Wanna Rent a House? Too Bad, You’re Native.

by LyraMusica on October 15, 2015 - 3:09pm

            In the news article, “‘No natives please’: Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint,” written and published by CBC News on August 25, 2015, it is reported that an ad for a three-bedroom house, which was posted on Kijiji, has recently been removed been removed from the website due to its racially offensive title that stated that aboriginal people could not rent the house. CBC News goes on to explain that the ad itself is a violation of Saskatchewan’s human rights code since it acts as a form of discrimination against a particular group of people. Fellow Saskatoon resident and aboriginal person, Catherine Lemire, responded to this racist ad by saying that an incident like this is not anything new for she has had to deal with racial discrimination her whole life. She told CBC News that recently her mother, who has an accent, called to rent an apartment downtown but was told that there was no room for her to stay. Lemire then called the company herself a few minutes after her mother hung up and the same person that spoke with her mother told her that two vacancies were available. Despite the obvious prejudice against aboriginal people that continues to exist, CBC News concludes by saying that the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations believes that people should be optimistic about the general reaction to this ad since more people have started showing their support against racism. Raising awareness on the issues of racism may create a turning point since it will educate people on how racism is unacceptable.

 

            In my opinion, I thought this article was strong because it successfully explains to the readers that racism still continues to exist today despite many people believing otherwise, thinking that we now live in a society of racial equality. “‘No natives please’: Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint” just goes to show that prejudice among certain racial groups continues to be a major issue today. I am able to connect this article with Erin N. Winkler’s 2009 article “Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race,” where she mentions that racist ideologies are likely to form as early as childhood. The reason for this is because parents tend to avoid talking about the racism that exists today with their children. They are afraid that if they so much as mention it, their children will adopt their own racial biases, when really children mainly do this when the concepts of racism are not properly explained to them. Children are able to observe and use racial categories as early as three years old and the more parents put off talking to their children about racism, the more likely the children are to grow up with racist views and beliefs. In other words, the CBC News article presents that many people continue to be unaware of racism occurring in today’s society but a main reason for that is because the concept is not presented to children by their parents so they may unintentionally adopt racist behaviors, believing them to be acceptable. However, if parents were to educate their children more on the reality of racism then it would help raise awareness and therefore help prevent it from occurring as often as it does.

 

References

‘No natives please’: Kijiji pulls apartment ad for Prince Albert, Sask. after complaint. (2015, August 25). CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/no-natives-please-kijiji-pulls-a...

 

Comments

I choose to comment on your post because of your powerful and strong title. I completely agree with your post, it is a strong article and it is sadly true that racism is still very prominent in today’s society, contrary to what many people think. When you say that the reason for racist ideologies in children is because parents tend to avoid discussing the topic with them is very true; in class we have spoken a substantial amount on how it is the parent’s misguided approach to displaying and introducing race to their children that these ideologies come from. Personally, I was raised in a very ethnically diverse community, so it was never an issue for my immigrant parents to expose me to people of different color, since all my friends were from non-European or North American countries. In conclusion I think you have a great post that really hits the hammer on the head to every point you make, especially your conclusion when you say that a main reason for the ignorance to racism is because the concept is not presented to children by their parents. Therefore they may unintentionally adopt racist behaviors, believing them to be acceptable. Hence the question I believe we should all be asking is how should we as parents approach and present race and racism to our children, so that they do not grow up to unintentionally adopt racist behaviors, believing them to be acceptable.

Well written! I am choosing to comment on your article because it hits close to home. I grew up with a girl with white skin and we formed a very tight friendship, and it wasn't til very recently she disclosed to me that her mother was Aboriginal. Because it was recently, it didn't really strike me as surprising, but to others it may be confusing because she does not look traditionally Native. However, she does have to disclose it on papers, and it has made it difficult for her to find lodgings. Of course she is never told it is because of her Native blood, but when her partner is the one to search for an apartment he is never refused. Coincidentally, he is not Native. If I may bring back up your point on Erin N. Winkler's statement, in this case, children definitely need to be properly educated on the stereotypes surrounding different cultures and people as to not enforce such silly ideas. Unfortunately, the person who placed the ad for this apartment may portray their dislike for Natives towards their children, and the cycle will continue. That is why I believe that children, since they have been proven to notice and vaguely understand race at a very young age, should definitely learn about how wrong it is to discriminate against each other. This could help prevent the next generations from having so much inequality.