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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

#FightRacism: 'Silence is a form of violence' -- UNESCO

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said we need to call out and condemn any message that incites racism.

“ All of us need to call out and openly condemn all messages – especially political messages or discourses – which disseminate ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or which incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” Bachelet said.

Photo by Ian Panelo from Pexels

According to the organization Stand Up 4 Human Rights, all forms of hate speech and racial discrimination must be addressed, from the "casual" to the extreme.

The group encourages the use of the hashtag #FightRacism to call attention to racial discrimination, saying that it "aims to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination. Every day, each and every one of us can stand up against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes."

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also encourages speaking out against all forms of racial discrimination.

On Facebook, UNESCO said, "Silence can be some form of violence. The time to speak up is now."

It cited a quote from South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

UNESCO said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created 70 years ago, affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

UNESCO said education is one of the ways to combat racial discrimination.

Recently, the hashtag #CancelKorea trended on Twitter after some Korean netizens made derogatory remarks against Filipinos.

The controversy stemmed from a TikTok post of Hawaii-based Filipino-American Bella Poarch who had a tattoo of the Rising Sun flag used by the Japanese military during the Second World War.

The tattoo angered some Koreans as it reminded them of Japanese militarism in their country. Korea was under Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945.

After seeing Poarch's post, a Korean netizen turned to criticizing Filipinos saying, "Poor country non-educated people short people."

A word war ensued between some Filipino and Korean netizens but the situation calmed down after Koreans began posting apologies with the hashtag #SorryToFilipinos.

Racial discrimination is indeed ugly and no one deserves to experience it.

Everyone is equal and as UNESCO says, "a world built on tolerance is a world built on peace."

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