"Many locals appear to think of me as being either a traitor or as being a person who is just doing this for the fun of it -- like a hobby really. I have heard accounts from Muslims who originate in the Middle and Far East regarding how people treat them. These people often suffer as a result of their culture and as a consequence of the clothes they wear. The fact that Arabs and Muslims are associated with terrorists plays an important role in shaping people's understanding of this culture. The masses are inclined to believe that individuals belonging to these groups are more likely to be terrorists and that they should thus be considered suspect."
What people in my community seem to have trouble understanding is that religious preferences and any kind of preferences for that matter do not dictate the way that people behave. Conversely, I've learnt a lot while being a member of this community -- I realized that discrimination can be both good and bad at the same time. When someone doesn't like a person as a result of the fact that the respective individual enjoys harming animals, discrimination is perfectly acceptable. In contrast, when someone doesn't like a person because of that person's ethnicity or skin color, the individual judging is ignorant and unable to see beyond appearances.
The fact that I am the member of a minority and that I am thus more likely to be discriminated is actually a positive thing for me. It provides me with the opportunity to observe people's first impression when they interact with me and it makes it possible for me to observe individuals who are inclined to discriminate me.
Another issue that I observed in the community regarding racism is the way that some companies have a tendency to hire people belonging to particular racial groups. For example, a lawyer's company that is ran by white individuals has more than 40 employees and all of them are white. Similarly, a grocery store that has around 20 employees doesn't have any white individuals working there. This is also intriguing when looking from an educational point-of-view -- it points toward the fact that minorities still have limited access to education. With many minorities lacking the finances to study at prestigious universities or simply lacking the resources to attend educational institutes on a frequent basis, numerous individuals belonging to these respective groups end up working low-paid jobs and having little to no chances to achieve their goals. While this would create a much more complex discussion involving how the upper classes promote inequality, the truth is that people in power have a strong influence on how the members of a community perceive racism (Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Culture, Media and Sport Committee, p. 34).
From my perspective, in order for things in my community to improve (when looking at matters from a point-of-view regarding racism) the situation needs to take a political turn. As I previously mentioned, individuals in power are likely to shape the way that the masses think. As a consequence, by making it possible for these people to gain a better understanding of discrimination and the degree to which it can destroy a community, they would be more likely to want to raise public awareness concerning the matter (Ziff & Rao, p. 116) I'm not saying that change cannot occur at a micro-level, but I'm saying that by first addressing more visible cases of racism one can effectively have the masses interested in wanting to remove racism altogether.
In order for things to change people need to accept that discrimination exists and that it is bad. The reason why most individuals fail to do anything against discrimination is that they cannot believe that it is actually possible to remove discrimination from society. People are designed in ways that influence them to search for every possible method to differentiate others.
Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Culture, Media and Sport Committee, "Racism in Football: Second Report of Session 2012-13, Vol. 1: Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence, Volume 1,"
(The Stationery Office, 19 Sep 2012)
Ziff, B.H. & Rao, P.V. "Borrowed Power:…