A whole new world

June, 2020

In the 21st Century, one expects to be given merit on their achievements, praised for their talents, rewarded for their good deeds and, if needed, punished for their misbehaviour, just like every other human being in the world. With technological development and cultural harmony being the main motives of human interaction today, the last thing one could think of is being discriminated on the basis of their skin colour, facial features or religious beliefs.

Ever since human interaction from various parts of the world started, subtle differences between people’s looks were noticed. And we, Human beings have always shown an uncanny liking towards light skin. However, this liking did not take the severe, intolerable form of Racism until the Europeans took over the world and declared ‘White Supremacy’, thus oppressing the ‘Brown’, ‘North Asian’ and ‘Black’ races around themselves. These suppressed races too, created an order among themselves, putting the Blacks at the lowest rank, because of their dark skin colour. That and the fact that Africa was an underdeveloped and less explored continent at that time gave the ‘Whites’ the freedom to use ‘Blacks’ as slaves for the smallest wages possible.

These slaves were given scraps of the food their masters ate. They were made to live in places worse than cowsheds. They were auctioned like commodities in open markets Their families were separated and slave groups were shuffled from time to time, to make it impossible for any kind of unions to form.  Separate restaurants, eateries, shopping places and even public washrooms were made for the ‘Blacks’ and ‘Whites’, always giving the ‘Whites’ the privilege and demanding the price to be paid by the ‘Blacks”. Their oppression in the United Kingdom, and especially in the Southern States of the United State of America, were a crime against humanity. Here, they were made to work in cotton mills for twelve to fifteen hours a day and paid for merely five hours of work.

The demand for equal rights for ‘Blacks’ was raised into the political realm by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, when he declared “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” thus openly showing his support to the anti-racism movement. In 1863, after the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln put an end to slavery and oppression of ‘Blacks’ and stated “If racism is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” 1963, the United Nations issued the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and made a worldwide appeal to end this social evil. This movement was supported by activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, to name a few. Owing to the constant efforts by people like these, racism was ended Constitutionally by several nations in the world

However, the recent murder of George Floyd, an unarmed ‘Black’ man over a trivial matter minutes after his arrest and surrender, by a ‘White’ policeman in Minnesota, USA, has put light to the hate crimes the ‘Blacks’ have been facing silently everywhere. The peaceful protests all over the world, which have now turned into riots, are symbolic of the end of racism, not just Constitutionally, but also in our Minds and Hearts.

This is the time to stand up for what’s right, the time for change, the time to show the power we, Gen-Z, hold. The generations before ours have seen this and have remained silent, but we must not. We need to go out to protest and show the world our beliefs. If the Coronavirus, or any such situation, stops you from going out to protest, stay at home and show your support. Using your social media platforms to spread awareness, sign online petitions, donate if you can, and let this world hear your voice. BECAUSE NO ONE DESERVES TO BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. NOT FOR THEIR RELIGION, NOT FOR THEIR CULTURE AND NOT FOR THEIR SKIN COLOUR.

-Annanya Nayar


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