Help the mandatory teaching of black history in Irish primary and secondary schools.
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I am a proud NigerianIrish because my Nigerian parents were welcome and of course they made Ireland their new home, all thanks to foresight of Irish government policy that opened her boarders to non-Irish almost two decades ago.
As millions globally mourned George Floyd vicious murder in the United States by police officers, I felt lucky that An Garda Síochána do not generally carry gun. Racially motivated police brutality is not a problem in Ireland. However, we cannot shy away from subtle racism with corporate organisations. As a child I remember my parents suffer needlessly countless times because of the colour of their skin. I was born in Ireland and raised by loving Nigerian parents , I've seen how my parents have been mistreated because they are simply black. I have witnessed how my parents were denied promotions at work because they are black and I have watched how my brothers were treated because they are black.
Introducing into our school curriculum the teaching of Black History along side the Irish struggle for Independence would mean all students from a very young age would be aware that on the outside we may all have different skin colours and shades but we are all the same on the inside. We may be black but we all bleed out same liquid (blood). I believe if we teach them at such a young age they will become aware of racism and reflect nothing but equality within the school walls and later on in society.
I have experienced racism in both my primary and secondary schools, it’s either I was being called “blacky”, "nigger” or “coco pops", I was maltreated simply because I am black. As a young student this affected me in ways I can’t describe. At times I felt inferior in my classroom which was meant to be a place of love and fun. I enjoyed my family support, while the school policy was zero tolerance to racism, I tell you many things went under the radder. I also knew my life could be easier if I was white. Its truly horrifying that many black people at such a young each feel the same as I have felt . Please don’t allow a young black child to feel like this again.
Over the past few months I have seen a ridiculous amount of racist Tik Toks , tweets and videos from Irish youths on social media. The bitter truth of it all is, like Will Smith once said “ Racism has always been around. Now it’s being filmed for all to see”. I strongly believe that the youth posting such disgusting things just don’t have the knowledge and understanding. As a nation, we can start to deal with this problem now and not wait until there is a public show of shame as seen in America (the global symbol of democracy).
I beg you join me to uphold the values of this great Irish spirit, the land of saints and scholars. The leaders of tomorrow must learn to respect diversity, cherish the beauties embedded in a multi-facetted society where all who declared their allegiance are not seen as "blowings". This is why I’m pleading with you to sign this petition.
In this way our beloved President Michael D Higgins ,The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar , The Minister of Education Joe Mc Hugh and many other powerful officials in Ireland can be convinced to take this stand with us and can facilitate debate leading to the teaching of black history into the education system in Ireland.
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