There is no doubt that discrimination based on race was and still is one of the greatest challenges faced by different communities and racial groups worldwide. In South Africa, racial segregation, also known as apartheid was witnessed from 1948 to 1994, and it saw the blacks, coloreds, and Indians denied access to various resources and facilities that were meant for the Whites. Moreover, from King Martin Luther’s perspective, racial discrimination was one of the social challenges in the US, which saw the blacks oppressed while the Whites were favored in every context and situation. Essentially, every person has a responsibility to fight or rather reduce discrimination through various actions.
An individual can have the responsibility to fight or reduce discrimination to the extent of leading campaigns for the abolition of the practice in modern society. History indicates that in South Africa in the 1970s, several individuals stepped up campaigns for the abolition of the practice, which at the time was known as apartheid. However, amidst their demands and campaigns for the abolition of the menace, individuals such as Steve Biko and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were either killed or harassed. Based on the utilitarianism theory, the action of campaigning for the abolition of discrimination in various regions of the world is considered right, and this is because of the positive consequences. Elimination of racial discrimination could pave the way for coexistence and cooperation among human beings despite the ethnic background or skin color.
Moreover, a person has the responsibility of fighting discrimination to the extent of pushing for the establishment of organizations to legislate policies aimed at curbing discriminatory practices. In South Africa, between 1912 and 1983, several anti-apartheid organizations were founded, and their role in fighting racial discrimination was evident in the legislation of apartheid policies. This could be extended to modern society where individuals can push for the foundation or establishment of the same. Once such organizations are established, positive consequences such as the cooperation, interdependence, and coexistence of human beings are guaranteed in the long run. Therefore, bearing in mind the utilitarianism theory, the action of pushing for the establishment of organizations to come up with policies pertaining to discrimination is acceptable in the modern society.
An individual’s responsibility of fighting against or reducing discrimination can also be highlighted by his or her participation in anti-discrimination uprisings. A number of such revolutions were seen in South Africa around the 1960s, and they played a significant role in the abolition of apartheid in the country. One of the uprisings was the Sharpeville uprising of 1960, which was strongly against the pass laws that forced Africans aged 16 and above to walk with identification documents. The Soweto riots of 1976 also played a significant role in the abolition of the discriminatory practices that saw the oppression of Blacks in South Africa. From a moral perspective, participation in uprisings is unacceptable, more so, when accompanied by violence. However, in this case, the involvement in the uprisings has good consequences, and thus, is acceptable.
To show responsibility in fighting or reducing discrimination, an individual can engage in or come up with anti-discrimination movements such as the anti-apartheid movements that sprang up in South Africa in 1961. The movements sharply criticized the discriminatory practices that were predominant in South Africa at the time and called for their abolition. With the movements, there were calls for the imposition of international sanctions on South Africa, and boycotts of cultural and sporting links. From a moral perspective, although the formation of movements could be fatal making it unacceptable, there are positive consequences that could accompany the same in this case, and thus, the action or move by an individual is accepted.
While seeking to fight or reduce discrimination, an individual can become or register as a member of an organization, which focuses on the promotion and protection of human rights, and thus, eliminate discrimination based on race or gender. One of the organizations that champion for the elimination of discrimination in the US is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Such organizations share staff, financial, as well as educational resources with affiliates, and have made significant strides towards the elimination of the global challenge. When an individual registers as a member of such organizations, positive consequences are guaranteed, and thus, such actions or moves by individuals are acceptable.
The role of political and religious leaders in the fight against racial discrimination cannot be ignored. Without a doubt, political leaders are responsible for the legislation and formulation of policies that either legalize or illegalize the practice. Bearing these perspectives in mind, an individual’s responsibility in fighting or reducing discrimination can be evident when he or she holds talks with political and religious leaders on the challenge. It is during the talks that leaders are made aware of the situations on the ground and the necessary actions to be taken. Based on the moral theory of utilitarianism, the positive consequences that could accompany the talks held between individuals and leaders underline their acceptability in the world today.
The responsibility of an individual in the fight or reduction of discrimination can also be showcased when he or she participates in or organizes a series of workshops on nonviolence, togetherness, cooperation, and interdependence. In such workshops, an individual can champion for the need of brotherhood, which in the long run could help address or eliminate the problem of discrimination. The positive consequences of such an action imply that it is acceptable and should be embraced more in the society today.