Fight against racism: a risky appointment

With the appointment of Bochra Manaï to the coveted post of commissioner for the fight against racism in Montreal, Mayor Valérie Plante is taking a risky political bet. Especially in the face of the Legault government and its law 21 on secularism.

Ms. Manaï is a university researcher in inter-ethnic relations. She was also the spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Muslims which, in court, challenges Bill 21. In her new role, some of her statements could indeed cause her shame.

This one, for example. On April 15, 2019, Mme Manai posted on her Twitter feed an excerpt from one of her speeches in which she claimed that Law 21 is “anti-democratic”.

The most disturbing passage, however, is this:

“The problem is the attacks coming from far-right groups […]. Should we remember that, unfortunately, Quebec has become a benchmark for supremacists and extremists around the world? “

Public and strategic post

As an activist and private citizen, Bochra Manaï was free to support or not support Law 21. In a democracy, everyone has the right to denounce or challenge a law that they consider unjust, rightly or wrongly.

Mme Manaï now holds a public and very strategic post. His opposition to Bill 21 does not disqualify him, however.

At least, insofar as, in its public role, it does not call for civil disobedience.

Mayor Plante herself opposes Bill 21, but is committed to respecting it.

The real problem is M’s unfounded and crass statementme Manaï presenting Quebec as a benchmark for supremacists and extremists around the world.

In her new position, it will be necessary to know if she still thinks it or not.

In Quebec, as in English Canada and the West, ultra-right, supremacist, racist, misogynist and anti-Semitic groups are certainly on the rise.

A well-documented trend that we must actively counter. But to say that Quebec is a world benchmark is unacceptable. A focus of Mme Manai is more than necessary.

Otherwise, his credibility will take a toll on his cold and, in turn, his ability to carry out his tasks with rigor and accuracy.

Contribute directly

On the merits of the matter, except for the current controversy, that Mayor Plante makes appointments capable of better reflecting Montreal’s diversity is an excellent thing.

Those who experience discrimination, present here and elsewhere, including the persistent plague of racial profiling, must have access to positions where they can directly contribute to its desired eradication.

Quebec is a very welcoming society, but its institutions are not exempt from certain discriminatory practices.

Whether or not we embrace the concept of “systemic” racism, this is what we need to work on together.

The collective self-flagellation or the chronic insult of “racist” that we have afflicted Quebec for too long will not help us to get there.

Bochra Manaï, who now swears to want to “unite”, would be wise to take note.


Many Don’t See Link Between Racism, Health Outcomes

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Many Americans most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic don’t believe that racism is associated with poorer health, a nationwide poll shows.

The ongoing poll of more than 4,000 lower- and middle-income Americans focuses on communities of color.

“It really struck us that — despite the virus’s spread across the country to all types of communities — there’s not a consensus view on the effects of systemic racism,” said lead author Katherine Grace Carman, a senior economist at RAND Corporation. RAND is conducting the poll, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Respondents see the impact of low incomes and living in a rural community on a person’s health, but race isn’t viewed with the same gravity,” she said in a Robert Wood Johnson news release.Just over 42% of respondents say systemic racism is one of the main reasons people of color have poorer health. About one-third disagree, and about a quarter are neutral.

Black respondents are much more likely (69.4%) than white ones (33.2%) to believe that systemic racism affects the health of people of color, according to the poll.

Overall, pollsters found a slight increase in respondents’ willingness to risk their own health to return to pre-pandemic “normal.” But respondents who are Black or Hispanic are more likely (68.5%) to be cautious about taking health risks to move about freely than white respondents (53.4%).

More than 70% of respondents see the pandemic as a moment for positive change, such as expanding access to health care and reducing income inequality. Rates are slightly higher among respondents who are Black or Hispanic (72.5%) than among whites (69.3%).

Nearly two-thirds of respondents say the government should ensure health care as a fundamental right, but white respondents are less likely (60.4%) than all other races/ethnicities (74.1%) to support this.

