Canada is seen as a country that is racism free, but is that really what’s going on?

by aoranos on September 29, 2014 - 10:42pm

I agree with what Décoste says in her article Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Canada's Approach to Racism. The media tends to stereotype minorities and in doing so gives the general public the idea that white people are less likely to commit crimes than people of colour, for example; if there was no bias towards which stories were told in the news then this sort of issue wouldn't happen. How come when a murder is committed and the suspect is black, it's one of the first things the anchors mention...but when he or she is white, it goes unsaid? Mr.Douglas' article about the adversities he has faced because of our societies negative ideas about black people goes unnoticed but a few white kids get cyber-bullied and it makes national headlines. There's a lot of double standards when it comes to how we view people of colour, and the media attention they get. There is also the case that the media doesn’t talk about racism at all. We rarely hear about racism that occurs in Canada and that’s part of the reason why so many people believe that it doesn’t exist here. Countries all over the world believe that Canadians are nice people and that they wouldn’t dare be racist but that’s not the reality. Canadians hear about the racism that goes on in other countries, such as white cops shooting innocent black civilians in the U.S.A, but other countries don’t hear about what goes on in Canada. Muslims in Quebec are victims of hate crime and that is never talked about in the media. Alberta is predominately white and I have a friend who lives there (she isn’t white) and she faces blatant discrimination every single day. I am sure that she isn’t the only one being discriminated against in her province and neither is anyone else who isn’t white. People who aren’t white are victims of racism in Canada, the media just doesn’t portray it, making Canada seem as if it’s free of racism and discrimination.  The article briefly mentions a case where two white, male Habs fans wore fake afros and one of the men even painted his face black. This wasn’t in the news, it wasn’t talked about, and the media ignored it completely. What does that tell you about what’s going on in Canada? Maybe the general public is too afraid to speak about race in fear of offending others that they stay quiet. However, I believe that the only way to move forward is to speak up about the adversities people face and for the media to show whites and minorities in equal light but first they need to acknowledge that racism actively exists in Canada and the media needs to start talking about it.

Décoste, R. (Nov 18, 2013). Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Canada's Approach to Racism. The Blog. Retrieved from http://www/huffingtonpost.ca/rachel-decoste/canada-racism_b_3986270.html

Comments

Don't believe the rumors.

I should start by saying that i found your post very insightful and interesting. You go straight to the point and i couldn't help but feel shocked after every phrase that made be think twice about the non spoken negativity present in all North America. I never thought about how racism was actually worse in Canada than we thought, only because the media doesn't focus on the discrimination happening here on a daily basis. Learning about how non-white citizens live with constant discrimination really furthers my knowledge about intersectionality, a topic we learned about in my Gendered World Views class. It is no doubt women face double the struggles if they aren't white and privileged, and it is simply depressing to think of how far we are yet to advance as a culture.

I found another eye opening article on this subject, the comments are very interesting to read as well. Here's a link. http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/01/11/racism-in-canada-the-m...

I would like to say that this post was very interesting and shocking all at the same time to me. I could not stop reading, as I had no idea that this type of racism was still happening today. Canada is doing a good job of hiding its racial profiling to society. I believe that the principle of the issue is that anything harmful to an individual or groups of individuals is wrong. One should not undervalue another, due to the color of their skin. Not one color is better than another color. However, in today’s culture, news anchors are more likely to broadcast a crime committed by a black male as opposed to a white male. After a few minutes of research on the issue of racism, I found an interesting website that experimented on the issue. On February 2014, a Youtube channel created a shocking social experiment where both a white man and a black man tried to steal a car. Both these men knew they were set up for the experiment as they played with the locks until the car alarms went off. Unfortunately, the stereotypes remained the same as the news anchor example you talked about. After 30 minutes, police officers ignored the white man’s criminal act. However, within a few minutes, the black man was already handcuffed. Surprisingly, according to the FBI statistics, 64% of vehicle theft are done by white people, as opposed to 33.9% of vehicle theft are done by black people. The media should stop automatically jump to conclusions that the black people of society are criminals, when in fact they are not. This is harmful to colored people because it is a false representation of who they actually are. Stereotypes are unethical because they restrain individuality as they jump straight to false conclusions. Canada or no other country, should judge a person based on the color of their skin. (Here is the link to the page that talks about the Youtube video http://www.businessinsider.com/simple-misfits-video-on-car-break-ins-2014-2)

I agree. No one should be judged on the colour of their skin but it doesn't seem like the discrimination is going to end any time soon. There's also a show called "what would you do?" and it typically does the same thing as the video you sent me. They try out different scenarios with different genders and skin colours and it's almost always the stereotyped that gets into trouble with the authorities. This show is focused in the states but it goes to show that it happens everywhere. I'm glad that this article opened your eyes to the fact that racism still exists in Canada, though. Thanks for the link!

