Minority Bill of Rights
If you clicked on this blog, chances are you’ve experienced some unsettling or downright dangerous situations centering around your racial or ethnic identity. Perhaps you’ve felt isolated, mistreated, or even physically threatened because of what you look like or how you speak. I want to help you unpack all of that.
As a minority myself, I also want you to know that I do appreciate what it’s like to be targeted or singled out. I know what it means to be made to feel small, other, or less than because of inherent circumstances beyond my control. While I may not be living your exact experience, I empathize, and I want to help you reclaim your power.
No matter your race or ethnic background, you have a BIRTHRIGHT to feel safe, empowered, and respected in EVERY circumstance, at ALL times.
It’s time to become your own advocate
We live in a society with distorted ideas about race that are deeply and historically-entrenched. Though significant strides have been made, we still have a long way to go towards positive race relations and a global community that feels warm and welcoming to all human beings. Allyship and advocacy are invaluable resources in the battle for social equality, but if you are a minority, no one has a higher stake in this battle than you. No one stands more to gain from minority empowerment and enfranchisement, from uplifting and empowering media representation than minorities, themselves. If you’ve ever been made to feel less than because of who you are or where you come from, it’s time to let go of that narrative and write a new story. You deserve to be your own champion; your own example of beauty, success, talent, and skill.
Safety, respect, and self-love should not be exclusively reserved for the highly-privileged.
You are entitled to so much more
Too often, minorities are confronted with such frequent threats to their personal safety, comfort, and very existence that they begin to internalize toxic messaging. They experience microaggressions so often in every environment imaginable, from the workplace to public social gatherings, that these threatening messages sometimes seem reasonable. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If not counteracted by explicitly supportive, nurturing, and affirming messaging, feelings of inadequacy easily permeate the psyche, creating a polluted “normal”
To combat the normalization of placing people in low places, we must all remind ourselves of our Bill of Rights. Simply put, your Bill of Rights is a personalized list of affirmations curated to reassert your birth-given right to certain fundamental truths. We’ve already covered the power of affirmations here on the blog, but now I want to delve more in depth into empowering words and phrases to uplift specific groups of people!
Below, find the Minority Bill of Rights to help you remember your worth and assert yourself with healthy boundaries:
AS A MINORITY, I AM ALLOWED…
to love the color of my skin
to love the texture of my hair, shape of my eyes, nose, and lips, and other racially-identifying features
to exist outside of socially accepted standards of beauty
to enjoy the same compensation and career expansion opportunities as my non-minority colleagues
to have my boundaries of personal space respected
to refuse persistent and disrespectful inquiries regarding my culture or personal appearance
to understand that slang, vernacular, and accents are not an indication of intelligence level
to challenge laws, authorities, and institutions that threaten my right to exist
to feel safe and at ease in any environment
to excuse myself from any environment or situation that makes me feel unsafe, threatened, or disrespected
to date and marry within or outside of my particular race
to dress in whatever clothing feels comfortable and pleasing to me
to exist outside of socially-perpetuated stereotypes
to feel protected and respected by law-enforcement
to openly embrace and celebrate my race or ethnicity identification
to identify myself outside of race and ethnicity
It is my sincerest hope that you will keep this expression of a Minority Bill of Rights close to your heart. Feel free to add to it whichever truths move your spirit. Remember, as we must respect our own rights so must we respect the right of others to be their authentic selves. So long as it causes no harm or threat to the wellbeing of another individual, we each have the right to think, speak, and do as most genuinely reflects our purest nature.
Do any of these affirmations resonate strongly with you? Are there any minority rights you feel I’ve left out?
NOW YOU: CHOOSE ONE OF THE QUESTIONS ABOVE AND ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH SHAME SURROUNDING YOUR RACE OR ETHNIC IDENTITY? DO YOU WISH TO LEARN HOW TO SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR TRIGGERING FRIENDS AND COWORKERS? Contact Lucas Saiter for a complimentary phone consultation at 646.506.3832.
Lucas Saiter is a Mental Health Counselor and associate psychotherapist at NYC Therapy + Wellness in the Flatiron District of New York City. He works one on one with clients to build confidence, uncover the root of emotional, mental, and behavioral disturbances, and build a path toward personal development and expansion. Lucas works with a wide range of clientele from a diverse collection of racial and ethnic backgrounds. His clients’ concerns include relationship worries, identity issues, anxiety, depression, and more. If you require assistance embracing and asserting your authentic self, reach out today.
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