Help Stop My Father’s Hunger Strike

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Hold the World Bank Accountable for its Racism: Sign My Petition 28

My father is a man of principles and a stubborn man. I am terrified that he will take his hunger strike to its end. I do not want him to die.

My first experience with racial discrimination was when I was five years old in first grade in December 2006. I remember the day, the hour and what I was doing when it happened.

My mom, dad, brother and sister were talking about my father’s racial discrimination case at the kitchen table. I was watching Hannah Montana in the family room and waiting anxiously for the discussion to end so we can start setting up our Christmas tree.

I heard my dad say that his employers straight up told him that they would not promote him because he is Black. I prayed to Santa to help my dad instead of giving me toys. It did not work.

I am now fifteen, a junior in high school and still praying this will end. What his employers have done since 2006 is a lot worse. The case has gotten so bad that it is putting my father’s life in danger. He is on a hunger strike in protest.

When Brietbart news (the most conservative news outlet in the US) and the Huffington Post (among the most liberal news outlets in the US) publish articles about the same racial discrimination case in total agreement and when Dr. Ben Carson (conservative US Presidential Candidate) and Rev. Jesse Jackson (liberal civil rights icon) speak in agreement denouncing it, you can imagine how bad it must be.

When members of the US Senate and Congress as well as the US Treasury Department, the Government Accountability Project, the DC Civil Rights Coalition, and representatives of over 500 religious organizations condemn it and nothing is done about it, you can imagine the injustice.

The person who is responsible for my father’s and my family’s pain is Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank President. The World Bank and its presidents cannot be sued in the US.

The US has a law that should hold the World Bank accountable but the Obama administration is not enforcing it. President Kim used his friendship with President Obama and Mrs. Clinton to stop our government from enforcing the law.

I go to a Catholic School. Every morning we recite the pledge of allegiance with our hand placed over our heart and pledge allegiance to the United States of America that stands for “justice for all.”

Does our country really stand for justice for all? Yesterday, I was starting to wonder why I participate in the pledge of allegiance. I discussed this doubt with my father. He told me: “You should say your pledge of allegiance with your hand placed tight over your heart and then fight for what you are pledging your allegiance for.”

My father is a man of principles and a stubborn man. I am terrified that he will take his hunger strike to its end. I do not want him to die.

Please sign this petition to ask President Obama to enforce the law. It takes a minute to sign the petition; it can make a difference. The petition is on Change.org https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-help-stop-my-father-s-hunger-strike-hold-the-world-bank-accountable

Please also visit my dad’s website. But be very prepared to be shocked. http://www.longerthanapartheid.com/

Thank you. God bless

* Eden Yonas is the daughter of Dr. Yonas Biru, a former World Bank expert who started a hunger strike a week ago to fight against in the Bank.

The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.