Many supporting organisations have joined Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA) fight against racism.
The Anti RacismNetwork South Africa (ARNSA) has called on the public to support Anti-Racism Week from 14 to 21 March.
The organisation had a media launch on 28 February in Johannesburg, where they announced the theme #UniteAgainstRacism and other campaign activities leading up to the week.
This will be the fourth annual Anti-Racism Week which aims to create awareness about racism and how it affects individuals. ARNSA director Busisiwe Nkosi said, “Anti-Racism Week is held annually during Human Rights Month. It culminates on Human Rights Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It’s about ensuring that there is a countrywide focus on tackling racism and that it remains on the national agenda.”
Recently Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya has had the world’s attention on her as she fights against regulations proposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that women with naturally high testosterone levels undergo treatment to compete internationally.
The move has been seen by IAAF critics as attempting to push out Semenya from competing, others have said the move has racial aspects.
Nkosi said, “The week will also be an opportunity for the country to reiterate its support for athlete Caster Semenya, who is currently challenging the IAAF’s regressive policies, which raises questions about its treatment of black female athletes.”
Ahmed Kathrada Foundation director, Neeshan Balton, who serves on the ARNSA steering committee, said that South Africa is not immune to right-wing racist populist movements that are gaining support in Europe. “We need to ensure that our schools, religious institutes, community associations, our universities, workplaces, political parties, unions and sports clubs remain truly non-racist and actively challenge discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices. We need to ensure that we link up across communities and countries to build a world that values diversity, equality and basic human rights.”
Allan Zinn from Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy said the recent swift action against racism cases such as Adam Catzavelos and Alochna Moodley who both used racist remarks to refer to black people was a good step.
Zinn added, “The type of outrage following such incidences over the last few years has resulted in racists being publicly rebuked, with some facing serious consequences, such as the loss of their jobs. It’s important to continue making racism expensive for racists.”
Anti-Racism Week hopes to educate the masses, empowering people to take action against racism and to not remain silent but face it.