Many people find the discussion about racism, sexism, and homophobia uncomfortable. They find it uncomfortable because they don’t know how to approach the conversation. They are the conversations we need to have, yet no one is having them.

How do you summarise hundreds of years of slavery and segregation, in a single conversation? How do you summarise that society was built by men, for only, the succession of men? How do you summarise the daily ongoing unlawful beatings and executions of an innocent persons just because of who they love or what they believe in, into one conversation?

Well one conversation is the start of it, we need to speak out against every discriminatory act we see or hear; we need to inform the new generation of the past so they can prevent it in the future and we need to vote for who we put in power based on not what they can do for us but the opportunities that the leaders can provide for us all to succeed.

So, I will start the conversation, and I will start it with Anne Frank.

There is no way to sum up the horrors this young girl, from only 13 years of age, went through. She was forced to mature, give up her hopes and dreams (although she refused to as she still aspired to become a published author), leave her old life behind and mature quicker than her non-Jewish peers; her survival depended on it.

How did we breed so much hatred into the world to push fear into young children’s hearts such as Anne Frank just for something as simple as their beliefs or the colour of their skin?

School shootings, homicides, targeted killings, mass murder of a certain persons and even things as ‘simple’ as a joke about all Muslims being terrorists. All these acts are scornful. All these acts, no matter how the law judges them and perceives some worse than others stem from the same thing: hate.

But where did this hate come from? Are humans just born with hate in their hearts? No.

Being misinformed from a young age can influence an adult’s opinion strongly. Not seeing the bigger picture can mean you do not see the picture at all. Ignorance and naivety have been the human race’s enemy from the beginning, the only way to stop it is at its roots, through a child.

We need to discuss these topics with one another especially with the new generation. We need to ensure the new generation do not turn a blind eye to prejudice like our ancestors before us had previously done. In the UK, slavery is taught as if it was a minor part in history and not as a defining moment of society, it is simply forgotten about and only taught to the younger years when schools should inform everyone of racism. If we can re-inform the young minds of the world with the right information on how to treat others fairly and respect them and their decisions, then we have a chance to abolish prejudice.

In an ideal world there would be equality, fairness, and benevolence. We would be accepted for who we are, and all our ‘flaws’ would be embraced, we would help each other when going through hard situations and we would celebrate others success. Spreading a little kindness to the people we meet can not only benefit them but also us. Research suggests that being kind to others can not only benefit them but also make us feel happier. So, by spreading kindness it not only creates a kinder world but a happier one. One where people are equal, and everyone is free from expectations and everyone can be themselves.

However, we are far from that point, the change I would like to see is tolerance. We need a fair and permissive attitude towards other opinions, beliefs, racial and ethnic origins. No one should feel like they are less than others and develop feelings of anxiety. No one deserves to go through what Anne Frank and countless of other Jews went through. No one deserves to feel hopeless, and nobody should feel guilty for who they are. Discrimination can destroy someone’s self-worth and put them into a depressed state where they feel alone.

In the world there are always opposites. Yin and Yang, Fire and Water, never and always; hate and love. If there is enough hate in the world to fuel violent acts of terrorism, then where is its opposite? Where is the love?

Love is just as powerful as hate and if we can get enough people to spread their love to others then maybe it can replace hate. Instead of the constant news of violent outbreaks, we could hear about how all different types of people came together to build a new system that works off merit rather than class, and status.

Anne Frank once wrote ‘Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness’, in this she teaches us a lesson, by spreading love, courage and fairness we can help people differentiate between right and wrong whilst also fighting against the injustice throughout the world. Covid-19 has stopped society in its tracks, and it has showed many of us the importance of checking in on others even just for a simple ‘Hello, how are you?’

Today, I would like everyone who reads this to bring a smile to someone’s face, whether that be a stranger or someone in your family and ask them to pass the smile on. This year has brought on some sad and some meaningful times, the virus has broken society apart but gave us a chance to fill the world with even more love. The Black Lives Matter movement is being given more publicity than ever before as we as a community, black and white, fight for justice.

Together we can create a world where fear and hate have no place, Thank you.


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