Opinion Editorial Archive November, 2022: A Day at the Races

opinion editorial
Any opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the policies of The Peoples of the World Foundation. Unless otherwise noted, the author and photographer is Dr. Ray Waddington.

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While the United States debated the legacy of Christopher Columbus on the 12th of last month, the rest of the world celebrated International Indigenous Peoples' Day. That day takes a particular form in the Spanish-speaking world where it is called Día de la Raza or Day of Race. It is a celebration of the fusion of Spanish and indigenous heritage that began in colonial times.

Although some indigenous people in the former Spanish colonies celebrate the occasion, the reality remains that they are unequal partners of the fusion. They have been in a race to maintain their rights since the first colonists set foot on their land.

The 12th was not the only day we spent at the races last month. Every day saw a race in Ukraine to defeat a racist. The 2nd and 30th saw a race in Brazil whose outcome, if it stands, will benefit people of many races for decades. And we saw, just a few days ago, Rishi Sunak win the race to become the United Kingdom's next Prime Minister. For so many years India was in a race to recover sovereign rule from Britain and now the political dominance has changed by 180 degrees.

Perhaps the most sickening day at the races took place just a week ago in Burma (Myanmar). The military blatantly bombed an arts festival being held by members of the Kachin race. Dozens of lives were lost simply because the military suspected them of being in a race for democracy.

A few days ago Vladimir Putin said the world now faces its most dangerous decade since World War II. He is wrong. As the world finds itself in its most dangerous period in history, we are now all in a race just as certainly as we all have our own racial heritage. It is a race for our very survival.

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