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What psychology says about how you should respond to racist behaviour

Thomas, E.F. and Pedersen, A. (2015) What psychology says about how you should respond to racist behaviour. The Conversation, 5 August 2015 .

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The recent controversy around certain football fans incessantly booing Adam Goodes has sparked collective soul-searching as we struggle to distinguish the line between racism and benign on-field antics. Regardless of what we might call it, there are things that you can do when you witness behaviour such as this.

Goodes being booed while playing football is a very public case of “everyday racism”. Everyday racism is more normalised and less recognised than other more blatant forms of racism, such as calling Goodes an “ape” as a 13-year-old girl did during a 2013 game in Melbourne.

Any one of us can do something about such instances, but before we go on, here are some provisos. We’re not saying that everybody who booed Goodes was racist. Nor do we consider whether this incident signals a deep-seated national racism as others have argued.

What we’re concerned about here is the hurt inflicted through everyday racism and what we, as a community, can do about it.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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