March 21 is Equality Day

“On 21 March 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. In 1966, the General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to commemorate the Sharpeville tragedy (resolution 2142 (XXI) of 26 October 1966). 21 March has since then served not only to remind the international community of the dire consequences of racism, but also to recall our obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination.” – United Nations

There are a lot of UN-proclaimed international days that I was used to seeing marked in Canada, that I know my friends in other countries hear about, but that go unheard-of in the U.S., like March 8 (International Women’s Day since 1909), 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, instituted in 1999), December 1 (World AIDS Day since 1988), etc.

I would like to think about justice for all today, regardless of race or ethnic group but also of gender, nationality, sexual orientation, creed, or whatever divisions we manage to create among ourselves. Some people like to think that the fight is over, at least where they live, that the problem is somewhere else but not at home. I believe that fantastic progress has been made and it should make us proud and confident that in the end we can create a truly equal society, but I also believe that we’re not done yet and there is still a good deal of work to do.

Here’s to equality.

P.S.: If you’re on Facebook, you can participate in today’s virtual Equality Day event.

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