Our Beloved Canada- Home to Racism?
by romy.ahnroyer on September 30, 2014 - 12:02am
The article "Racism is Canada's Problem Too- Let's Talk About it" by Craig and Marc Kielburger which was published in the Huffington Post September 18th, 2014 explains that although Canada may be known for its multiculturalism, racism exists nonetheless. Contrary to popular belief, minority groups in Canada still face racism to this day, whether it is through racial profiling or discrimination in the legal system and work environment. The authors of this article insist on the importance of recognizing the issues of racism present in Canada and reacting together as a nation to bring change to these problems of discrimination based on "race." The article states that over twenty years ago, a teacher in Alberta, Darren Lund, helped put in place a group against racism and what he learned most from this experience is that society assumes people aren't ready to talk about more sensitive topics when in reality, most individuals are able to take on these subjects. Lund suggests that a light-hearted approach to tackling racial discrimination may be the answer as it allows people to feel more comfortable with the problem. Furthermore, he insists on the importance of taking racism seriously instead of minimizing someone’s experience with this type of discrimination. In order to put an end to racism, Canadians must acknowledge that it exists in their country and be opened to talk about it.
A large majority of Canadians are blind to the fact that racism exists in our society, which is in itself a very big problem, but there are solutions to putting an end to racial discrimination. However, is it truly realistic to believe that we could live in a society free of racism or will this problem be around until the end of time?
In my opinion, the article "Racism is Canada's Problem Too- Let's Talk About it" accurately reflects the reality of Canadian society. We constantly hear that this country is incredibly polite and open to all immigrants which is why we fail to realize that racism is still part of our everyday life. The discourse of denial is a very concrete concept in Craig and Marc Kielburger’s article as they explain how Canadians claim to encourage multiculturalism but in reality, minority groups are still faced with racial challenges. Seeing as that we are under the impression that racism doesn’t exist in Canada, the article states that we often minimize other peoples’ experiences with this form of discrimination by saying they are over exaggerating or that they’re making it up in their head. I believe that this is one of the problems related to our ignorance concerning racism. I also think another problem is that we fail to talk about the subject, instead choosing to criticize other countries and then feeling a sense of relief because we aren’t nearly as bad as them. As the article suggested though, we shouldn’t be afraid to discuss the reality of racism because it is the solution for putting a stop to it.
The article’s biggest strength is that Craig and Mark Kielburger asked Darren Lund, a high school teacher in Alberta who established an anti-racism club, his advice on dealing with this type of discrimination. As Lund suggests approaching the subject light-heartedly and believes that young Canadians have the power to bring change to the problem, we are given concrete proof that although racism does exist in Canada, there are ways to stop it.
As for weaknesses, the article’s only weakness in my opinion is that it focuses only on the province of Alberta. To have a bigger impact on Canadians, I think it would have been beneficial to explore racism in other provinces of the country as well to truly demonstrate the reality of it.
Overall, I strongly agree with this article and greatly support the main idea which is that although Canada is portrayed as the “nice” country, it is still home to racism and so in order to eliminate this negative social concept, we must put aside our thoughts of denial on this subject and start talking about the problem. It might be unrealistic to believe that a society without racism could exist but by acknowledging that racism is present in our country, we are already one step closer to achieving this.
Kielburger, C., & Kielburger, M. (2014, September 18th). Racism is Canada's Problem Too- Let's Talk About it. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/craig-and-marc-kielburger/canada-racism_b_5845284.html