lot that can be done to improve the situation.

Education on the importance of tolerance and confronting acts of injustice is the first step. Most importantly – being aware of the issues and understanding the need for respect and acceptance is essential. Inactivity and passiveness are not things that will make the problem disappear.  Taking action and showing support when we encounter an act of injustice is the best we could do if we want to start making a difference.

Practice Tolerance

In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.

Angela Davis

Simple Active Tolerance

The five keys to fighting injustice

1. Access to information

2. Education on the subject

3. Being aware and respectful of people’s rights

4. Aknowledging the issue as real and dangerous

5. Taking action against it

Bystander Intervention Resources

 

Bystander action

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 Fighting injustice with active tolerance

 

Practice Tolerance

Tolerance is an essential quality in the modern world. We often see campaigns promoting a “more tolerating society” and without a doubt, we are getting slowly there. An important thing to have in mind is the difference between tolerance and indifference or indulgence.

What is tolerance?

What exactly is tolerance? In its essence, it is the willingness to accept someone/something that you do not agree with or differs from your norms.

In other words, tolerance implies respect and appreciation towards the variety of our world’s cultures and ways of being human. However, it is important to note that the term tolerance does not mean we have to be passive.

It sets the foundation for universal human rights and freedom of expression. Humankind is diverse and it is unacceptable to undermine this uniqueness because someone doesn’t match our personal beliefs or understating of “normal”.

In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.

-Angela Davis

Beyond Tolerance

Being respectful towards others and their human rights is our moral duty. We have seen a great improvement in accepting differences in terms of culture, religion, sexual orientation, freedom of speech, however, our society still has a long way to go.

Tolerance in itself is the starting point of eradicating an issue that has been around for way too long. It means establishing a relationship with yourself which makes it clear that every human being is entitled to have his/her own beliefs, ways of expression, and passions as well as that everyone should have equal access to opportunities and be treated with respect.

Once we are aware of that the next step is to ensure those human rights are not violated by others who haven’t understood the importance of diversity and respect.  

 

Why is being respectful still a problem?

Sadly, systematic forms of injustice continue to exist in society. Some actions – like theft and murder are recognized as unjust by governments and prohibited by law. However, equally unfair and harmful tendencies like racism, homophobia, and various forms of oppression aren’t treated as such.

Oppression, discrimination, and marginalization are dangerous tools of injustice which can lead to devastating effects.

Being undervalued and convinced that you are not entitled to equal access to opportunities and respect just because you are different from someone else can be extremely dangerous. It leads to self-doubt and the belief that being deprived of those human rights is normal. Fear, exclusion from social groups, and underappreciation are other effects that can occur.

 

The five keys to fighting injustice:

1.Access to information

2.Education on the subject

3.Being aware and respectful of people’s rights

4.Aknowledging the issue as real and dangerous

5.Taking action against it

What can be done?

People will keep practicing those toxic and undermining behaviors unless they are confronted about it. Taking action in one way or another can make a huge difference.

Witnessing forms of discrimination or other types of harassment is disturbing but it is not always the case the people do something about it. Sometimes it is easier to walk away and forget about what we saw. But will this help solve the issue?

Taking action against those practices does not necessarily mean confronting people directly or engaging in violent actions. Sometimes showing the repressed person that you are there and ready to help is enough.

Sitting next to them or starting a casual conversation indirectly neutralizes the act of injustice and helps people feel they are not alone. On the other hand, being a bystander implies taking the side of the harasser and supporting the oppressive behavior.

Being a form of support is essential – showing people they are not alone in an unfair situation and being ready to assist further if necessary can make a life-changing difference. Collective action is the key to tackling the issue of discrimination in its various forms.

Bystander Action

The future is bright

The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures, personalities, and ethnicities should not be a pretext of conflict. Exactly the opposite – a treasure that should be appreciated and respected.

To completely eradicate the phenomenon of deprivation of human rights the issues should be addressed on a governmental level. However, there is a lot that can be done to improve the situation.

Education on the importance of tolerance and confronting acts of injustice is the first step. Most importantly – being aware of the issues and understanding the need for respect and acceptance is essential. Inactivity and passiveness are not things that will make the problem disappear.  Taking action and showing support when we encounter an act of injustice is the best we could do if we want to start making a difference.

Unite against injustice