A Reader Asks: How to handle hate speech

No Hate SpeechA reader submitted the following work challenge:

“Sometimes people tend to say things that are very demeaning, degrading, and discriminating against others.¬†What is your advice for those of us who [witness these] remarks?”

Whoa! Wait! Did he just say what I think he said?

Unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d like to admit. Picture it with me for a moment. You’re waiting for the staff meeting to begin. People are coming into the room. They’re gathered around the conference table talking and feeling comfortable being among “friends”. Then, there it comes. Someone blurts out a “joke” that is (as the reader put it) “very demeaning, degrading, and discriminating”. This is hate speech.

What do you do when you hear hate speech?

Unfortunately, too many times we ignore it, laugh it off, or just smile uncomfortably all the while listening to the following internal debate going on in our heads.

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