That’s the thing about minorities: there are fewer people in them.
So let’s all come together and collaborate to make one big, cohesive community. Here are ways to stand up for the smaller sectors of society, be that by ethnicity, sexuality, ability — or anyone else that needs a bit of support.
Click any of the images to see them at a larger size.
EDUCATE YOURSELF IN BLACK HISTORY
Did you learn this in school? Britain welcomed the Windrush generation to fill a depleted labour force after the war. From 1948-1971, thousands of citizens from the Caribbean came to make a new home — and take on the jobs that helped keep the country running.
Here’s one part that definitely isn’t in the school history books: in 2018, the Home Office wrongly informed many of these citizens that they were living in the UK illegally, and threatened deportation. Read up on Black History to see what is happening under our very eyes — and how government’s actions can be complicit in racism.
Image by Colleen Laurent
SMILE, DON’T STARE
If you see someone who looks a little different for whatever reason, don’t stare. Just like anyone else, they have feelings too.
The difference between them and you? This might the first time you’ve been in this situation; for them, it’s a constant reality.
One of our artists says, “I’m a wheelchair user and get stared at a lot, but those that just nod, smile and acknowledge me, make my day”. He suggests, “See the person not the difference”.
Image by Mirka Oinonen
EXPOSE YOUR KIDS
Make sure your children are reading books and watching movies that present a diverse range of characters and expose them to worlds outside their own.
Choose entertainment that will help shape them into true citizens of the world.
Image by Sally Kindberg
LISTEN, PAY ATTENTION, & RESPECT
Respect the wishes of other people. If someone, for example, asks you to call them “him” instead of “her”, do it. Trust their judgement about themselves.
Image by Siiri Viljakka
OPEN YOUR EARS
Opinions are like… ahem.
Anyway, everyone has one and we’re often eager to express them.
But when you’re speaking to someone with direct personal experience of an issue, like discrimination, take the time to let them speak, understand their experiences and reflect on their viewpoint.
Image by Miia Vistilä.
If you’re an artist who includes characters in their work (from cartoonist to scriptwriter to designer), make sure that you depict all kinds of people.
By showing characters who are disabled, non-heteronormative, from religious or ethnic minority backgrounds and so on, you can play a huge part in the public’s perception that all types of people as unremarkable or sympathetic.
Image by Kripa Joshi
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE
The UK group Disabled People Against Cuts say “There are 12 million disabled people in this country. If all of them over 18 voted, our world would change”.
The same goes for everyone. About 41% of eligible people didn’t vote in the recent US elections, and in the UK, 33% didn’t vote in the general election while approximately 28% didn’t take part in the EU referendum.
Image by Jenny Soep
HANG UP A WELCOME SIGN
If you own a business or work somewhere public, display a sign to make it clear that everyone is welcome.
In Portland, Oregon, USA, the Independent Publishing Resource Center made signs that read: We welcome ALL races,ALL religions, ALL countries of origin, ALL sexual orientations, ALL genders. We stand with you. You are safe here.
If you’re a maker, you can produce something similar — and make them available to others. Offer them via social media, using your local hashtag, Facebook page or message board.
Image by Sally-Anne Hickman
RESEARCH YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS
Read up on how people prefer to be supported. Your assumptions may not be quite right.
Image by Richy K. Chandler
CHECK YOUR VOCABULARY
Daisy Hernández, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed, says: “What are you noticing about headlines when the police kill another black teenager? Is the teen described as a kid on his way to college or as a “black male”? I try to raise awareness that we’re trafficking in racial ideology 24-7 online — and that we can change the direction of these conversations every time we hit “comment.”
Same applies across all sectors of society — from gender non-binary to disabled people, and everything in between — but let’s especially listen to what the black community is telling us. Pick your words with care.
Image by Victor Szepessy
People like you don’t stand for election, right? That’s exactly why you should consider it.
When government is dominated by the rich, the privileged, the male, or other dominant groups, legislation tends to favour those people. We owe it to our own communities to represent them in local and national politics.
Image by Rosa Devine
SAY IT OUT LOUD
When the political narrative directly turns against your beliefs, your race, your sexuality or your lifestyle, it’s frightening.
Do you know someone who may be reading the news and feeling that fear right now? Let them know you’ve got their back. You’d be surprised how much a few words can do.
Image by Josie Pearse
HAVE YOUR DAY IN COURT
Your government should serve you. If you believe they have gone so badly astray from this path that they are doing actual harm, there is recourse: you can take them to court.
Yes, it takes guts; it takes money too. But it may just save the world. In the US, for example, kids are suing the government over climate change.
Image by Amber Hsu
DIVERSIFY YOUR BOOKCASE
Seek out and read stories, books and comics created marginalised people. Recommend them to others. It’s a win-win: not only are you increasing your knowledge about a different world view, but you’re supporting the authors too.
Image by Amanda Priebe
CHALLENGE HATEFUL VIEWS
Online or face-to-face: don’t let it pass, say something.
Image by Al Davison
CLICK THE LITTLE TRIANGLE
If you see an ad or status on Facebook, and it spreads hate, lies or misinformation, look for the small triangle (usually top right) which will enable you to report it. Same on lots of other social media sites.
In the short term it will notify the site that the ad needs reviewing — but it may have an aggregate effect, too. If everyone did this, those advertisers would begin to be shunned by social media platforms and businesses who have an interest in keeping their users happy.
Image by Christine Wong
RAISE A BETTER GENERATION
Kids are the voters of tomorrow. Let’s make sure they have some solid values and a good understanding of the way the world works.
Talk to them about unfairness in the world. Teach them equality and understanding. Help them to understand their own rights, and the rights of others. Let them know that our elected representatives are available, and how to access them when we need them.
If you feel a political figure has let you down, tell your child about that too: people are fallible, even those in power, and that’s an important lesson to learn.
Image by Rosa Devine
SPEAK UP AGAINST BULLYING
If you see someone being bullied, online, at work, at school, at home or in public, stand by the victim.
And speak up: report it to your boss, your teachers, the police. If they’re the people doing the bullying, go public. You owe it to everyone.
Image by Cesar Lador
The work of comic artists like Olivier Kugler and Kate Evans show us that documentary or reportage drawing can be a powerful tool.
As comic artists we might feel that we don’t have much to offer when faced with gross injustices, poverty, or warfare. But we can tell stories, and in a very immediate way.
A way that can change minds, soften hearts, even alter the political discourse.
Image by Sousa Machado Arts
All artwork on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.