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Five different types of racism you MUST lookout for in your workplace

by , 30 October 2013
Racism is discrimination or prejudice against an employee or group of employees based on their race. But there's more than one type of racism out there. Here are five types you should lookout for in your workplace.

Racism is rife.

In June, we reported that civil society group, Equal Education (EE) asked Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to apologise publicly for a 'racist' statement she made.

In her statement, Motshekga said EE was a 'group of white adults organising black African children with half-truths.'

More recently, footballer Yaya Toure was the target of monkey chants during Manchester City's 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.

Following the incident, the Ivorian warned Russia that players will boycott the 2018 World Cup finals if the country fails to adopt stringent measures to stamp out racism, reports Sky Sports.

In a workplace environment, racism comes in different forms. That's why you have to learn to recognise it and take steps to eliminate it.

The five different forms of racism revealed

Type #1: Pure racism

Pure racism is based on a belief of superiority, which is often direct. For example, certain people believing that people from another race group can't do a job because of perceived inferiority.

Type #2: Racial discrimination

Racial discrimination is when people aren't all given the same opportunity or treatment on the basis of perceived racial differences.

This form of racism is more subtle. The difference in treatment isn't directly expressed, but the effect of the difference results in prejudice.

For example, your company only appoints whites to senior management levels and sees blacks only as labourers.

Type #3: Intolerance of race

This is subtle exclusion and a less openly manifested form of racism. An example of this is when the race that considers itself superior simply excludes the other race on both social and work levels, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

Type #4: Xenophobia

Xenophobia is the hatred and fear of foreigners or people belonging to a different ethnic group. This is a new form of racism and one that's particularly harmful.

You'll recall that in 2008, a series of xenophobic attacks took place all over South Africa. Over 60 foreigners were killed, several hundred injured and many immigrants were displaced.

Since then xenophobic attacks have become very prevalent in South Africa. Staff members from other parts of the country are at the receiving end of xenophobic-driven exclusion by other staff members who are 'local'.

Type #5: Reverse racism

This is a perception driven by many in the workplace, the belief that the Employment Equity Act and affirmative action is nothing more than reverse racism. If you don't deal with this perception, it'll only breed resentment and polarisation in the workplace, says the Loose Leaf Service.

Is there a way to eliminate racism in your workplace?

Yes, use these tips to manage incidents of racism in your workplace.

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