More than two-thirds (68%) of Black respondents say they have lower trust in government, compared with 53.6% of Hispanics and 52.4% of whites.


The poll is following the same 4,000 people over time, and these findings were the second of four expected reports. The next one is due out in spring 2021.

Carman said political leaders need to understand that much more must be done to educate people about the root causes of inequities and then to ensure better health for all.

Brian Quinn, associate vice president of the Research-Evaluation-Learning unit at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, offered a similar view.

“We share the respondents’ demand for better access to health care and also advocate for policies that can help from an economic point of view, such as safe and affordable housing, access to healthy food, and access to jobs that pay a living wage,” he said in the release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

SOURCE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, news release, Jan. 13, 2021

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Fight against racism: the appointment of Bochra Manaï is a “mistake”, says the Legault government

The Legault government qualifies the City of Montreal’s hiring of Bochra Manaï as commissioner for the fight against racism “a mistake” given his past positions against the law on secularism.

• Read also: A commissioner on racism that divides

“For us, this is a mistake on the part of the City of Montreal. The government of Quebec is already making the fight against racism a priority, as evidenced by the report tabled last December, ”indicated the office of Prime Minister François Legault.

On Tuesday, the City of Montreal announced the appointment of Bochra Manaï, who will become the first commissioner for the fight against racism and systemic discrimination as of next week.

This position was created in response to the recommendations of a report tabled this summer which pointed out the shortcomings of the City in its fight against discrimination.

Hailed by some for her qualifications, Ms. Manaï’s appointment has been criticized by others for her opposition to the law on secularism.

She holds a doctorate in urban studies and two master’s degrees and was the director of an organization fighting against social exclusion in Montreal-North.

As a spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, she was however one of the opponents who led the challenge of Law 21 on secularism in court.

The trial of this law instituted by the government of the Coalition Avenir Québec ended in mid-December. The decision will not be known until the end of February 2021.


A commissioner on racism that divides

Hailed by some for her qualifications, criticized by others for her opposition to the law on secularism: the appointment of the city’s first anti-racism commissioner has just been announced that it divides.

“It’s a big blunder,” says Micheline Labelle, sociologist and professor at UQAM. She sees it as a “partisan appointment” which “gives a special touch to a committee that did not need that”.

On Tuesday, the City of Montreal announced the appointment of Bochra Manaï, who will become the first commissioner for the fight against racism and systemic discrimination as of next week.

This position was created in response to the recommendations of a report tabled this summer which pointed out the shortcomings of the City in its fight against discrimination.

The news was greeted “with great satisfaction” by Haroun Bouazzi, one of the activists who called for a debate on systemic racism in the metropolis.

With a doctorate in urban studies and two master’s degrees, Bochra Manaï was the director of an organization that fights against social exclusion in Montreal-North.

Lack of neutrality?

Some expect his tenure to be more “explosive” than consensual, not least because Manaï is one of the opponents who led the challenge of law 21 on secularism in court. She was then spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

By choosing Mme Manaï, the City made a “courageous decision,” said Solange Lefebvre, professor of religious studies at the University of Montreal. “We have the right, in Canada, to be for or against a bill.”

For Micheline Labelle, it would have been better to name someone “neutral”, since his positions against Bill 21 risk discrediting his actions, she laments.

For Haroun Bouazzi, activist for human rights, it is the opposite. “Anyone who would have agreed with a law like this would have had no credibility.”


The divide therefore seems to follow the divide between prolaïcité and antilaïcité, or even those who claim that systemic racism exists or does not exist in Quebec.

“It’s appalling,” insists André Lamoureux, political scientist and professor at UQAM. “I find it scandalous that the City of Montreal is providing funds for […] an ideological concept “, says the one who affirms loud and clear that the notion of systemic racism does not really apply to the reality of Quebec.

“We are shocked,” reacts Ferid Chikhi, co-spokesperson for the Quebec Association of North Africans for Secularism. He fears the “subjectivity” that he says comes with the activism of a “victimized minority that cries all the time.”

