So on a daily basis, I find myself interacting with people (mostly on Facebook) who don’t understand racism, sexism, homophobia and other similar concepts. They aren’t really that difficult to understand, I don’t think, but I’ve made it a career choice and a personal interest to understand people who are different from me and the history that has led to the present state of discrimination, prejudice and negativity that affects those groups. I know not everyone has the time to minor in women’s studies or learn the material sufficient to teach black history classes like I did, so I’m going to give you a handy guide to how to avoid being racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and other things that you might want to avoid being if you want to have a productive life in a modern society.
So here you go, if you do any of these things below in connection with your interactions with or discussion of a particular group of people based on their demographic characteristics (race, gender, age, religion, sexual identity, ethnicity, national origin, etc.), then you are entering into territory where you are being offensive and morally wrong. This doesn’t make you a racist, sexist, etc., automatically, but it does push you in that direction and you should examine your actions, words, etc.
1. Directing physical or emotional harm or wishing harm upon the group