By John Damian Adizie
One question that has remained unanswered is “Are we really one?” If we are one why do we still have the media advert “attendance is strictly by invitation.” Are those not invited born of a woman?
Why is it that the children of the rich cannot attend the same school with the children of the poor? If we are really one why do rich parents object to the marriage union with children of the poor?
If we are one why is it that special seats are reserved for special people in our churches? If we are really one why are there so much discri-minations in our world today?
Incidentally, the UN has declared March 1 as Zero Discrimination Day. At first, I kept asking myself, is it really possible? Can we really have zero discrimi-nation in a world where the rich are getting richer whereas the poor are gett-ing poorer?
The gap bet-ween the poor and the rich keep widening. Can we real-ly talk of zero discrimina-tion in a world where lead-ers value the lives of cows more than their fellow human beings? Can we talk of zero discrimination in a world where the rich have a direct access to medication in any part of the world whereas the poor could not even afford ordinary tablet in their country of origin? Can we celebrate zero discrimination day in a society where the pro-perties belonging to the poor are destroyed and even taken away by the government without any compensation? What exactly are we cele-brating?
Discrimination has caus-ed a lot of havoc in our world today. The UNAIDS declar-es that discrimination un-dermine efforts to achieve a more just and equitable world. Last week during the World Social Day, we defin-ed a just society as a society where every member of the society is carried along with equal respect and dignity. It is a society where citizens are given equal opportunity and access. Discrimination, on the other hand, causes pain and suffering for many. it is a serious crime against humanity. Current discri-mination include:
Age Discrimination: has to do with the rejection of people, especially their ser-vices, due to their age. Old parents are abandoned in villages due to their age. In Nigeria, there has been claims that the youths are not carried along in politics and other decision making.
Racial Discrimination: Racism has to do with the treatment of people in a bias and unfavorable way due to their race or color.
Disability Discrimina-tion: are those who are legally and illegally depri-ved of performing tasks due to physical, mental and even spiritual incapability.
Gender Discrimination: Most African society see women as weaker sex or even as second class citi-zens. Women are denied of basic rights, such as the ri-ghts of inheritance.
Caste Discrimination: An outcast is someone who is rejected and excluded from home or society due to religious or cultural belief. The last thing a freeborn can do in Igboland of Nigeria is to get married to an osu out-cast. The western civilization and even Christianity have not succeeded in wiping out the marital discrimination against the osu outcasts.
Financial Discrimination: As the gap between the rich and the poor widens, so also the discrimination against the poor increases. The rich have little or no business with the poor. They hardly mingle with them. They do not even allow their children to attend the same school with the poor. Marriage between the rich and the poor is often seen as an abomination.
Political Discrimination: With the modern day system of government, almost every society has an opposition party. The gap between the ruling party and the opposi-tion party is so wide that at times one wonders if they are really members of the same nation.
Religious Discrimination: The current crisis in Nigeria is largely as a result of reli-gious discriminations. There is tension between Christ-ian and Muslim leaders. This discrimination is so deadly that so many people have lost their lives as a result.
Tribal and Ethnic Discri-mination: Tribalism and ethnicism are discrimi-nations that are based on people’s tribe and ethnic background.
Parental and Ancestral Discrimination: has to do with people who are discri-minated against because of their parental and ancestr-al background.
Cultural and Traditional Discrimination: One man’s meat may be another man’s poison. This is true of every cultural practices. What some people uphold as their cultural value may be an abomination in other people’s culture. In Esan land, for instance, when a woman dies she is buried in her ancestral home but in some parts of Nigeria, it is an abomination to bury a married woman in her father’s house.
As we celebrate zero dis-crimination day, every form of discrimination is hereby cancelled in Jesus name.