In contrast, Maryse Potvin, professor of education at UQAM, affirms that systemic discrimination is a well-documented phenomenon, as are the discriminatory effects of Bill 21. “I think we must give the runner a chance” , she says.

“Whether she is an activist against discrimination against Muslims in Canada, I do not see how that disqualifies her for a position which aims, precisely, to fight against discrimination”, abounds Martin Papillon, professor at the University of Montreal .

Avoid demonizing

But behind this divide, Solange Lefebvre assures us that it is normal that there are so many debates on such a complex subject.

“We must avoid demonizing people: whether it is the Legault government [qui refuse de reconnaître l’existence du racisme systémique] or those who challenge Law 21 ”, she tempers.

As of this writing, Bochra Monaï had not responded to our interview request.

California Headline USA New York

Extradited from California “racist” who falsely accused a teenager of theft in a hotel in New York | The State

Miya Ponsetto (22)

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy

Miya Ponsetto, a young woman accused of falsely accusing a black teenager of having stolen his phone and then attacking him in a NYC hotel, returned to the extradited city from California, her home state.

Ponsetto, 22, was escorted to New York Police Station # 1 in Lower Manhattan this morning. “He had his leather jacket covering his hands, which were handcuffeds to the front ”, he described New York Post.

Was charged with attempted robbery, grand theft, attempted assault, and acting in a manner detrimental to a minor old numbered Pix11.

The NYPD sent detectives to question her in California after days of intense media coverage of the December 26 hotel fight and the demands from the teenager’s family and politicians that the woman face criminal charges.

According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California, deputies tried to arrest Ponsetto on Thursday as he was driving near her Simi Valley home, but she did not stop until they reached her residence, where He refused to get out of the car. Once there, officers physically removed her from the vehicle. She was arrested on a “fugitive warrant” and jailed without bail.

On Thursday his lawyer said Ponsetto is “emotionally bad” and sorry of falsely accusing teenager Keyon Harrold Jr. (14) of stealing his cell phone at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.

The original news was revealed by a video recorded and posted online by the victim’s father, the jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold.


Headline USA Politics

Biden vows to restore justice after “racist” police response in Congress compared to crackdown on BLM marches | The State

Police reinforcement after the legislative assault


Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States who will take office on January 20, yesterday denounced what he described as an uneven justice system reflected in the lenient response to the mostly white invaders, who stormed the Capitol. on Wednesday, suggesting a stark contrast to the crackdown on racial justice demonstrations across the country last summer.

“You cannot tell me that if it had been a group of protesters from Black Lives Matter (BLM) yesterday, they would not have been treated much differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol, “Biden said emphatically in Wilmington, Delaware.

“We all know it’s true. And it is totally unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain sight, “he added, quoted by The Washington Post, newspaper that has requested the removal of President Donald Trump before January 20, by holding him responsible for the violence he left behind at least 4 people killed in the unprecedented assault on the national parliament.

“In some of his most prominent comments to date on racial inequity, an issue he sometimes finds difficult to discuss despite the support of many black voters, Biden promised that disparities would be addressed when he announced his Justice Department leadership team. , including the judge of the federal court of appeals Merrick Garland as attorney general ”, detailed the newspaper.

A central goal of his presidency, Biden said, would be restore the independence and reputation of the Department of Justice after four years of politicization under President Trump, and noted that he had chosen people with years of experience in that same agency.

“I want to make it clear to those who run this Department who they will serve; They won’t work for me, ”Biden said. “You are not the attorney for the president or the vice president. Your loyalty is not for me. They depend on the law, the Constitution, the people of this nation ”.

He further related that his granddaughter Finnegan had sent him a photo of National Guards stationed at the Lincoln Memorial during a BLM protest last summer, highlighting a contrast to the response this week on Capitol Hill, a disparity many have highlighted.


Football USA Headline USA Sports USA

Uruguayan Academy of Letters protests the punishment of Cavani for “racism” | The State

The National Academy of Letters of Uruguay showed this Friday “its most energetic rejection” of the sanction imposed by the English football federation on Edinson Cavani, of Manchester United, for a comment on social media that you have considered racist.

