“The colour of your skin will determine how the rest of your life goes, for the better or the worst.” Does this statement not sound obsolete to you?

Racial discrimination is something that has been practiced since the beginning of time, giving white people authority over the coloured. This resulted in human enslavement which primarily consisted of native and African Americans who resided in the United States of America, from the initiation of the nation until the declaration of the thirteenth amendment in 1865. Slavery used to be legal in all thirteen colonies at the time they formed the US. The law comprised of a black enslaved person being viewed upon as property as they could be bought or sold.

Therefore, rebelling against the laws of nature: Nothing can estimate the worth of a human life.

Slave sale, Charleston, 1856
Unknown (after Eyre Crowe) – British Museum

Today, in 2020, considering how much the world has developed, racism continues to be a rising issue in the US.

The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, revived the Black Lives Matter Movement. Ultimately, enraging the supporters into reigniting their demands to remove dozens of monuments and statues which glorify confederate generals, advocates for slavery, segregation defenders and those whose racial views are widely reviled.

All historical figures who were viewed upon as an inspiration and were said to be the ones who ‘created history’ have been accused of at least one of these acts.

Christopher Columbus, the daring Italian explorer who might as well have  ‘stumbled’ across America, had his statue taken down by San Francisco when more than a hundred people marched towards Astoria Boulevard on the 17th of June to denounce his statue as a symbol of genocide.

Columbus has been viewed as one of the first Europeans who conducted century long campaigns of massacres and war against the native population.

Vandalized Statue of Christopher Columbus; CNN

However, most protestors have not been considerate in eradicating these figures. Another statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded in Boston and John McDonough’s’, who was a trader and merchant of enslaved people; his statue was removed in New Orleans and dragged into the Mississippi River.

In addition to the severity of the removals, a crowd set fire to the statue of George Washington in Portland. Moreover, the equestrian memorial to Theodore Roosevelt has long prompted objectivity as a symbol of colonialism and racism. Therefore, measures have been taken by the New York Museum of Natural History, to remove it. A Roosevelt family member approved of this, with the statement, “The world does not need statues, relics of another age that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice.”

Theodore Roosevelt; New York Times

Nobody should be oblivious to the necessity of removing these overwhelmingly offensive statues, considering that they repeatedly wound the black community and remind them of their suffering, throughout the centuries.

In many of these cases, the protestors demanded the obliteration of these statues, stating that they were too triggering to stand as monuments to the American History. In retrospect, the existence of these also serve as a reminder that the USA will always bear the marks of racial discrimination, because not only do these statutes glorify white supremacy but also memorialize an unrecognized government whose founding principle was the perpetuation of slavery.

This adversely affects the youth by informing them how previous historical figures, who supported racism, are viewed upon as heroes till this day, which is aiding the racist population into justifying their abhorrent perspectives. Henceforth, the annihilation of these figures is mandatory.

In the twenty first century, racial discrimination should be the least of our concerns yet it is still as plaguing as it used to be back in the day. However, it is extremely admirable to see the American population urgently attempting to put an end to it through unity and acceptance. The Black Lives Matter protests serve as an example of the strength and capability of the people.

BLM Protestors; CNN

These citizens are not only determined on eradicating racism but also bandaging up the wounds it left in its wake and that is truly inspiring.

Fatima Javaid is the Editor for the Social Compass in Jayzoq. She is an Alevels student who writes about social issues through the art of poetry.
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Khudija Munawar
Khudija Munawar
3 years ago

So well written! Enjoyed reading it.