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Nishall’s Blog: It’s time to challenge racism through education.

Politics / Mon 8th Jun 2020 at 07:00am

Blogpost by Nishall Garala

It’s Time to Challenge Racism through Education.

IT is deeply saddening to see injustices against the black community. Today and every day, we need to stand together with the black and ethnic minority communities to fight for a just and equitable future for all. Through concrete action and education, we can ignite positive change, and stand up for what is right.

The events that have unfolded in the United States and across the world in the past few weeks have been heartbreaking and difficult to process. George Floyd’s unjust death, and the deaths of other black and ethnic minorities before him, has shaken our very core. These tough times have also highlighted years of oppression faced by the black and ethnic minority communities, which was often overlooked.

So, NOW is the time for a change; it’s the time to unite against racism and everything that is attributed to it. Yes, peacefully protesting and raising our voices is important, but educating and changing the mindset of both the young and old is as essential. We don’t need anyone to tell us that racism is wrong. No one is born a racist. We slowly become that way, whether it is intentional or not. But the harsh reality is that it exists. Over the years, I have come across lots of racist remarks and actions, some more unintentional than others.

In a society with so much diversity, we must unite as one and help people understand what is right and wrong in a peaceful way which can happen through proper education, and I don’t just mean education within the schooling system.

The role of education at all social levels remains one of the best ways to stop the proliferation of racist and discriminatory discourses and to foster intercultural exchanges. I understand educators feel a sense of responsibility to bring these topics into their classrooms—because young people want to be part of the conversation, and if handled effectively, these discussions provide opportunities for timely learning. However, this education shouldn’t stop in the classroom, it should be carried outside the classroom between friends and family, as it will help to build a positive understanding of multiculturalism and challenge any negative thoughts that people may have.

Many people, particularly adults, often feel like they don’t have enough background information to talk the topic well, and often choose to stay silent; conversely, instead of doing this, I say do some critical research and start the conversation, by staying silent you are allowing racism to flourish. Having even the basic of knowledge will allow you to challenge racism and stop it from accelerating on our society.

So, as a person from an ethnic minority, I’m asking you to stand up to racism and you can only do this by learning what it is and how it affects people. It’s not enough to say racism is wrong, but you also need to challenge it when you see or hear it in a peaceful way, so the person being racist learns from their mistake.

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