In a statement posted on its website, it ensures that said penalty “Warns about the poverty of cultural and linguistic knowledge that this Federation reveals when founding such a questionable resolution ”.

“As is well known, references to physical, moral or personal qualities of other people are used in all the languages ​​of the world for the creation of vocatives, that is, expressions to treat others. In some contexts these have a negative tenor and many times the same terms can be considered affectionate or friendlyExplains the document.

On November 29, shortly after a comeback against Southampton, Cavani responded to a message from a follower with the phrase in Spanish “gracias negrito.”

The player later withdrew that comment and posted a statement in which he apologized and assured that he is “absolutely opposed to racism.”

As the Academy explains, in Uruguay “you can hear and read forms like gordis, chubby, negri, negrito / a “ and the person who is treated with these vocatives “does not have to be overweight or have a dark skin color to receive them.”

“Cavani’s use of the black voice to address“ pablofer2222 ”, a soccer player’s fan, has this kind of affectionate tenor: given the context in which it was written, the person to whom was run and the variety of Spanish used, the only value that black can have – and in particular because of its diminutive nature – is affective ”, he says.

Finally, the statement points out that the FA “has committed a grave injustice” and has revealed “ignorance and error regarding the uses of the language and in particular of Spanish, sin taking note of all its complexities and contexts ”.

Cavani was sanctioned this Thursday with more than $ 100,000 dollars and three games for your comment on the networks.

We recommend you:

Edinson Cavani wants to be the man who arrives at Barcelona instead of Lautaro


Headlines UK

Victims of racism should take Ecstasy or magic mushrooms to reduce trauma, study suggests

Victims of racism should take Ecstasy or magic mushrooms to reduce the trauma of their experience, suggests a new study.

Scientists found a single psychedelic trip from mushrooms, acid or MDMA could help victims overcome the racism they have been subjected to. 

Psychedelic drugs could also help reduce stress, depression and anxiety in black, Indigenous and people of colour whose encounters with racism have had lasting harm, according to the findings.

In the new study, participants reported that their trauma-related symptoms linked to racist acts were lowered in the 30 days after an experience with either psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, LSD or MDMA, also known as Ecstasy.

Scroll down for video 

Scientists found a single psychedelic trip from mushrooms, acid or MDMA could help victims overcome the racism they have been subjected to

‘Their experience with psychedelic drugs was so powerful that they could recall and report on changes in symptoms from racial trauma that they had experienced in their lives,’ said research co-lead author Dr Alan Davis, an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US. 

‘And they remembered it having a significant reduction in their mental health problems afterward.’

The more intensely spiritual and insightful the psychedelic trip was, the more significant the recalled decreases in trauma-related symptoms were, findings reveal.

Growing research suggests psychedelics have a place in therapy, especially when administered in a controlled setting.

Dr Davis said: ‘What previous mental health research has generally lacked is a focus on people of colour and on treatment that could specifically address the trauma of chronic exposure to racism.’

Co-lead study author Dr Monnica (CORRECT) Williams, of the University of Ottawa in Canada, said the findings show psychedelics can be important for healing.

She said: ‘Currently, there are no empirically supported treatments specifically for racial trauma.

‘This study shows that psychedelics can be an important avenue for healing.’

A growing body of research has suggested psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, have a place in therapy

A growing body of research has suggested psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, have a place in therapy

The researchers recruited participants in the US and Canada using Qualtrics survey research panels.

They assembled a sample of 313 people who reported they had taken a dose of a psychedelic drug in the past that they believed contributed to ‘relief from the challenging effects of racial discrimination.’

The sample comprised adults who identified as Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American or Indigenous Canadian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.

Once enrolled, participants completed questionnaires collecting information on their past experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use and mental health symptoms.

They were asked to recall a memorable psychedelic experience and its short-term and longer effects.

These had occurred as recently as a few months before the study and as long ago as at least ten years earlier.

