I have found no evidence that a major anti-racism demonstration taking place in Brussels on 24 March was planned within the framework of Black History Month Belgium?? #BlackHistoryMonthBelgium. It is therefore safe to call this a coincidence! A beautiful coincidence, a welcome one.
The Antwerp based pressure group HandinHand Against Racism is the tireless organiser of the manifestation. Over the years the organisation has used its actions and activities to place itself in the forefront of fighting for equality and zero-tolerance for discrimination in Belgium. We have come to a point where Government needs to be called out for not taking sufficient actions to banish racism and discrimination in this country. I therefore make bold to condemn the Belgian Government as accomplice in the crime of racism and discrimination.
There are six demands on the table at the 24 March demonstration. A careful examination of these demands confirms that our biggest problem in this country is not racism perpetrated by individuals. The urgency of our time is institutional racism. In other words the racist here is Government. Government should therefore take decisive actions in the following areas:
- Concrete steps towards equal access to the labour market, housing market and education
- Humane and high-quality refugee reception policies and practices
- Liberty for individual use of philosophical signs, which are currently outlawed
- Review and reform of Foreigner or Alien Act to achieve absence of meddling by government
- Immediate end to ethnic profiling
- Implementation of decolonization in museums, curricula, textbooks, libraries, streets and squares, media, …
Now is the moment for Government to establish an ambitious and purposefully coordinated inter-federal action plan against racism.