‘’The World is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.’’ Albert Einstein.
In 1998, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivered its findings on the massacre of March 21, 1960 at Sharpeville. The commission found that “police deliberately opened fire on an unarmed crowd that had gathered peacefully to protest the pass laws”.
“The South African Police failed to give the crowd an order to disperse before they began firing and they continued to fire upon the fleeing crowd, resulting in hundreds of people being shot in the back. As a result of the excessive force used, 69 people were killed and more than 300 injured.” The report goes on to say.
The horror of that day is recognized every year on the 21st of March, through the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Far from being a celebration, the day helps us retrospect and evaluate ourselves when it comes to racism. Racism and xenophobia still exist and continue to create painful memories, violent experiences and deadly outcomes.
Racism is structural, institutional, interpersonal and internalized. Many people do not consider themselves racist but are, subconsciously. Think about it, do you hold stereotypes beliefs about a certain race? For example if a Chinese person sneezed next to you right now, would you say ‘bless you’ or walk away thinking ‘Covid-19’? Although the disease is now more spread in western countries, the Chinese still suffer stigma. “There is no such thing as race. None. There is just human beings…”
‘Racial discrimination is a poison that diminishes individuals and societies, perpetuates inequality and feeds anger, bitterness and violence. The fight against racism and all forms of discrimination is a mainstay of peace and social cohesion, especially in our increasingly diverse societies’ Irina Bokova, Former UNESCO Director-General.
“Youth standing up against racism” is the 2021 theme.
It engages the public through #FightRacism, which aims to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination and calls on each and every one of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes. ‘UN 2021’
Young people of all races and backgrounds massively showed their support at the ‘2020 Black Lives Matter’ marches, which drew millions of demonstrators worldwide. On the streets, many youth, mostly teenagers and early adults, came together to protest against racial injustice in the US.
On social media, they mobilized participation, calling on their peers to speak out and to stand up for the equal rights of all. These young people also donated and created merchandise and volunteered their skills and knowledge to end this discrimination.
COVID-19 has heavily impacted young people, including those from minority backgrounds. Many are now grappling with an increase in racial discrimination, in addition to severe disruptions to their education; diminished employment prospects; and limited ability to participate in public life, which stymies their individual and social empowerment. ‘UN 2021’.
The first step to consciously fight racial discrimination is to be aware of your personal racial biases and actively work towards changing them.
At #Transolution, we condemn all forms of racism, by promoting active collaboration with local and international consultants, and encouraging racial diversity among our staff.
“Our mission is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”- Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General.
Let’s all fight racial discrimination together!
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