Given the flood of information coming at us, from so many different sources, you should expect to encounter a situation contaminated by bias. Be AWARE. Be PREPARED. Prepare to RESPOND when it happens by knowing the following:
- The FACTS and MYTHS about COVID-19
- The Historical Context of Racialized Public Health Events, particularly against those who racially identify as Asian, Asian-American, and/or Asian Pacific Islander.
BE POSITIVE INQUIRE & INCLUDE
- the reality is we are all learners who have biases (both known and unknown), and therefore, we must continually work to reduce the negative impact of these biases. So, start from a place of inquiry when you encounter biased speech and/or behavior. Use my “TTM” (i.e. “Tell me more...”) method. The TTM method sets a positive tone and encourages listening and learning for all.
BE PRODUCTIVE EDUCATE!
Use this “teachable moment” to educate others. Share the facts and expose/explore the myths; Share the historical context of the bias issue, Share explanations and examples of relevant terms, such as bias, stereotypes, xenophobia, racism, etc.
- State and stick to your principles. State your (your family’s) values, beliefs, etc. re how you feel humans should be treated); Set expectations
- Set limits (expectations) and boundaries (State & Stick). Depending on your relationship, you may not be able to control another person’s behavior; however, you can always state your limits, expectations, and boundaries, and you can definitely stick to your principles and control your own behavior when people ignore them (e.g. “Please do not use that type of language.” OR “Please do not tell biased or hate-filled jokes around me.”)
Speaking up and out against biased or hate-filled speech and/or behavior is not an innate trait. It is a skill that is learned over time. Developing this skill is a continuous process that involves risks and rewards, vulnerability and humility, and total commitment to the process because in these situations, the process can be the actual product.