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REFOCUS: A call to collectively fight discrimination

Gerard Veldhoven
Gerard Veldhoven - SaltWire File Photo

Gerard Veldhoven

This column usually concerns LGBTQ+ issues, however, on occasion there is mention of other minorities that are equally discriminated against. Should we not, as minorities in a world where discrimination remains out of hand, be a united front, a strong determined, and vocal group of diverse people. 

Some believe that each group should fight their own battles, but to be realistic, discrimination must be eradicated and the most effective way is to speak with one voice. We are all the same somehow, and each minority group searches for answers. We direct our concerns to the world community at large, and the fact that 7.6 billion inhabitants walk on this earth, the task is arduous. We cannot realistically expect that discrimination will end in our lifetime. 

Over the centuries, this curse has embraced us and we should continue the fight for equality and not sit idly by wishing for discrimination to end. The constant attacks on each group, the horrendous consequences, must end in order to find some peace. Decades and perhaps centuries may offer some relief, but with unifying all those who face daily angst the necessity to gather is essential. Our children, grandchildren, and all future generations will be counting on us to educate and raise awareness. The diversity of generations in our world is evident by the daily oppressive and intolerant behavior of the discriminatory majority. 

That is not to say that gains have not been forthcoming. As a matter of fact, during the past few decades inroads have been successful in some instances. Canada and other countries, have changed laws to protect minorities, but to enforce those laws has not been completely successful and is challenging. Equal treatment is not yet ours to enjoy, and I am speaking about all minorities, of which there are many. Going forward, it is essential that a unified and global effort by all minorities, Indigenous people, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, people of faiths, the way we dress, or the language we speak, among others, is in place. 

I have written about this very idea in previous columns and it must be repeated over and over again, so that we may proceed towards a better, more inclusive world where all live in peace, respect and with love. The challenges ahead are phenomenal, but just think of a world without discrimination. The road to success is dependent on our dedication for change. On a daily basis we are challenged to do more, to move forward and make noise in an effort to be heard. Some listen, but the majority are silent and rather not be involved in working for change. This begs the following question; How do we reach those who, for some unexplainable reason, or wish to stay out of controversy?

Then, we are very aware of those who do not believe in equality for all, and make horrific accusations against all minorities. White supremacist groups, right-wing evangelicals, politicians who regularly deny equal rights and do not support equal treatment, are in abundance. The task at hand is arduous and seems unreachable until we realize that the choice is limited and the call to action is the only way in which the possibility exists to eradicate discrimination and its ugly consequences, even in a small way. This small way may seem insignificant, but nevertheless has merit. The world simply cannot continue in the manner that has existed for so many years. 

Humanity must coordinate if it’s to survive in peaceful times. Years, decades and centuries go by and we remain divided. Of course, we have witnessed some changes, but at today’s pace the urgency increases so that we harmonize and live with dignity, peace and love. We are who we are, and we recognize our differences, but remember, we are all, each of us, part of human-kind. Let us unify, and speak with one voice.

Gerard Veldhoven is a gay rights activist and resident of Pictou County. His column appears monthly in The News. Comments and information: lgbtconnectionsgv@gmail.com
 

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