In Australia, some call today Harmony Day.
No other nation across the world calls March 21st Harmony Day. Instead they choose to use the correct term, The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Calling the 21st of March ‘Harmony Day’ undermines the discussion we should be having: there is racism in our country. We need to call it out, at all levels. Racism is endemic in this country. For the last 200 years the history of this country has been founded by occupation, genocide and discrimination. More recently the Cronulla riots in 2001 brought some of this to the surface. Yet every day, those of us who have arrived more recently experience racism and discrimination as part of daily living. This can be compounded for women, young people and people of colour.
We are confronted by negative images, we are spoken down to and our voices are denied a platform to challenge the structures that oppress us. Our treatment of and the health of our First Nations People is a barometer for how we as a country address systemic racism and discrimination.
In order for us to move forward, we as a country must acknowledge the truth about our racist history.
The tragic Christchurch massacre is symptomatic of a society that has failed to acknowledge its inherent racism and structural oppression.
CEH works to improve the health of people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. We know that everyone has the right to be healthy and safe.
Call today by its proper name, call out biased media accounts, stereotyping jokes and discriminatory policies out for what they are: A racist foundation for another extremist attack.