Because let’s face it, you really can’t just sit there and do nothing

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Ever since I started writing about racism, white people have reached out to me to ask how they can fight against racism or even better become antiracists. Some think that it is easy because “they don’t see color”, and others are afraid that it will expose them to uncomfortable conversations and painful confrontations. And while yes, confrontations can and will happen, you cannot ignore or put up with racism simply to preserve your inner peace. That’s just not morally, ethically, and socially acceptable anymore. Not standing up to racism when you aren’t a racist yourself says a lot about you…

Or how Germany killed thousands of Black people and hid it from the world until it no longer could

Source: Instagram — zimbochic_ Modern-day Herero women in traditional dress in Namibia

Like the Tulsa Race Massacre in America, the horrifying details of Germany’s Black Holocaust have recently come out into the mainstream — meaning that this part of history that was intentionally omitted from history books and what you and I were taught in school, is finally seeing the light of day. Between 1890 and 1915, Germany tortured, sexually exploited, conducted unethical medical experiments on, and murdered tens of thousands of black people in concentration camps in a part of Southwest Africa now known as Namibia.

The despicable cruelty and depravity of these acts are difficult to fathom and recount, without…

Go to a place where you are the only white person

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My white friends keep asking me how it feels like when I am the only black person anywhere: for example at a restaurant, in a museum, at the swimming pool, at the gym, on an airplane, at the team meeting, and the list goes on. Honestly, after living almost all of my life in a country where I am a minority, I am used to it.

It’s sometimes uncomfortable and stressful to stick out when all I want is to be is discreet or melt in with the crowd, but that’s difficult when you are black or brown in a…

I’ll let you be the judge of that

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Last Friday, I realized that Switzerland was celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday, June 6th. There doesn’t seem to be a global consensus yet about a uniform date during which Father’s Day is celebrated all around the world. In the US for example, it will be celebrated on June 21. But in Switzerland, it was coming up fast and I suspected that my children were unaware that it was soon upon us. I let them know and almost immediately my daughter asked if I could help her pick out a gift for her dad.

I gladly accepted because I wanted to…

Because they think that it’s a compliment but it’s not

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«Once you go black, you never go back», is a popular expression that means that once someone white sleeps with someone black, they will never want to sleep with another white person ever again. Implicit in this is that sex is so good with a black person that it becomes impossible to not keep coming back for more. As a result, that white person will crave sexual relations with black people for the rest of their lives.

When white people say this, they think it's a compliment and some black people take it as one, but if you deconstruct this…

You must understand, they are my friends too and I don’t want to have to choose between you and them

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As a black person living in Switzerland, I have had my fair share of bizarre things happen to me. Youth, fear, self-doubt, and inexperience often prevented me from calling white people out on their racism. Truth be told, I didn’t want to lose the few friends I had either.

Once, I found myself in a situation where Annick, someone I considered a friend said: “I’ve invited Jean-Pierre and Marie to my wedding. You don’t know them, they are childhood friends, but I need to tell you that they are racists. Just don’t go near them and you’ll be okay”.


Because they always believe him over me

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I’ve always been reluctant to go see a doctor when I am ill. I am black, and I live in Switzerland where close to 95 percent of medical practitioners are white. Whenever I am unwell, seeing a white doctor here is at times, a painful experience filled with multiple racial micro-aggressions. When my husband is with me, his white privilege spares me these humiliating ordeals.

A few years ago, I was feeling very unwell. I felt weak and tired all the time, and frequently lost my balance. I went to see my white doctor at least three times alone. Each…

He should have known better

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Right on the back of mental health month, I am aghast to see Naomi Osaka, the number two female tennis player in the world been torn apart for prioritizing her mental health over interviews with the media at the French tennis open in Paris. King of all the critics is Piers Morgan, the British television celebrity who implies in a tweet that Osaka is spoilt and entitled. This is the same person who mocked Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex when she shared she had contemplated ending her life while she was pregnant.

It seems that…

It feels like an uphill battle every step of the way

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I was lucky. I grew up in a family where I knew that black people, especially black women could do great things. My mother is an electrical engineer, my grandmother was a school teacher and my aunts excelled in their fields. I knew that black women could do anything. As I grew up, I realized that the world did not value and respect black women. Society rarely ever gave them leading roles or made them CEOs of large companies. Today, there is only one black woman leading a Fortune 500 company.

It seems that there is an invisible barrier preventing…

Because I need to see more black people like me on screen

Photo by Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash

I am black and I grew up in the 80s and 90s. At the time, most Hollywood movies featured a white-only cast. That was just the way life was, and I tolerated it. Whenever I did see a black character in movies— especially a black woman, I’d be overjoyed. I’d look at her personality, her style, her hair, and her make-up and try to copy her. Seeing another black woman gave me a high. …

Rebecca Stevens A.

I write about racism, but there are so many other things I would like to write about instead. Help me dismantle racism so that I can get to that.

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