Dr Williams said: ‘The discrimination they had encountered included unfair treatment by neighbours, teachers and bosses, false accusations of unethical behaviour and physical violence.

‘The most commonly reported issues involved feelings of severe anger about being subjected to a racist act and wanting to ‘tell someone off’ for racist behaviour, but saying nothing instead.’

Researchers asked participants to recall the severity of symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress linked to exposure to racial injustice in the 30 days before and after using psychedelic drugs.

Considering the probability that being subjected to racism is a lifelong problem rather than a single event, the researchers also assessed whether people suffered from discrimination-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr Davis, who is also an adjunct faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, said: ‘Not everybody experiences every form of racial trauma.

‘But certainly people of colour are experiencing a lot of these different types of discrimination on a regular basis.

‘So in addition to depression and anxiety, we were asking whether participants had symptoms of race-based PTSD.’

Participants were also asked to report on the intensity of three common kinds of experiences people have while under the influence of psychedelic drugs – a mystical, insightful or challenging experience.

Dr Davis added: ‘A mystical experience can feel like a spiritual connection to the divine, an insightful experience increases people’s awareness and understanding about themselves.

‘And a challenging experience relates to emotional and physical reactions such as anxiety or difficulty breathing.’

Participants in the study completed questionnaires collecting information on their past experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use and mental health symptoms

Participants in the study completed questionnaires collecting information on their past experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use and mental health symptoms

All participants recalled their anxiety, depression and stress symptoms after the memorable psychedelic experience were lower than they had been before the drug use.

The magnitude of the positive effects of the psychedelics influenced their reduction in symptoms.

Dr Davis said: ‘What this analysis showed is that a more intense mystical experience and insightful experience, and a less intense challenging experience, is what was related to mental health benefits.’

Researchers noted that the study had limitations because the findings were based on participant recall and the entire sample of recruited research volunteers had reported benefits they associated with their psychedelic experience.

This means it cannot be assumed that psychedelics will help all people of colour with racial trauma.

The researchers are now working on proposals for clinical trials to further investigate the effects of psychedelics on mental health symptoms in specific populations, including Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

Dr Davis added: ‘This was really the first step in exploring whether people of colour are experiencing benefits of psychedelics and, in particular, looking at a relevant feature of their mental health, which is their experience of racial trauma.

‘This study helps to start that conversation with this emerging treatment paradigm.’

The findings were published online by the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Half of depression patients given just TWO doses of magic mushroom compound were symptom free a month later 

Taking just two doses of a compound found in magic mushrooms can reduce feelings of depression, a new small study suggests.

Researchers found that two-thirds of patients saw a 71 percent reduction of symptoms such as sadness, pessimism and self-criticalness.

Additionally, four-weeks post-treatment, more than half of participants were considered in remission, meaning they no longer qualified as being depressed. 

The team, from Johns Hopkins Medicine, says the findings provide evidence that magic mushrooms could be a treatment for mental health issues and even help push legalization of the drug. 

A study by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that half of depression patients who took two doses of psilocybin, the compound found in magic mushrooms (above), were considered to be in remission

A study by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that half of depression patients who took two doses of psilocybin, the compound found in magic mushrooms (above), were considered to be in remission 

In a 2016 study, the team found that psilocybin relieved anxiety and depression among people with life-threatening cancer diagnoses. 

They say these findings suggest the compound may be effective in a much wider population of patients.

‘The magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market,’ said Dr Alan Davis, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

‘Because most other depression treatments take weeks or months to work and may have undesirable effects, this could be a game changer if these findings hold up in future ‘gold-standard’ placebo-controlled clinical trials.’  

Headline USA Ohio

Police Accused of Unreasonably Killing African American in Ohio | The State

Last Wednesday what many have classified as an act of pure racism became known on the Internet, well once again, a policeman killed an African American man, who shot him in cold blood even though he was not armed.

The event occurred in Columbus, Ohio, and the victim was identified as Andre Maurice Hill, 47, who was in the garage of the house where he was a guest when He was surprised by the policeman named Adam Coy.

