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Discrimination has no place in an egalitarian society

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By Shreyashi Chowdhury

When I heard about the Black Lives Matter protest, the first thing I could remember were these lines by Maya Angelou :

“A free bird leaps

On the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so, he opens his throat to sing.”

Black Lives Matter is a movement which tells us about the wrongful deaths of men and women of color at the hands of police. But that’s only one aspect of the suffering of different communities in this society. Back in 2013 this began as a hashtag movement. Injustice against people from different communities of color has been going on since the beginning of our society and continues till date. It’s actually the movement which voices the opinion that “Racism must end”. 

Racism is defined as a prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. It’s not at all unknown to anybody that many countries have a racist past, with issues like hate-crime, police brutality and slavery. The process of ending racism is extremely difficult because it is deeply rooted inside a lot of people.

We all are equal yet often in some or the other way a lot of people globally suffer cruelty for belonging to a “different” group. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the most recent one is the, apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Myanmar are some of the examples of racism.

Do you think people of India who preach unity in diversity really follow it? With great regret I have to confess they do not. In an article by India Today, it was mentioned that researchers have found 43.5%people of India would not like to have people from different races as their neighbors. Racism has become a very normal thing. In India people from North-East, Muslims, Africans and people from the South allegedly face racial discrimination. 

According to doctors, racism can affect a person both physically and mentally. This fact is shown in the movie Axone, in which a boy has anxiety issues due to the racism he faced.  It is found that due to racism a lot of people develop different chronic health conditions. In a lot of movies racism in various forms are used which is usually taken very lightly by the audience. In the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mr. Yunioshi’s English accent was a way to mock Japanese people. I recently watched a movie where a particular scene is very offensive to blacks at many levels. According to the movie, blacks always have criminal-like intentions. 

The practice of racism around me makes me feel afraid to think that some or the other time I too may become the victim of some racist attack anywhere in this world. My request to everybody is to let everybody live and enjoy life.  I wish to mention: 

“You are a child of the universe

No less than the trees and the stars

You have a right to be here.”

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