I completely agree with you, it is as if we are living in ignorance and the media is trying to makes us forget that it happens here too. I have not personally seen this however I would here stories about racism amongst our Native population and white people and it gets ugly really fast which is unfortunate. We should be honoured to have such multiculturalism in our communities where you can learn from others and teach others about your culture too. Race is not even biological, it was socially constructed and unfortunately we have made such a big deal about it that people associate your "race" to how you behave and other components associated to your "race". However, even if it occurs in Canada still, I do not think it is as bad as in other countries where it can become very extreme. For further information on the matter, I have found an article about racism against the multiculturalism minister in Canada: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/09/09/tim-uppal-racist-incident-multic...

I have to disagree with your statement "even if it occurs in Canada still, I do not think it is as bad as in other countries". From that I assume you are talking about the US, in which case it is as bad as other countries. I don't think I have to talk to you about the way Aboriginals are treated right here in Canada. That is a form of "extreme" racism. I'm sure you've heard about Quebec's Charter of Values. Now, most people don't see that as a form of racism, they see that as secularism. But if Marois really wanted secularism, she would have gotten rid of all mosques and churches. She would have gotten rid of Christmas, considering that is a religious holiday. She wouldn't have said that small symbols are allowed. That is not secularism. She even stated in an article that Muslims were taking over Quebec and she was uncomfortable with that. That's the only reason the bill even came up, not because she wanted secularism, but because she was "afraid" of people who aren't white. Because of this law do you know how many mosques have been vandalized, how many Muslim women have been harassed and called horrendous names, how many immigrants were threatened to leave "your" country? No, you don't because the media doesn't talk about it, which was the entire point of my response. Please take a look at these articles if you honestly believe that racism in Canada isn't "as bad as other countries."
http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/canada-is-still-racist
http://www.globalresearch.ca/canada-toronto-march-against-anti-semitism-...
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/canada-racism/

I must agree with that part about the media stereotyping Black citizens as negative in society, but it has evolved over the years and is not as bad as it used to be. It is sad to know that most of the time the media will pick a negative story about a Black citizen over a White citizen and also that most of the stories heard on the news about racism has to do with a Black citizen being mistreated or hurt. Although, a White citizen gets mistreated or hurt it is just considered a criminal act against that person, not racism, simply an act of violence toward another. Then again, when it is a Black citizen that commits a crime, such as steeling or even murder, people tend to look at other Black citizens and criticize them, blaming the victim, as we learnt in class. I just find it dumb how when a White citizen makes a crime versus a Black citizen, usually Black citizens get looked down to and when it is a White citizen versus a Black citizen who dies from murder, the Black citizen's death is usually viewed as an act of racism but the White citizen's death is just viewed as an unfortunate murder. Why? What is the difference if they do the same crime or are murdered the same way. Yet, it is not just the media to blame, but us, as a society, because we are the ones who believe the media, go along with what the media has to say and do nothing about it. We, the writers, have prejudice views, whether it be for Blacks, Whites, Canadian, any skin colour or nationality, we always favour one categorized 'race' over another. Until we start writing, sharing and telling stories, through the media, face-to-face conversation or whatever, in a non-prejudice way, racism will always exist, especially in the media.

I have to agree that the media shows a lot of racial news of other countries, but not the ones that happen in Canada. It is simply horrifying in my opinion as I have faced racism quite a few times in my life and I have lived in Canada through out my whole life. So when people say that racism does not exist in Canada it simply isn't true. In one incidence I was on a bus when I was 14 years old and these older fellows came up to me and my friends and started saying unintelligent things like "ChingChong, Ling, and so on". From this experience you can tell that these older kids were trying to make fun of Asian language and culture. Thus, from these experiences I have learnt that Canada isn't all that it's put up to be as there is still racism everywhere, just that it is not portrayed in the media.