Thursday, March 21, 2019
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Proclaimed as such in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the 2019 theme of this day concentrates on the rising levels of supremacist and nationalist ideologies that often target immigrants and refugees. These dangerous ideologies falsely promote the idea that the ‘majority’ of a society are somehow superior to racial, religious or other identifiable minorities.
The theme this year holds great significance considering the very recent terrorist and racially based killings in Christchurch, New Zealand. The cowardly attacks on Muslims in a sacred place of worship brought many Canadians back to January 2017 when a gunman killed six worshipers in a Quebec City mosque.
New Zealand, like Canada is known and respected for being an inclusive and multicultural society and events like these are tragic reminders racism and extreme supremacist ideas exist everywhere.
As a Union, it is the duty of the NEU to promote workplaces where Members work in environments of respect and that are free of racial discrimination of any kind. As citizens of Nunavut and Canada, it is the responsibility of each of us to do our individual and collective parts to see that we also live in a society that rejects and condemns all forms of racism, nationalist populism and supremacist ideologies.