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

Comments

The reason I am drawn to your article is because of the provocative title ‘‘Our beloved Canada- Home to Racism?’’. Immediately I knew that either I was going to fully agree with you (if you reflected the information we learned in class, namely how racism is prevalent in Canada), or disagree with you (if you believed that racism is not a problem in our society). As it turns out, we both share the same vision; Racism still exists in Canada and we must deal with it!! I agree with you about many things. For one, we should indeed be more vocal about racism; I think that giving obligatory classes in racism would oblige people to hear others speak and share personal experiences which would be really beneficial. You’re also right about our habit of over estimating our leniency towards minority groups; we judge them and make them feel like outsiders (sometimes without even noticing). I still remember the first time I ate at a friend’s house. His stepmother was talking about aboriginals and how they were dangerous and mistreated their children. Our society has so many prejudices, its horrible. Further educating people about this subject could really be helpful. Do you think that making an obligatory class about race and racism could be advantageous to this cause?

I would like to start off by saying that the title you have chosen has actually caught my attention and is the reason that I decided to read it. The article you have written has a lot of interesting information and point of views.

While summarizing the article by Craig and Marc Kielburger, a point about the importance of recognizing the issue in Canada was brought up and I completely agree with it. I believe that we must recognize the problem in our society in order to bring changes in relation to racism and discrimination. Like we discussed in class, since this social issue does not touch the majority of the Canadian population they believe that it is not happening in their society because they are not affected by it.

I sometimes wonder though if more Canadian were aware of the racism found within their own society would they be able to accept this and actually come together to create a change.

I would like to say to start of with i really like the title it got my attention right away. I also like this cause normally in the news we always seem to be hearing whats been happening in the states and we don't really know whats happening in our own country.

I never realized until reading this that even though we claim to be nice, polite and open to all immigration we still are just that we are not as bad like other countries. To add in class i learn that till this day its still much easier for a white person then a person with color to sail true life due to the simple fact that racism still exist in are everyday life. It makes me wounder when are we going to change and stop all the non sense just cause of a different skin color...

http://www.renthomas.ca/attitudes-and-behaviour/modern-racism-in-the-mos...

Firstly I agree with the analysis, racism does still exist in Canada. Speaking from personal experience as an aboriginal, Canadians still harbor racist tendencies towards my demographic. From a historical perspective, in the early 20th century Canada used assimilation tactics such as residential schooling to erode Native American culture. Recently, a Supreme Court justice openly referred to this dark chapter of Canadian history as Cultural Genocide. The effects of this systematic racism has leaked itself into modern Canadian culture and even politics. Take the missing and murdered aboriginal women as an example. Still Stephan Harper and the Conservative government chooses to ignore the social implications an inquiry would mean for Canada. This is a prime example of intersectionality in which gender discrimination and racial discrimination intersect. The government persists that there is no connection because crime rates cannot factor race into the equation. This is ignoring the issue entirely. Most Canadians are not even aware that Canada still has legislation separating “Indians” from “Canadians”. The Indian Act creates reserves for “Indians” in which they implement a blood quantum system where only certain “status” Indians are entitled to aboriginal treaty rights such as federal funding and tax exemption. Now think about these reserves in which rampant drug use and suicide exist. Now a women in these communities are more prone to physical violence and sexual violence. In summation, yes racism does exist specifically with aboriginals. Upon further analysis with a gendered world view the issue becomes more problematic for aboriginal women with intersectionality.