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As the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD), or End Racism Day, on March 21, the world is still reeling from the gruesome mass murder that took place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The deadly attack in New Zealand is the latest terror attack that clearly shows that the dangers of white nationalism are not limited to the United States. It is a reminder that such acts have a global impact. Every incident driven by bigotry, discrimination, and racism, was planned with a purpose meant to divide people – not just in our homeland, but globally.

While the attack was not on U.S. soil or perpetrated by a U.S. Citizen, the shooter’s lengthy, hate-filled manifesto included references to our Second Amendment. The gunman wrote that he foresees conflicts over firearms eventually leading to the U.S. splitting along political, cultural, and racial lines. He also wrote that he supports President Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” POTUS quickly maintained that he does not view white nationalism as a rising global threat.

People at home and abroad believe that America is a bastion of freedom, aspiring to political and social ideals. True or not, what kind of example are we currently setting? Has our president been a good role model? He may not be personally responsible for any specific attack, his words and actions seem to encourage rather than condemn these white nationalist extremists worldwide—indeed, has he emboldened them?

Sadly, New Zealand must look elsewhere for an example of how to overcome and combat their recent tragedy; America is no longer that shining city on a hill, envisioned by President Reagan.  Incidents of domestic terror abound in the US and are, at least in part, spurred on by the racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic rhetoric of our President.

International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) was established by the United Nations in 1966 to acknowledge the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960.  Today is also a day to remember the victims of Christchurch, Paris, Quebec City, Charlottesville, and others. Today, the United Nations urged politicians and world leaders to stand up against racial discrimination and intolerance. No one should be condemned for the color of their skin nor for how they worship. Change won’t happen overnight, but we, every one of us, must stand up and fight intolerance and the violence it generates. We must make every effort to nurture global citizenship. We must no longer turn a blind eye.

#IDERD #FightRacism, #FightRacism Day #Standup4humanrights

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