“I am not a racist, because I have nothing against black people, if they assimilate and follow our rules. In fact, some of my friends are black…” Maybe you have been confronted with this opinion, or a similar one. Perhaps you have tried to explain that what you mean by tolerance does not mean that everything is permitted. Maybe you have experienced confusion when speaking with someone from another part of Europe about ‘left’ and ‘right’. In this information leaflet we want to start a discussion about certain terms we use often in our daily work. The ‘definitions’ in this leaflet are ideas. They are not the unique and only expression of an unchangeable truth. Language is constantly changing and so are terms and concepts. In time, they may change and come to mean something else. In international cooperation, but in fact even in cooperation with our next-door neighbours, we must be aware that what we say may mean something else to another person. We should be aware of the ‘danger of words’.
In this leaflet, you will find a list of commonly used words and phrases in the field of anti-racism and what they mean in the world of today.