International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.  It is observed annually on 21st March and serves as a vital reminder of our collective responsibility to combat racism, promote tolerance, and strive for a more equitable world.  The inherent sacredness and dignity of human life is the foundational principle of Catholic Social Teaching and what the Church teaches about Racism is summed up in this quotation from Pope Francis. 

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and yet claim to defend the sacredness of human life.”   

To mark this day we link to an article written by Michelle Robertson, OLA Communications Officer called: The Silent Battle Against Racism in Ireland.   In this she gives an insightful account of racism in Ireland. In spite of the recent rise of ultra-right activism in Ireland, there is little evidence of widespread overt racism. Nevertheless, there are subtle underlying currents of racism that pervade workplaces and public spaces which undermine individual dignity and also perpetuate social and economic disparities along racial lines.   This article describes these undercurrents and the suffering they cause READ MORE

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