Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, yet still, in all corners of the globe, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the bias and stigma that racism brings.
It’s something we should all think about this Monday, March 21 – the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
While memories of the Black Lives Matter protests and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be fading in today’s ever-changing global news climate, they cannot be forgotten.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified and further exposed the serious effects of systemic racism, which Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities grapple with at home, in their neighbourhoods, and at work.
Black and racialized individuals are more likely to work as front-line workers and are at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 than others. In addition, recent immigrants, Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities are being disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 like job loss, wage cuts or food insecurity.
Racism may not be your fault, but it is your problem. It affects all of us. Eliminating racism shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of racialized people. All members of society must participate.
Change must start from the top, from those with power. The urgent need for comprehensive government policies aimed at combating racial discrimination and systemic racism has been present for decades.
Let’s re-commit our efforts to combat all forms of racial discrimination, injustice, and systemic racism to ensure a world where everyone is respected, safe, and has equitable access to contribute meaningfully to all aspects of society. Let’s fight racism!
Use the hashtag #fightracism on social media today to show your support!
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer
Peter Thompson, OPSEU/SEFPO Coalition of Racialized Workers, Chair