Event for 2012
The official UN event for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination took place at the United Nations in Geneva on 21 March 2012, with High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Reverend Jesse Jackson of Rainbow Push Coalition.
Rev. Jesse Jackson condemned all forms of racism describing it as immoral. He called for legal efforts to prevent racial discrimination.
“Racism is immoral, it is a sin. Racism is unscientific. It suggests that there are superior and inferior people based upon genetics. ... Because it is immoral and unscientific, and a threat to humanity, racial discrimination must be made illegal-as a deterrent to stop racist behaviour.”
Rev. Jackson, a renowned United States of America Civil Rights movement leader, pointed out that racism limits growth and instigates many conflicts.
Citing Martin Luther King’s legacy, of combating flaws of racism, Rev. Jackson said “the race walls, racism and expensive race wars that stand between the people and drinkable water and health care must come down.”
He added that racism is politically destabilizing pointing out that it distorts human personality.
“… when societies build laws and institutional structures on theories of race supremacy, that’s called a racist society. Inherent in such a society is the seeds sown for its eventual destruction from the inside out.”
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay observed that Racism and intolerance continue to cause conflicts and undermine peace and security.
“Like every human rights issue, racism throws up the critical protection needs of those affected by it, and those most vulnerable to it. I urge all of us to spare no effort in taking up the gauntlet to respond to the challenges of racism and intolerance in all corners of the world.”
Pillay called for racism to be challenged at all levels.