Not in my Backyard?

By Jorge Rivas Apr 27, 2009

written by Sheryl-Ann Simpson via Speak Fierce! As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the stage and began his tirade against Israel, it seems as if the predictions and justifications the U.S., and other Western countries, used to boycott the UN anti-racism conference in Geneva were coming true. But what would it take to have a real dialogue about global racism? Well to start Western leaders would need to actually want to have it. The Western countries that boycotted this conference have a lot of work to do in their own backyards: disgraceful lack of services in Indigenous communities, continued mistreatment of the Roma in Europe, and discrimination against immigrant groups are all "First World" problems. n the U.S., any way you count it, communities of color continue to face disparity and discrimination, and the current economic situation isn’t helping, with higher foreclosure rates due in part to discriminatory lending practices, higher increases in unemployment, and changes to educational systems which further disenfranchise communities of color. Simply walking away from this year’s anti-racism conference means letting it deteriorate into a series of tirades, a preventable and self-filling prophecy that gives Western leaders another excuse to continue ignoring the importance of a dialogue on race and racism, globally, and at home.