You don’t have to work in public relations to see we are living through a pivotal moment in modern history. The recent international protests around race and race relations have made us collectively stop and think about our own experiences with racism and discrimination. Here at PR Associates, we wanted to share our own stories.
Is Being Nice Enough?
For most of my life I’ve known that racism and discrimination are deeply-rooted in society – by no stretch of the imagination is it unheard of to hear some form of discrimination on a weekly basis. However, I believed that if I was a nice person and didn’t add to the problem then that was enough.
When asked to write this piece on my experience with discrimination, I had a small anxiety attack. Questions started to flow through my mind of what was pc to say, what could I even say, what was the right thing to say, what could I even add to this conversation which I know so little about.
As a middle-class, Caucasian, woman, living in Canada, I have not experienced what many, that I now understand, experience on a day-to-day basis. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like.
Before the #BLM movement in 2020, I felt that I wasn’t adding to the discrimination problem in Canada. I didn’t realize the support that was needed for the black community and the systemic issues that were facing them. I thought being a nice, non-judgemental person was enough – that that would fix it.
It is essential to understand what is happening in communities and where support is needed. Following the current coverage has helped me to pull my head from where it was stuck and understand what is actually going on – good and bad. It’s also helped me to understand what I can do to help – like support local businesses and efforts that need attention.
Awareness, support and action are what has always been needed and being nice is just the start.