Racism: Diversity and Social Justice

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In the readings for diversity and social justice, racism is a particular form of prejudice. Hence, prejudice is a combination of stereotypes, omissions, distortions, and it is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information about others. Also, racism is not only a personal ideology based on racial prejudice, but a system involving cultural messages, institutional policies, practices as well as the beliefs, and actions of individuals.

Additionally, in the reading it mentions that racism combines with religious oppression to suppress the cultural expression of indigenous groups' religious beliefs and practices. In addition, racism impacts the quality of all our lives because it resides within all significant structures of society.

In like manner, Oxford dictionary defines racism as a prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. Furthermore, racism is the application of racial prejudice by the use of power, directed against those who are deemed inferior by individuals, institutional members, and leaders with the intentional, and unintentional support and participation of the entire dominant racial-cultural group and racial discrimination is the behavioral manifestation of racism (Jones $Carter 1996).

In the same way, there are three main levels of racism these are: individual racism, institutional racism, and cultural racism. Utsey (1999) states that racism-related stress has been conceptualized as the degree of exposure (e.g., chronic) to cultural, institutional, and individual racism that might result in psychological upset.

Therefore, individual racism is hatred of one person by another person. Institutional racism is the racism within a given dominant society, organization, or community as a whole. While cultural racism is the racism that takes place between different ethnicity, beliefs, religions, identity, race and so on. In the film Jodhaa Akbar, Jodhaa experienced an individual racism towards her from Akbar's nanny, Maham Anga, who he considers like his own mother because she was the one that nursed him when the biological mother was away. Maham Anga does not like Jodhaa right from the first time she set eyes on her. She conspires to spoil her image in front of Akbar which she succeeded in doing by instigating in Akbar that Jodhaa went to meet her lover and Akbar believed such a thing without taking time to hear her own side of the story. Moreover, this concept of racism impacts Jodhaa socially that she felt unwanted, heartbroken, ashamed, betrayed, and disappointed.

Likewise, this concept of racism impacts Jodhaa emotionally because she felt hurt, emotional pain, angry, stressed, and upset. Additionally, this concept of racism impacts Jodhaa psychologically because he felt depressed, sad, and confused. As a matter of fact, Carter (2007) states that both integrative reviews and recent meta-analysis have reported that exposure to racism and racial discrimination is associated with psychological and emotional distress.

In addition, as a clinician I, will be using the strategy proposed in Jun (2010) to help address Jodhaa issues. The first strategy for dismantling racism and racial prejudice at the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels is eliminating inappropriate dichotomous and hierarchical thinking styles in evaluating racial issues. The second strategy is to be proactive and not reactive towards that individual.

Implications for Psychologists

First racism: As a psychologist, it is important to know how to constitutes effective support for dealing with the issue of racism, it may be important to provide psychoeducation to potential victims of racism, as well as education for psychologists in practice to help empower clients to seek and find the support they need to cope with racism, especially some of its more traumatic effects.

In addition, as a psychologist, it is important to understand that when it comes to supporting an individual who has just experienced an act of racism don't minimize the person, don't dismiss the person even if it seems questionable whether the incident was racist, focus on the impact and meaning for the individual confiding in you, don't intellectualize truly, there will be times when we hear a terrible story, we're sent into a state of shock ourselves we may want to explain that what happened really wasn't as heinous as it might have been. Thus, it is important to refrain from intellectualizing or rationalizing what happened.

Finally, don't give advice it is important to understand as a psychologist, if someone is having an intense reaction to the incident, it's probably not the time to give advice or strategies. However, provide support for that person through actively listen, empathize, and connect the individual with a support group.

Secondly Islamophobia: As a psychologist, it is important to understand what Islam is. Islam is a religion like every other religion. They worship Allah and they read the Qur'an, which is a holy book. There are five basic pillars of Islam these are: the belief (Iman), prayer (Salat), self-purification (Zakat), fasting (Sawm), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Additionally, their women wear a hijab that is like a long black robe covering from head to toe. At first, in my case I used to be scared of them because I don't understand why someone will be working out on the street dressed that way until I took this class I understand what it meant to that wear the hijab; it acts as a protection for the women, preserving their dignity, and honor.

