Jack Swanson, Royal Oak High School
Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee, Combating Racism and Xenophobia
Section 1: History, Legislation, and Actions
Madagascar, a former colony of the massive French empire, has always viewed racism and xenophobia as some of the greatest, yet most subtle, evils present in the international community. With the rise of the internet, anonymity has allowed has given those with radical minds the perfect platforms to spread their viewpoints like a cancer, hoping those who are down in the dumps will embrace those views and blame racial minorities for their problems. Domestically, this is not a major problem for Madagascar. Our nation is one of the most multi-ethnic in the region, with groups ranging from Austronesians to Africans. It is a problem for our citizens abroad, however, as the spread of racism and xenophobia will lead to their oppression.
At the World Conference Against Racism in 2001, the Malagasy delegate, Maxime Zefera, said the following. “The persistence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is a source of serious concern for the international community. It is most important to note that in places where racism is thought not to be prevalent, more forms of racism are practised, particularly in job or housing application processes or access to public places. We must also not forget the serious danger of the Internet when used to spread racist propaganda. The international community must not let those manifestations of racism prosper. We must take action at this Conference to eliminate those scourges, considered among the most ignoble mankind has ever known.” (1) With the massive strides in technology since 2001, the racists have gained more and more of an advantage, coalescing on image boards such as 4Chan and the (recently shut down) 8Chan. If we are to put down this problem, we must strike the beast at its heart.
Section 2: Possible solutions
The real problem at our hands is not racism itself, but rather the anonymous cesspools it is spread around on. Without anonymity, Racists will once again hide in the dark like they did before the internet gave them their golden gathering place. Now, We are not saying that any website that allows anonymity should be banned. No, that is a violation of human rights just like racism. There should be restrictions, however. For one, we should regulate sites that allow discussion without the need for an account. Any site that is to allow discourse should require that individuals should make accounts. They still would have privacy, but the racists would not have a total masks. Their accounts could be shown to their employers and peers, causing their life to go down to where they wanted to drag others. An eye for an eye, you might say, but one which we believe to be the perfect shield to block the sword of racism.
(1)“ACTION AGAINST WIDE RANGE OF DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES URGED AT RACISM CONFERENCE.” United Nations, United Nations, 4 Sept. 2001, https://www.un.org/WCAR/pressreleases/rd-d35.htm.
- Jack Swanson