June 18, 2020: Ending racism

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I would like to share publicly my thoughts on racism and the horrific events of the last few weeks. I’m aided in this by the deeply emotional and thoughtful dialogue taking place within the World Bank Group, including powerful blogs, messages, conversations and town halls.  

We’ve agreed to speak out, which I will try to do though I know I won’t be able to find the right or strong enough words.  

What happened to George Floyd is beyond reprehensible. I hope that justice will be served for him and his family, but it cannot make up for his death and the pain for him, his family, and all those who care about humanity. The scourge of racism is deep and pernicious and must be confronted and ended.

Racial discrimination and social injustice have no place in any of our workplaces or societies.

Last week, I joined two important all-staff conversations on the subject of racism, along with thousands of my colleagues at the Bank. I’ve been overwhelmed by their emotions and mine, including anger, compassion, and shame at indefensible acts. We discussed what we can do as an institution, and we’ve urged all staff to become part of this conversation. 

I announced last week that we’ve set up a Task Force on Racism with a broad mandate to work on issues related to this challenge within our institution, our programs, and countries where we work. Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice President and World Bank Group General Counsel, is leading the task force, and working closely with Human Resources, Operations, Internal Justice Services, our existing Diversity & Inclusion Council, and offices across the World Bank Group.

As an institution, I’m sure that we can do better in tackling injustices, racism, and inequality within the World Bank Group and around the world. I and the entire senior leadership team are looking forward to working closely with the task force, all staff, shareholders, civil societies and the communities we work in around the world -- it is critical that we listen to each other and find ways to take action against racism.

As an institution, I’m sure that we can do better in tackling injustices, racism, and inequality within the World Bank Group and around the world.

This Friday, June 19, is the anniversary of the official end of slavery in the United States and ‘Juneteenth’ is being recognized around the country as a moment to acknowledge the atrocities of the past and make commitments to end racism.

The World Bank Group is planning an all-staff event on the morning of June 19 to recognize this historic day and publicly demonstrate our values, and we will be displaying #EndRacism banners on two of our DC-based office buildings. Racial discrimination and social injustice have no place in any of our workplaces or societies.   

Originally published on LinkedIn

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Simon
June 19, 2020

My name is Simon Mulolo and I'm from Zambia-Africa. My heart bleeds as I see how racism has affected our world. Violence, murder and all manner of injustice, are filling our societies like flies on a rotten carcass. For this reason, I decided to write a book in which one of the Chapters talks about racism. Allow me to share with you a quote from my book, which I believe can help us all as we fight to end racism...
" I would be very naive, and so would anybody else be, to think that racism has only affected Africa. While statistically it shows that black people have suffered more of racial injustices than whites, it does not negate the fact that every people group has suffered racial injustice in one way or the other.
You can not quench fire with fire and neither can you reduce pain by adding salt to a fresh wound. The barbarous actions which were done to Africans by whites of old, have been, and will ever be condemned by meaningful people, whether black or white. Yet this does not vindicate the injustice done to innocent whites by angry Africans, who wish to avenge the sufferings and deaths of their forefathers. There are many Africans today who see racists in every white person they see. They speak evil against whites and treat them with so much disrespect, simply because they think that by so doing, justice is being done on behalf of their forefathers. Taking advantage of language barrier, these black folks talk rubbish in the presence of innocent whites in the African languages, and mockingly laugh as they do this foolishness, simply because those whites cannot understand the language being used.
We should not condemn inhumanity with inhumanity. Love should be the guiding principle in the forgiveness of anyone who has wronged another. Africa must, through the power of the Holy Spirit, see it necessary and strive to forgive the whites of old, for the inhumanity done to its forefathers. The innocent whites who are mistreated by blacks, have absolutely nothing to do with the history of slavery and inhumanity done by their forefathers. Each white person should be looked upon and judged by their actions, as an individual and not based on their colour or the inhumanity done by their forefathers."