For years, anti-racism has been about breaking down barriers. There was a time in the United States when blacks were excluded from certain schools, restaurants, golf clubs, and a host of other establishments. Without reaching their destination, today we can say that several sections have fallen.
This is the concept that I have personally refined to fight racism: to break down barriers. Give everyone their chance in a world that opens doors. Let me cite one famous quote by Martin Luther King: “Let’s build bridges, not walls.”
We learned this week that Columbia University, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, will be holding several inviting ceremonies. One for blacks and Asians, one for natives, one for the LGBT community, etc. Divided ceremonies, divided according to criteria of ethnic or sexual orientation.
Each has its own enclosure
The university has rejected the dismissal charges, saying these events are merely extras and that a grand party open to everyone will be held as usual. This does not in any way cancel out this new trend of dividing celebrations.
The department forces everyone to stand in the fence of their identity. There is no place for Asians at the aboriginal celebration, natives are not welcome at a black event, etc. Aren’t we forcing everyone into a little bit of racism to manage all these differences?
So what do we do with this young man whose father is black and his mother is Asian? Is he invited to both snacks? Or is it excluded from both? Unless it all depends on the color of his skin and hair, which is the result of genetic risks for children of mixed races.
No more sharing
Speaking of the new walls erected, translating Amanda Gorman’s poems made me feel very uncomfortable. After her performance in the Super Bowl and swearing in by Joe Biden, the work of the young black prodigy became in demand all over the world.
A young Dutch woman and a Catalan woman were not allowed to translate her poems into their own language … because they are white. very sad. Poetry is a participatory act, a global work. Everyone who respects the work and its author should be able to do the translation regardless of their skin color.
The tendency to create new divisions is universal. Canada is no exception to this method. Do I need to remember this wonderful program that the Canadian government created to help black entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds should have the right to support all available programs without any discrimination. But creating economic programs along ethnic lines is another example of the enclosures we are recreating, on the walls we erect.
I don’t see how these new silos approach us from a fairer society.
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