Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Combating Racism & Xenophobia
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Forest Hills Eastern High School
The issue of racism and xenophobia takes form all across the globe. Cases ranging from smaller acts of vicious discrimination to mass genocide occur frequently. Racism is defined as prejudice stemming from a perception of racial inferiority, whereas xenophobia is a prejudice against everything foreign, both can create catastrophic consequences. The increase in the use of social media and the internet provides a platform for more of this offensive racism to spread. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, in the United States, 4131 hate crimes occurred by acts of racism in 2017, making them the largest influence on said hate crimes. In some governments historically, race-based hierarchical systems have been implemented (South Africa with the apartheid and the United States with Jim Crow Laws). It is important to combat such systems so as to prevent massacres such as the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo faces a long, strenuous history of European colonization, slavery, and oppression due to the color of the skin of its citizens. In the 1870s, Belgian King Leopold II set up a private venture to colonize the territory that is now the Congo. In his control, Leopold accumulated a personal fortune from forced labour and exploitation of the region’s indigenous peoples. Leopold’s Force Publique or “Public Force”, commanded by white officers, killed, took hostage, looted, and maimed Congolese citizens who did not meet certain standards of work. Under Belgian rule, millions of Congolese were said to be killed or worked to death as slaves. Though independence came about for the Congo in 1960 with the election of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, Leopold’s bloody legacy remained, creating problems in human rights abuses today. The negative effects of racism on the Democratic Republic of the Congo creates human rights issues in today’s society; and measures need to be taken to eliminate racism and xenophobia.
As a nation greatly impacted by these issues, the Democratic Republic of the Congo strongly calls upon this committee to make an effort to eliminate this problem globally. The UN has the power to improve racial tolerance by implementing international laws regarding discrimination based on race, and taking action to reform governments in countries which practice xenophobia or have prominent occurrences of racism.The Democratic Republic of the Congo hopes to save other countries from a fate haunted by the bloody ghost of racism and massacre, as they suffer.
- Carli Maltbie