Therefore, as a psychologist sometimes, it might look hard to relate to a Muslim, but the truth of the matter is that if we have an open mind without any form of bias or discrimination it will be easy to establish and build a rapport with such a person. McWhirter (1997) outlined a model for empowerment in therapy that may be useful with Muslim American clients. She suggested that facilitating empowerment model requires the therapist to integrate the five elements in his or her work with clients: collaboration, context, critical consciousness, competence, and community.

Thirdly Ethnocentrism: As a psychologist, it is important to understand that there is an inappropriate thinking style/ pattern behind anyone with ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is seeing oneself as the ultimate and others less valuable. Therefore, as a psychologist we have to embark on the use of transformative learning to help transcend this inappropriate thinking style to a more holistic one.

Implication for Parents

First Islamophobia: As a parent, it is very important for us to be open-minded and not clustered in our thoughts what we think Islam is without actually knowing what it really is, especially, when relating or discussing with our children regarding other religions that are out there. As parents instigating fear in them or giving them a wrong advice regarding other religion such as Islam will only end up creating more discrimination, hatred, and anger against such group.

Secondly Racism: As a parent, it is important to be aware that there is racism everywhere. Be it in the school, at work, in the community, environment, family, among friends, in the government, and so on. However, it is very important for us as parents to nurture, train, teach, and bring up our children in a godly manner not teaching them to be a racist nor impacting fear of racism in them as this will only do more harm than good.

Thus, such kids might end up developing low self-esteem, will not be able to express themselves, lacks confidence, lacks boldness because now inferiority complex have stepped in. Instead, as parents may we be the example our children see. How do we treat people as parents matter a lot because our kids learn most of the time from what they see and not what they have been told? However, as parents may we be able to teach our children the way to live a balanced life and portray respect for one another.

Thirdly Ethnocentrism: Ethnocentrism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own ethnic group whereby judging other groups as inferior to one's own. Moreover, as parents we have to realize that no one is the same; like the saying all hands are not equal. Everyone is entitled to believe what they want to believe in. Just because someone is not from our tribe, race, ethnic or cultural group does not make them look or feel worthless.

Additionally, as parents it is very important for us to guide ourselves, thought, and imagination and it is important to understand that ethnocentrism is not bad only if holistic thinking is the dominant thinking of that individual. Thus, as parent lets us learn to be open, don't have to look down on anyone, but learn to embrace and relate with people.


The film Jodhaa Akbar is a very interesting film. There were many characters to choose from and explore, but I choose to explore the character of Jodhaa because she is a lady that have gone through things right from her childhood until adulthood, her life has been under the control of her parents she has no say of her own. Reflecting it now, though she is privileged to be the princess, but she was actually undergoing a systematic oppression within her own family.

Hence, the three concepts I discussed were Islamophobia, racism, and ethnocentrism. Jodhaa was afraid to marry the Mughal because he is Muslim and the way they do things are totally different from the Hindus. That fear alone griped her because now she has to leave behind her own belief, practice, religion, norms, way of worship, and lifestyle it was depressing and sad for her.

Another concept is that of racism. Jodhaa experienced a lot of discrimination, prejudice, acquisition, antagonism just because she was a Hindu. The lawmakers in the court did not want her, the nanny to Akbar never liked her from the very beginning so there were a lot of challenges. Due to this racism she felt unwanted, emotional pain, hurt, sad, and depressed.

Finally, ethnocentrism in the film Jodhaa had an ethnocentric behavior regarding her way of worship and that was one of the condition she gave Akbar before she could consent to the marriage to keep her religion, have an altar built for her god, and keep to her way of worship. To sum up, Jodhaa went through all these struggles and challenge proactively when she needed to talk she speaks, when she thinks it makes no sense she stays calm and things eventually will fall and take its right place.

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Racism: Diversity and Social Justice. (2019, Apr 10). Retrieved June 14, 2024 , from

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