Let’s create culture which has no place for prejudice: Sangakkara on racism

Offering his views on racism, former Sri Lanka cricket team captain Kumar Sangakkara urged people to create a better society.

Sangakkara is also the president of the MCC.   -  AP

“The activism in America against systemic racism and injustice is a powerful lesson to us all,” said former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday, calling on ordinary citizens to create a culture that has no place for ignorance and prejudice.

Offering his views on racism after an African-American man George Floyd was killed last week while a white police officer pressed his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck in the USA, Sangakkara urged people to create a better society.

READ | Sammy urges cricket fraternity to speak up against racism

“We the people, the ordinary citizen, can together achieve extraordinary change for the better, to set in place a world culture of openness, respect and understanding,” he tweeted.

“A world culture that has no place for ignorance and prejudice and where true freedom reigns,” he said.

“The State should not determine our wisdom, compassion, empathy and understanding. It should not and cannot limit the openness of our hearts and minds to others nor our ability to embrace and value difference and differences,” he said.

Sangakkara said political leadership is nothing but a reflection of what a society is and to ensure that better people take that role, the ordinary citizens have to become better versions of themselves.

“We also choose our representatives from among our own. We are responsible for the character traits they bring to government. We are responsible for the people they are or have become. Their nature has been set by our influence and nurture,” he reasoned.

“Our choices guide the State’s attitudes, actions, policy and legislation. In order to establish the best government and the best most equitable governance we need to be better people,” he said.

His comments came after West Indian cricketers Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle denounced racism in social media posts.

“Our strengths and our weaknesses are mirrored in each other’s conduct and in the conduct of our elected representatives.

“We have to be courageous, keep the faith and actively participate in the journey. It’s our choices today that will determine the culture our children inherit tomorrow.

“If we want to be proud of our lives, to see our children proud to carry our legacy forward and onwards, then let’s be better. Let’s demand it of ourselves, for each other, for our children. CHOOSE,” he concluded.

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