That a scholarly publication entitled Racism Review exists may be a sad commentary about the state of humanity, but it’s a necessary one.
Recently, the publication featured a study by two San Francisco State University professors about the attitudes and reactions of Filipino-Americans, concerning racism. The study showed that Filipino-Americans who “confront racism boosted their self esteem.”
Yet, the same study by researchers Alvin Alvarez, professor of counseling, and Linda Juang, associate professor of psychology—entitled “Filipino Americans and Racism: A Multiple Mediation Model of Coping,” and published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology—reported that 99 percent of the study participants experienced at least one incident of “everyday racism.”
Subtle racism is the most commonplace form of discrimination—racism such as being ignored, ridiculed or treated differently. Lead researcher Alvarez explained that, “These are incidents that may seem innocent and small, but cumulatively they can have a powerful impact on an individual’s mental health. Trying to ignore these insidious incidents could become taxing and debilitating over time, chipping away at a person’s spirit.”
The chipping away of the spirit. This aptly describes the result of what is sadly termed “subtle, everyday racism.”
“Everyday racism” chips away at the most dynamic and prolific part of a human being, Alvarez said. “As an Asian American man who has experienced my share of racism, I offer a solution to all who bully and discriminate. In the words of Rollo May, ‘self-love is not only necessary and good; it is a prerequisite for loving others’ “.
By Paula Nourse