After the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, the world united against police brutality and racism by organizing protests. The Black Lives Matter movement brought people together to fight against discrimination. The slogan of this movement is, ‘’No Justice No Peace!’’, which perfectly sums up the movement and how it demands justice for victims of police brutality.
After the protests and petitions, the officer who killed Floyd, and the ones who witnessed the murder without interfering, have been arrested and the Breonna Law, which bans no-knock warrants, has passed in America, which made me question what the solution to this overall problem is.
“Racism and Xenophobia, where does the problem start, how can we put an end to it?”
I asked this question to people from different backgrounds and compiled their answers in this article. Here is what they had to say.
Nina, 14, Canada
Hi, I’m Nina, a 14-year-old black girl from Canada. To be honest, racism started when slavery did. That, engraved in everyone’s mind that black people are inferior, and white people are superior when that’s not the case. I think xenophobic people have to realize that without people of different cultures, and different countries, we wouldn’t have anything. We literally do everything on indigenous land!
To try to end both of these things, I think we just need to continue what we’re doing right now. Demanding justice for black lives that were wrongfully taken, give credit for the things People of Color have done, sign petitions, donate, etc. It’s amazing to see everyone come together and realize that BLM isn’t a trend, it’s a movement.
Kevin, 18, Scotland
I think racism & xenophobia come from how we are taught. I am white, I acknowledge the cultural differences between me and people who are different from me, but, I see them as my equal because I was taught to love everyone. Most people are taught that people who are different are worse. We can help teach them to change, teach our children, our grandchildren to love the diversity of humanity. Racism isn’t natural & I can only hope & fight for it to stop being taught.
Nina Palmer, 18, America
Racism and Xenophobia arose when humans began to become greedy, lose empathy when social classes started to emerge, and the idea of exceptionalism began to take root in the human race. In America’s case, racism, and xenophobia started the moment conquerors set foot on this land. The majority of our founding fathers were slave owners. Settlers wanted to convert the people who were already in the land to a new and foreign religion, threatening death if they didn’t comply. America is founded on racism and xenophobia, it had always been here, and it will never leave if we don’t break the cycle.
Racism is not a hereditary trait. It is something taught upon children from their elders. To break this unnecessary cycle that our world is in, the younger generation needs to educate themselves and combat the current intolerance through knowledge.
We’re the only ones with the power, position, and passion to do it.
Teoman, 17, Turkey
In both Racism or Xenophobia, the Capitalist and Nationalist systems control everything, such as politics, education, and media. The people in power do not want equality and continue to gain economic power thanks to its superiority. This system prevents people from uniting to fight against the pro-establishment groups of people and identifying Liberal people as terrorists (Socialists in Turkey, Antifa in America) which makes the public protests more difficult. All of them began with Capitalism and Nationalism.
Eda, 16, Turkey
It’s never something inborn. It is a perception of superiority that has been taught, as people grow up, whether it’s by school, or family. It starts when you see a person as who is perceived as “lower” or “insignificant” and classify that person as a stranger in every aspect. The reflection of this stranger as perhaps harmful by the government or the society makes this perception very dangerous and disgusting. It is very difficult to change the thoughts of such people, if possible, making them realize the absurdity of Racism and Xenophobia could be the first step, but the consequences are uncertain.
For this reason, people should continue to show that they care about this situation by making their voices heard. The smallest change, thanks to them, is hope for development. Discriminatory people in society shouldn’t be superior, humanist, peaceful, empathetic people should be.
Elif Naz, 15, Turkey
These are things that are taught to us from our environment because no one is born racist. Even in kindergarten, we are taught “light” colors as skin color. The root of the work is in education. In order to not insist this upon children from a very young age: guides can be given to families or awareness can be raised from a young age with add-ons to the curriculum.
Okyanus, 16, Turkey
Racism begins when one loses respect for another. Racism begins when a race is seen as superior. Racism begins when a race has certain privileges that others don’t.
Tarkan, 16, Turkey
Superiority, power, love of control. Without these, racism would not be a term we could have imagined. Centuries ago; Those who have turned people into just their colors, and those who have not left tears in the eyes of millions have prevented the integrity of people to this day. However, they have never been able to stop everyone, nor can they be.
If everyone puts their selfishness and indulgence aside, and stand with those who deserve to live equally but live in pain. The power we behold is more than enough, we just need to take action.
Lyly Taylor, 16, France
Racism and Xenophobia have been engraved into society for centuries. It is a result of different opinions created in history, based on fixed stereotypes that are different in every country. People are finally beginning to open their eyes to racism, and now some of those normalized stereotypes were violating human rights. The only way to solve these world issues is to learn and open up to the others, even though this is a long process it isn’t impossible. We have to understand this even if it’s hard and get over human’s selfishness. What’s the point to hate? What does it bring to oneself to harm someone else’s personal life? What’s the goal? Learn, Listen, Educate.