International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Can the battle be won?

By Reginald Acquaah-Harrison, Practicum student

Racism has become a buzz word in modern society and I wonder if the issue is being ignored and the impact on society is gradually. There are numerous research articles, reports, blogs, policies, laws and spreadsheets of statistics that highlight the issues of Black discrimination.

For example: Statistics (BLS) reported that the median weekly earnings of Black men were 75% of that of white men. In the most recent BLS unemployment report of May 2020, the average rate of unemployment for Black men was 15.5% compared to 10.7% for white men.

What is needed is ACTION, ACTION, ACTION not just buzz words but interventions that alter the trend and improve the statistics. We as a society must recognize that when one person falls we all fall so it stands to reason that we must all hold each other up.

This is not a race issue it is a human issue and if we are human then its our collective responsibility to ensure equality for all. A lofty dream it sounds, but the cycle has to be broken to stop this intergenerational trajectory. Individual effort alone is not enough to address and fight racism. Racism is not a Black issue it is a society issue because we cannot progress as a society when certain groups are being left behind.

So how do we win this battle? Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front” – Nelson Mandela.