Take a second, Imagine the world is black and white! Visualize all flowers share one common color, all food one taste, and all music one tune. To picture this, is to envision a world with no beauty or splendor, a world without different shapes, colors or sizes. A similar synopsis may be directly applied to a civilization that celebrates differences in race, color or creed; a civilization that holds one demographic in higher regard than another. Now, suppose for a second, you are playing by a set of rules that determine right or wrong, good or bad, grounded on where you are from, or the color of your skin, a world that is racially discriminated.
International Day for The Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which falls on 21st March annually, is a commemorated obligation of the international community to work on disputes and eliminate any acts of racial discrimination. Sadly, fifty-three years since its initiation, racial and ethnic discrimination still occur in our daily lives. The root to racial discrimination is often ethnic hatred, which in its extremities may drive one, to disregard the basic human principles that today govern society and social interaction. To have such judgments among society is to have a constant threat, to the very fabric of civilization, and social cohesion.
Abraham J. Heschel once referred racism as a gravest threat to man; the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. It is disgraceful to witness civilized people like us, divided into different groups as opposed to unifying into one big family and agreeing in one concept of having only one race, the human race!
This year, in light of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, United Nations selected the theme of ‘Racism and Sport’. This theme was designated based on the intent to combat racism and discrimination, through sport. The various sports today are seen as an international center-stage for racial interaction, and to combat discrimination on this scale is to set an example for the millions of viewers and supporters all over the world, which is essentially, to tackle the issue on a global scale.
In light of this matter, we at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that racism is not born but taught, and trust that the best way to combat the issue is to approach the concern with companionship and solidarity. At the WAY Secretariat for instance, we relish in a beauty of differences, where all personnel hail from different religious, racial, country and culture backgrounds. Despite these differences, we are blissfully united. The same beauty is depicted also in our events where youth and youth leaders come from different backgrounds, gather together to share and discuss pertinent youth issues at hand. We thus encourage you, youth and leader, to integrate and incorporate the values of respect, fairness and teamwork in your daily endeavors as well as abhor from the racial agendas within your communities.
Race, color or creed, we must all stand together and cherish the beauty of our differences!