Racism : a constant struggle

Publié le par Jodie

Racism has always existed since the dawn of time. It's something we'll never be able to explain because an explanation cannot be given. Even today, discrimination still exits, after everything that was done. Things have still been done though and hopefully, things will keep being done until there's no discrimination anymore. This progress couldn't have seen the day without some important people, heroes, that fought for human rights. And I wanted to talk about some of them today, more precisely about heroes who struggled against racial discrimintion, because we should never forget them and what they've done. 

Let's talk about Abraham Lincoln to begin with.

Let's make it clear for the one who's not paying attention : NO, he wasn't a vampire hunter (if you didn't get the reference, then good. If you did, I'm terribly sorry).

More seriously, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the USA. One of the greatest  things he's done is definitely the abolishment of slavery. With the Republican Party, he declared in 1880 that slavery shouldn't be allowed anymore and wanted to put an end to it in a non-violent way. He didn't consider himself as an abolitionist though.

You may have had this reaction but the thing is that Lincoln wanted to be careful and thought that the best way to eradicate slavery was to do it slowly rather than order it right away without thinking of a compensation for the slaves owners. After the American Civil War, that opposed The Union (Lincoln was part of it) to the Confederate States of America (the bad guys of the story), in 1865, he succeded and abolished slavery. Now that's a real president (take notes, Mr Trump... 😣).

Then, Martin Luther King.

Everybody knows him as an American baptist (baptism is a religious Christian sacrament) minister but let's not forget he was also an important activist who struggled against racial segragation in the USA. That's how he led the African-American Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968 and later created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As he was a believer, his protests were however non-violent. He peacefully managed to help make changes in the american society. If this isn't a real source of inspiration, then I don't know what is tbh. Fighting for values and rights without being animated by hate.

Here's his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 : https://youtu.be/3vDWWy4CMhE

During the 50's-60's, before the Jim Crow Laws were eradicated, another person made a change : Rosa Parks.

As you know, black people were separated from white people in many places : transports, restaurants, etc... In 1955, Rosa Parks couldn't sit in the coloured section as it was already full of people. Therefore, she sat in the white section and refused to surrender to the driver's orders. She was arrested and the Montgomery bus boycott started, protesting against racial discrimination.She wasn't the only one to protest, many people did it before her, but her act of resistance inspired many people to struggle against the situation.

She became an important activist in the American Civil Rights and was even considered as "the first lady" of the movement. Her action had an important impact on people and she considerably contributed to the struggle.

In another context but I had to mention him, one of the greatest men that had ever lived, Nelson Mandela.

Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid rebel, leader of Civil Rights. What was the apartheid you might be asking ? It was a system of racial segregation where black people didn't have the same rights as white people. He led the African National Congress. Even though he believed in peace, he wanted to do something effective and took the decision to bomb some buildings, hoping that nobody would get hurt. Accused of being a terrorist, he was sent in jail for 27 years before being released in 1990. He then kept fighting against apartheid and became a symbol of the revolutionary movement.

Black people eventually got to vote as well as white people and he was elected president of South Africa in 1994. He didn't only struggle for human rights but he also managed to prevent a civil war. This man who dedicated his entire life to one of the most important struggles ever will always be remembered as one of the greatest men.

There are so many other people who fought for human rights, against any form of discrimination, such as William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai... They show us that even though it took some time (a LOT of time actually...) they helped making a change.

Today is the proof. Even if there's still discrimination in our society, a lot of things have changed and it is our job now to keep fighting for that, take charge of what these amazing people did before us. We even had the first black president of the USA, Barack Obama, in 2009.

That's it for today, thanks for reading and see you next time !

 

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