Personally, I've dealt with prejudice in my daily life more times than I care to admit. Being a tad bit of a hot head, I know I have not made the best decisions when confronted by those with such views, but that is the point of me making this. I don't want others to make the same mistakes I have. I don't want others to feel alone when racial slurs and random comments hit a little too close to home. I promise each and every one of you, you're not alone.
1. Stay Calm
Staying calm is the most vital piece of advice you have to remember. It's always going to be our instinct to defend ourselves when someone is being offensive towards us and those we love, but that emotion can turn to anger very quickly. You can clench your fist and grit your teeth, but take a deep breath before you say anything. The last thing you want to do is to prove their point for them, so stay calm.
2. Ask Questions
There is nothing wrong with asking questions to those with prejudices. Personally, I enjoy asking questions like, "Why do you believe that?" or "When did you start to form this view?" and even sometimes, "Is this your belief, or do believe that because your family does?" Sometimes it can help to get past the harsh words and create a conversation. As unappetizing as that may sound most of the time, this is your opportunity to change someone's mind. Start the conversation, and ask questions.
3. Get Out
There is nothing wrong with walking away. If whoever is yelling slurs at you or just being a horrible person in general to you, GET OUT. The best thing you can do is start to walk away and don't turn around for anything. Maybe you're like me, and you can feel yourself getting angry. You know yourself, so breathe and recognize if you cannot handle yourself in the situation. You're better than those that try to taunt you. Walk away.
4. Turn to those close to you
A lot of us prefer to turn inwards when something negative happens in our lives. We dive so deep into our own mind and basically shut down to the rest of the world. I promise you, there are many people around you that can help. None of us are alone in this crazy world. All you need to do is find someone, family or friend, that's willing to lend an ear. Talking about problems allows us to have a sense that someone else really cares about the problems you're dealing with. You don't have to go through this life alone. Turn to those close to you.
5. Remember your experience
Awhile after the event, many of us would probably try to block out what happened. Maybe try to toss it to the side and say it doesn't matter, but we can't afford to do that. Sure, some can just shrug it off, but I'm tired of having to. Prejudice will always exist unless we do something about it. Take the sadness, the anger, the whatever your feelings were, and share your story. We learn about the past to fix the present and better the future.
Don't forget... remember your experience.
"People who are aware of, and ashamed of, their prejudices are well on their road to eliminating them." — Gordon Allport