“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”
– Martin Luther King
It’s a shame that a Black is found trembling for his safety, hardly daring to believe that on the soil of Earth, a single white person could be found to befriend him; a shame that love has to be a specific gender and beauty in a mere lighter color.
While I am on the topic of discrimination, I’d like to emphasize how racial discrimination may not be the only branch of discrimination but is, indeed, the most deplorable one. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor –
all of them in actuality had fallen victim to the barbarism of white supremacy. In one US survey, 15.8% of students reported experiencing race-based bullying or harassment. During the 2015-16 school year, Black students represented only 15% of total US student enrollment. To this date, Black women are still not treated properly in hospitals, and their men are still arrested without a warrant in broad daylight. Needless to say, racism is not an American product nor does the long series of such injustice end here.
A young man in Turkey is stabbed to death by three assailants on the grounds that he was singing a song in Kurdish. Two Muslim women in the Champ de Mars park at the foot of the Eiffel Tower are stabbed in the heart infront of their children because of their religion. A transgender in Pakistan is shot in the head, dragged in the streets, and mocked at. Thirteen-year-old – Christian by faith – is forcefully converted to Islam, married to an
elderly man, and yet the honorable high-court passes the verdict of legalizing the marriage. Is this the equity, the justice I was promised as a global citizen?
There are individuals belonging to Christian, Jewish, Buddhists, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim or any other faith at all, and even atheists from amongst you – if they enter the premises of each other’s borders they are immediately classed as threatening to our religion. As long as they are inoffensive and do not impose their religion on us, are good natured and contributing positively to our kind – why shall they be outcasts?
In categorizing humankind into ‘ordinary’ and ‘outcasts’, segregating the latter from yourself based on religion, color, sexual orientation, gender, and physical or mental condition – we are creating boundaries for the provision
of love, care, kindness, which is to be given freely to everyone at all costs.
If one of us smiles at someone who is used to judgment and discrimination, save a seat for a child at lunch who is used to sitting alone because of his religion, caste, or creed, or lend out the help a black kid needed, we are
accepting them. We are letting them in.
What we need is the support of institutions, a platform that could inculcate the basis of equity in its students. Every child should be taught the importance of freedom before they are to rote-learn anything else. Sign petitions, strike, and open others’ eyes to the blistering reality of it all. It’s the most we can, and need to, right now.
Local and international forums should pay special attention to new manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance that could otherwise be a threat to youth and other vulnerable groups. Strict protocol should be followed to prosecute and punish perpetrators.
Policies, practices, norms, and above all, the will to eradicate racism, once we are able to achieve them all, I am sure the world would become a peaceful place. Let’s just start accepting all forms of diversity. Let’s put an end to distancing ourselves from people that are different from us. Everyone is unique; let’s not fight to absorb their uniqueness. This time it’s entirely up to us.