International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) 2021 will be observed on Sunday, 21 March. In the current year 2021, IDERD will be celebrated for the fifth time.
Description of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The United Nations has added March 21 to its list of International Days that encourages people to disown and disregard racial discrimination. The UN resolution (A/RES/2142 (XXI)) that was adopted on 26 October 1966, declares that any kind of racial discrimination is condemnable and the global community is determined to eliminate racial discrimination from its roots wherever it exists in the world.
Thus, March 21 is an acknowledged International Day as IDERD that is celebrated worldwide to eliminate racial discrimination. On March 21, 2021 the fifth IDER Day will be commemorated.
IDERD 2021 Conference
A half-day virtual conference will be held at ARCD Office on 19 March 2021, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Theme of IDERD 2021
“Youth standing up against racism” is the theme of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2021.
The theme elaborates that the time has gone when people were judged by their complexion and financial status. This century is the century of super-humans, and super-humans never underestimate their brethren. All the members of humankind are equal and respectable. Don’t let anyone disrespecting anyone else. The young generation of the present era is completely aware of this idea. This is the message of the United Nations on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2021. Let’s come together and work together for the greater good of the whole Globe and the entire human race with justice and without discriminating against anyone due to his race or ethnicity.
While the theme of this day for the previous year 2020 was
“United against racism: Dignity and justice for All”
What is Racial Discrimination?
A person’s behavior towards another person that is influenced by the racial association of any party is called Racial Discrimination. For example, if you are travelling in a public vehicle and you see a guy standing aside whereas you are having an extra seat by your side. You can offer him that seat and he is also looking at the seat, but you do not offer the seat because you are a White American whereas he is a Negro or an Asian; this is racial discrimination. Your act of not offering the guy seat to a person from another race or ethnicity is encouraged by the racial association you have in your mind. The psychologists say that racial association is not a very bad thing but it becomes condemnable when we start discriminating against others on the basis of this association. I have explained a complex concept with a simple example because this so-called racism brings so much harm to nations rather than only a seat incident that is mentioned above. Racism was behind all the dirty games that had been being played on the face of Earth for centuries including Colonization and the two Great Wars.
Public ceremonies are held by the governments of Europe, America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and non-governmental organizations as well as schools, colleges, and universities where people reinstate that they would not let racism prevail. Popular speakers appear before their audiences and highlight the curse brought by racism. Public awareness programs are also held on TV and Radio, and social media platforms are also used to spread awareness against racism. Rallies and long marches are also arranged in many countries of the world.
History of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
It was on March 21, 1960, when South African police opened fire at a peaceful protest by the Blacks in Sharpeville. Around 69 people were slain in the bloodbath that is called the Sharpeville Massacre. Those people had gathered to protest against the “Pass Law” that was imposed by the Whites on the Blacks. The massacre that was carried out by the police stirred the whole world and everyone was afraid where that racial conflicts would lead the whole world. People of almost all the communities were fed up with the atrocities of racism, but they did not know how to eliminate this curse. Racism always divides people and brings anarchy and it is already doing this wherever it exists like Joseph Fort Newton once wrote that men build too many (racial) walls and not enough bridges. Fortunately, we have one global platform in the form of the United Nations where the world can discuss matters of mutual interests although we have got this platform at the expense of two world wars. Remembering the massacre of 1960, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1966 and insisted upon the global community to intensify its efforts to eliminate racial discrimination wherever and in whatever form it exists.
The day started getting popularity as the global community increased their crusades against racial discrimination. The Durban Declaration and Program of Action (2001) are considered the most influential, comprehensive, and authoritative program to combat racism. This program was produced in the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance on 31 August 2011, in Durban, South Africa. The declaration read that the global community is:
“…. Determined, in an era when globalization and technology have contributed considerably to bringing people together, to materialize the notion of a human family based on equality, dignity, and solidarity, and to make the twenty-first century a century of human rights, the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance and the realization of genuine equality of opportunity and treatment for all individuals and peoples,..”
One more development appeared in 2009 when a global Durbin Review Conference was held to review the achieved progress in the fight against racism and too determined the future direction and steps. Since the most apparent cruel picture of racism had been in Africa, therefore racism was largely measured in Africa. The 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action was also arranged in New York in 2011, and this year was also celebrated as the International Year for People of African Descent. Finally, the United Nations proclaimed the years from 2013 to 2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent with the help of its resolution 68/237
What was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination theme 2019?
The theme of this day in 2019 was “Mitigating and countering national populism and extreme supremacist ideology.” which inspires people to think beyond the racial and national borders. No one is superior in this world and no one can claim that he/she is more beautiful than the others as the definition of beauty in itself is vague and undecided. Racial conflicts were popular in the previous centuries and quarrelling with someone on the basis of racial difference is a moronic act in the contemporary century. The previous year’s theme was also designed to achieve such a type of world where racial discrimination or the feeling of racial superiority has no place.
Quotes related to the Day
- “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream
- “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
― Toni Morrison
- “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
― Muhammad Ali
- “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
- “Our true nationality is mankind.”
― H.G. Wells
- “Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”
― Kofi Annan
- “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them”
― Elie Wiesel
- “Concerning non-violence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.”
― Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements
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