The camera that Officer Coy had on his body recorded the moment in which he approached the property with a flashlight and there he saw Hill, who walked towards the policeman with his cell phone in hand, and suddenly, Coy shoots him.

As the video does not have audio, it is unknown if Hill said something to the police so that he opened fire on him.

(Sensitive images, we suggest discretion)

After being wounded, Hill remained in the ground during several minutes without the policemen trying to help him. Finally he was transferred to a hospital where he died an hour later.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called the man’s death an “inexplicable loss” and stressed that Hill was an expected guest, “not an intruder.”

“None of the police officers who were initially at the scene provided medical assistance, there was no compression on the wounds to stop the bleeding, there were no attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation, not even a hand on the shoulder or an encouraging word that doctors were on their way. It is the duty of a policeman to help, ”Ginther told a news conference Wednesday.

“Enough already. This community feels drained. The African American community is terrified, concerned, and outraged. This is an amazing disregard for life, ”he added.

Coy surrendered his weapon and badge and was removed from his duties for the duration of the investigation of the events. By union agreement, he will continue to receive his salary.


Sports UK

Pogba and Kean detail harrowing racism they’ve faced in new UEFA documentary

Two men, one problem and no end in sight.

When Paul Pogba sat down with Moise Kean to discuss racism for a new UEFA documentary, each could feel the other’s pain.

Kylian Mbappe and co may have drawn that line in the sand with the walkoff in the Champions League game between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

But for Pogba and Kean the scars of what they’d suffered already have left an indelible mark.

Kean, on loan at PSG from Everton, recalled the abuse he endured in April last year at Cagliari as a Juventus striker.

Speaking on the documentary, Outraged, Football Tackles Discrimination, he said: “We were playing away from home against Cagliari. We heard ‘Ooo, Ooo, Ooo!’, which is what you do to imitate a monkey.

Kean stood proud in front of the Cagliari fans racially abusing him

“I said: ‘I need to do something here. I need to do something. I need to score to make them truly…”

“A cross came in from (team-mate) Rodrigo Bentacur. I got in there. Goal. I went to the Cagliari stands and opened my arms as if to say: “This is me. I am black. I am black. I am who I am.”

Pogba adds: “It’s not like a white person can understand it. Perhaps they can understand. But they’ve never been in your shoes. Never in my shows. They’ve never heard ‘Oh, monkey’.

Pogba then recalls his own experience, also as a Juventus star, playing in front of a hostile Fiorentina crowd.

Pogba was subject to racist abuse while playing for Juventus against Fiorentina

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He explains: “I was playing away at Fiorentina. There was a child screaming and insulting me along with his father.

“I was in shock as he was doing that with his son. I took off my shirt and gave it to them and eventually they applauded me.

“I thought it was the best answer I could give. His son was supporting Fiorentina and maybe he was happy to receive my jersey.”

In a summing up to underline the scale of the fight facing football, however, Pogba reiterated the weary resignation of a generation of footballers who now steel themselves to expect abuse every time they play.

Pogba says it receiving racist abuse has “become normal”

“Maybe for us it has become normal,” he went on. “You see it more and more. It’s sad to say that because it has maybe become normal. I feel sorry for those people. I really want to understand why.

“There are a lot of people that can resolve this. We need to do something to make a change.”

Outraged: Football Tackling Discrimination is a powerful hour exploring discrimination in all areas of the game across Europe.

It is also a signal in itself that, since Mirror Sport’s exclusive interview with UEFA President Alexander Ceferin twelve months ago, the organisation has taken its head out of the sand.

PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes has since become the first black man appointed to UEFA’s disciplinary committee in charge of punishments for racism.

Sanctions will be reviewed with the spotlight on the European game at all levels. The documentary includes footage from a string of incidents on and off the pitch, from the walkoff in the game between Haringey Borough and Yeovil to the man being pushed off a train in France by Chelsea fans.

As clubs step up to the plate to do their bit in addressing racism, UEFA is well aware that the onus is on them to do the same.

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