Racism is when you treat someone differently of unfairly because of the colour of their skin or their culture.
If you are the victim of racism, know that what they are doing is illegal and just because you are different doesn't give them the right to treat you differently or abuse you.
What exactly is racism?
Racism can mean a variety of things. It is when someone is treated in an unfair manner because of their race or culture, it is also when someone is prejudiced against because of their religion or nationality.
One example is seeing a Muslim person and immediately assuming they are a terrorist. This is wrong and not true at all!
It is illegal to treat people differently or unfairly because of their race and nobody has the right to make you feel bad or abuse you.
Racism can include:
- written or verbal threats or insults
- damage to property, including graffiti
- personal attacks, including violence
Why are some people racist?
Someone who's a racist can feel threatened by anyone who's from a different race or culture.
Our views and beliefs develop as we grow up. If you grow up within a racist family, or have friends who are racist, you may believe that racism is normal and acceptable.
Prejudice of any kind is often based on ignorance and fear of things that are different. Don't dislike what you don't know. Find out more by reading, learning about things online, talking to people who might have a different perspective to you and getting lots of different views before you make up your mind.
Imagine being someone else and what this would be like. Think about how you'd like to be treated.
Being bullied or treated differently can be hard. It might seem easier to avoid situations where the racist abuse might happen, like not going to school. This usually won't help it go away. And it can make you feel worse.
Things you can try to help stop the bullying:
- Accept that it's not your fault - It can be tough if you're having a hard time, but remember you're not the one to have caused the problem.
- Tell someone what's happening to you - This could be a close friend or an adult you trust.
- Keep some evidence - This could be a diary of events, saved messages and a record of when things happen. This can be useful to show others that you need help.
- Keep yourself safe - You could walk home with someone you trust, change privacy settings online and block users who bully you.
Young people have told us:
"People laugh at me and call me names because I have red hair and freckles."
''I get told to be avoided because I'm from Pakistan and people say I am a bad person''
''Boys at school call me horrible names because my family and I are Jehovah's Witnesses.''
Whatever you're going through, you can talk to someone. Don't hesitate to contact NICRO whenever you or a loved one needs help.