In the reading, Are Racists Crazy? How Prejudice, Racism and Anti-Semitism Became makers of Insanity, it says “Let’s not avoid responsibility. Let’s make sure people who say evil things, who do evil things, who believe evil things, have to take responsibility.”
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck, for nearly seven minutes, despite Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” Floyd was arrested after he was allegedly accused of buying cigarettes with counterfeit $20 bill.
Death is certain and inevitable, but I am anguished, angry, and ashamed to see the way the white police officer has killed George Floyd. The investigation is still going on, and four policemen have been fired and the officer who pinned him to the ground has been charged with third-degree murder, but that is not enough, and not enough to eradicate racism from our society, and from the world.
The National association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) called the incident “People Lynching without Rope.”
Every individual is different in this world and we differentiate every individual on the basis of religions, caste, creed, race, colour, certain ethnic groups, region, or sexual orientation, but that does not mean that we would have to hate each other. We don’t have to forget the fact that we all are humans and we all are connected with each other with the thread of humanity. All human beings belong to a single species and we all are equal and we all have equal rights to live with dignity.
WATCH: Full speech by George Floyd's brother, Terrence Floyd, at site of George Floyd's death. pic.twitter.com/piEcnilzCb
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 1, 2020
In the era of violence and hate, we are not giving importance to human rights and, therefore, I feel we end up indirectly promoting racism or we are becoming racist. Racism may be defined as the hatred of one person by another or the belief that another person is less than human because of skin colour, language, customs, place of birth, or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person.
It is significant to mention here that the first International Human Rights instrument, developed by the United Nations (UN), was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The UDHR recognises that if people are to be treated with dignity, they require economic rights, social rights, including education, and the rights to culture and political participation and civil liberty. It further states that everyone is entitled to these rights “without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, birth or other status.”
Although the UN does not define ‘racism’, however, it does define “racial discrimination.” According to the 1965 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, The term ‘racial discrimination’ shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.
It is also important to note that in 1978, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (Article 1), the UN states, “All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity.”
— ColorOfChange (@ColorOfChange) May 27, 2020
It’s not only about George Floyd because there is no doubt about the fact that we are not ready to give respect to individuals who are not from our groups. We want to hate them. We are promoting violence. We are not ready to accept others as the way they are.
The white police officer who killed George was also human. He could listen when George was crying. He could hear “I can’t breathe.” But he didn’t really listen to anything. It’s about mindset against Black people in America.
A Washington Post database showed that African-Americans were 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white people.
Even in India, despite having laws and rights in the Constitution, we can see the cases of attack on people from the North-East, discrimination on the basis religion, gender, caste, and more. And also incidents of mob lynching by dominant groups and individuals upon people from minority communities.
It is pertinent to mention that Article 14 of the Constitution of India guarantees that all people shall be equally protected by the laws of the country. Article 15 of the Constitution states that no citizen of India shall be discriminated on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Article 16 of the Constitution lays down that the State cannot discriminate against the citizen in the matters of employment. Article 17 of the constitution abolishes the practice of untouchability. The practice of untouchability is an offence and anyone doing so is punishable by law.
We have to understand that we cannot end attacks by racists just by enacting and implementing laws. We have to promote human rights. We have to teach the individual to give respect to each soul. We have to feel the pain. We don’t have to promote hate. We have to promote peace and humanity.
I am happy to see that after George video went viral on social media platforms, people from the world protesting against attack and racism. People from America, London, Germany, Berlin, Italy, India, are protesting by saying that “Black Lives Matters,” “Say his Name,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Stop Killing Black People,” and “My Skin Color Should not be my Death Sentence.”
Let’s spread the message of love instead of hate. Let’s promote peace instead of violence. Let’s be human instead of racists. We all are humans and we all are equal, and that is why we should and we have to think before hurting someone. Let’s take our responsibility as humans. Let’s stop discrimination, in any form, or in any manner.