United Nations, USA | BAZZUP | On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged using education as the “most effective weapon” in the battle against racism that has its roots in slavery.
At a UN General Assembly ceremony commemorating the International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Guterres said, “It is incumbent on us to confront the legacy of racism left by slavery.”
He noted that the history of slavery is one of “suffering, crime, violence, and exploitation,” and that it endured for more than 400 years.
Nonetheless, Guterres noted that the transatlantic slave trade’s history continues to haunt people today. We can directly connect the time of colonial exploitation to the present-day social and economic inequality.
The effects of slavery, he continued, can still be seen in the continuing gaps in wealth, income, health, education, and opportunity.
And in the revived white supremacist hatred, he added, “we can detect the racist tropes popularized to justify the barbarism of the slave trade.”
The UN president urged nations worldwide to include teachings on the causes, manifestations, and far-reaching ramifications of the transatlantic slave trade in school curricula, calling education the most effective tool in the toolbox to combat slavery’s legacy of racism.
Education is the most powerful weapon to #FightRacism.
So that we may protect against humanity’s most heinous tendencies and expose the racism of our own day, we must educate people about the horrifying history of slavery.
We must continue until everyone is able to live a life protected by human rights.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 27, 2023
“By educating people about the history of slavery, we work to prevent some of humanity’s most heinous tendencies. We expose the racism of our period by examining the dominant presumptions and ideas that permitted the practice to proliferate for millennia, said Guterres.
A resolution establishing March 25 as an annual International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade was approved by the UN General Assembly in December 2007. At the UN headquarters in New York and at UN offices around the world, the day is marked with ceremonies and other events.