“I’m not a racist. I have several X friends/family/significant other.”
Having friends, family members or a significant other who represents a specific ethnic background does not give you permission to make racist comments about that ethnic group, or absolve you from racism.
"All Lives Matter."
"All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter" is a racist statement. It erases the racist and in many cases deadly experiences faced by Black people.
“You look just like [name of other person of colour].”
To confuse someone for someone else, simply because they are both the same ethnicity, to say that people from a certain ethnicity “all look the same” is not only inaccurate, it’s offensive and racist.
“Your English is actually pretty good.”
Although this statement seems like a compliment, it is actually a form of linguistic racism—discriminating against someone based on their accent or speech patterns. 
“You’re good at X because you’re X.”
To attribute a person’s ability based on their race strips them of their individual achievements and diminishes the value of their efforts. It’s a hurtful stereotype.
“Why are we being punished for something we didn’t even do?” (Reconciliation)
Everyone has a role to play in reconciliation, whether they played a direct role in the atrocities against Indigenous people or not. If you live in Canada and are not Indigenous, you are a settler who benefits from colonialism and reconciliation IS …
“That was not my intent.”
This statement doesn’t make the racist statement that precedes it any better because although the person may not have intended to offend or hurt someone, it doesn’t mean that what was said wasn’t offensive or harmful—intent vs. impact.
“You don’t look Indigenous.”
This type of remark is based on racist or stereotypical assumptions about how an Indigenous person should look according to the person who said it. Such a statement creates guilt, doubt, and insecurities around Indigenous identity, based on someone …
“I like exotic women.”
"I like exotic women" is a statement that perpetuates the fetishization of women of colour, which is dehumanizing and reduces women to and upholds harmful stereotypes.
"Your name is so hard to pronounce."
Mispronouncing names is a form of implicit discrimination. "It sends a message that you are minimal, you are not important in this environment.” It can also perpetuate racist attitudes towards these groups. 
“Jews are wealthy, greedy, and have too much power.”
The statement is not only racist but false. Jews are not monolithic. They do not act as one to advance a particular, unified agenda. These stereotypes and statements still lead to violence and murder of Jews.
"You're too sensitive / it’s just a joke."
This phrase ignores the reality that racism exists, is very real, very harmful, and has a lasting impact on those who experience it. If an individual is hurt or offended by racist remarks or actions, that’s completely valid. Racism is not a joke.
“Your food / X food smells weird, is gross, tastes funny, etc.”
When someone makes offensive comments around a type of food, they are sharing an unconscious belief that certain foods are inferior because of the ethnicity of the people who make and consume that food.
“You’re not like ‘other’ Indigenous people.”
While it may seem like a compliment to the person it’s said to, this statement casts a harmful stereotype and racist characterization of Indigenous people.
“Jewish losses during the Holocaust are exaggerated.”
There is a growing belief that the Holocaust—which saw the ideological and systematic approach to eradicating Jewish people—was exaggerated, or in some cases, misinformation that the Holocaust didn’t even happen. This is categorically untrue.

Suggest a Statement

What racist statement and potential response would you like to see included on this page?