International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2023: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is commemorated annually on March 21 in remembrance of the 69 peaceful demonstrators in Sharpeville, South Africa, who were gunned down on this date in 1960 while protesting against apartheid laws. In 1966, in response to the senseless tragedy, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and urged the global community to work together to end all forms of racial discrimination. The motif of 2021, “Youth standing up against racism,” accompanied by the hashtag #FightRacism, urged individuals to oppose racial prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance and to embrace equality.
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
The origins of racism can be traced back to the nation’s past. Slavery, bigotry, and race are interconnected. Despite the fact that the term race dates back to the early 1500s when it was used to identify individuals, it is now frequently associated with concepts formatted by groups that grant or deny certain privileges. In America and many other nations, the concept of race has been used to oppress, and this is still the case today, although it was once used to justify forced labour. Slavery dates back several centuries. Before the sixteenth century, slavery was permissible for a variety of reasons.
Between the years 1550 and 1600, the term “white” primarily referred to the exclusive privileges of the English aristocracy. In 1613, the English adopted the term “white” while posing against the East Indians for colonial purposes, despite whiteness being an exclusive privilege of the Anglo-Saxon heritage. The origins of African American slavery were firmly established in the early 1600s, when the first Africans were captured and brought to the American colonies as slave labourers. By this time, the enslavement status no longer inherently applied to the African lineage as a permanent condition. In 1662, Virginia enacted the law of hereditary slavery, transferring the legal status of children to that of their mothers, thereby making them slaves automatically. By the 19th century, racism had spread throughout the world, labelling African Americans as inferior beings and whites as more intelligent and capable.
The noble eugenics movement of the 1990s reflects racism’s origins; “eugenics” translates to “well-born” and discourages reproduction by people with defects or undesirable characteristics. This belief in white supremacy was bolstered by “Aryanism,” an ideology that deemed Aryans who spoke archaic Indo-European languages to be superior. Currently, the ideology of racial superiority persists.
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ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION DAY CELEBRATION
Defend against prejudice
Racism is pervasive; do not simply oppose it; speak out. Participate in the conflict and inform the authorities. Together, we can dismantle discrimination and racism’s strongholds.
Set the example
Let compassion and kindness be your credo. Let justice and compassion for human rights guide your every action, and imbue yourself with acts of compassion, love, and equal regard for children.
Defend the cause.
You are surrounded by initiatives that fuel the equal rights movement. Donate to organisations such as #BlackLivesMatter. Whether virtually via the hashtags #StopRacism and #InternationalDayfortheEliminationofRacialDiscrimination, or tangibly through events or on the streets.
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
In 1804, following its formal declaration of independence from France, Haiti abolishes slavery.
Mauritania is the last nation in the world to abolish slavery.
Slavery became a crime in 2007, but it is still prevalent in the country to this day.
Police Violence Is the Leading Cause of Death.
The sixth leading cause of death for black males in the United States is police brutality.
Black Lives Matter 2020 Movement
With roughly 26 million participants, the #BlackLivesMatter movement shook the globe.
The church is the cradle of 1900s colorism.
Churches are culpable of discriminating against individuals with dark skin tones and employing hair-comb tests.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION?
It promotes a culture of intolerance for discrimination.
This significant day encourages us to recognise our individual and collective capacity to combat racial prejudice, entrenched inequality, intolerance, and discriminatory attitudes. Certainly, this is a worthy cause.
It motivates us to defend our liberties.
Everyone is created equal, regardless of race, skin colour, or complexion. This empowering fact is emphasised to encourage us to know ourselves and stand up for ourselves.
It reminds us of the significance of harmony and courtesy.
To promote a more empowered, united world, the promotion and respect for human rights and human dignity must be at the forefront of efforts to advance peace. It is crucial to convey this message to the world.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION DATES