Canada Racism

Discrimination and Denial: The Racial Skeletons in Canada's Closet

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.28.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Canada has made tentative steps in acknowledging racism in our past, like aboriginal residential schools and the Chinese head tax. But there is a tendency to view these as isolated events of history. With our national rhetoric of a tolerant and multicultural society, many Canadians bristle at the suggestion that racial discrimination was and is a force in Canada.

Toronto's Carding System Is Basically a 'Stop and Frisk' Program

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 05.26.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

On March 3, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights discussed the issue of visible minority youth and their interactions with the criminal justice system. In Toronto, the police have implemented a carding system where police forces stop, question and document people during non-criminal encounters on the streets. Statistics about carding in Toronto tell us that people who are black or brown are more likely to be carded than whites. Essentially this means that a brown or black person is more likely to be seen as suspicious by the police than someone who is white.

We Need To Ask the Right Questions About Racism in the Armed Forces

Jeff Rose-Martland | Posted 05.21.2014 | Canada
Jeff Rose-Martland

Last week, while everyone was getting separation-burnout and Crimea-river syndrome from the relentless coverage of little else, a very important press...

Understanding Systemic Discrimination in Our Criminal Justice System - Part 1

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 05.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

Visible Minority Youth Need Our Support On March 3, 2014 the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights met to discuss the issue of visible minority y...

Helping Kids Turn Othering into a Critical Discussion

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 05.12.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

An African-Canadian woman I know became very tired of being asked which "island" she came from. Her family had lived in Canada for many, many generations, so her answer to this question was "Toronto Island." But what happens when a child is quizzed in this way? If we are not careful, our children will learn to internalize the assumptions that others make about them.

Same Same But Different: Growing Up As A Brown Girl in Canada

Jugni Style | Posted 05.06.2014 | Canada Living
Jugni Style

Lupita Nyong'o's moving speeches, the Dark is Beautiful campaign in India, and Anita Majumdar's play, Same Same But Different, have me in a different frame of mind as we approach International Women's Day. I'm not just thinking about women's rights and battles. I'm thinking about what it means to be a woman of colour in Canada.

Getting Our Kids to Ask Critical Questions About Discrimination

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 05.05.2014 | Canada Impact
Danielle S. McLaughlin

Last week I was speaking about rights and freedoms to a high school law class. I asked the students if they could think of any laws that had changed in their life time. They knew that the alcohol limits for driving had changed. But when it came to changes that had brought about legislation against racial, gender, and other discrimination, they had to be reminded or even simply informed.

Black History Month Deepens Racism's Roots

Reid Price | Posted 05.05.2014 | Canada
Reid Price

Now that Black History Month is over (didn't take long) I feel more comfortable in saying that I very much dislike it. Black people are more than a month, and are more than several prominent black figures. Black history should be a regular part of educational curriculum and media programming, yet it is differentiated and set aside, just as black people were not so long ago. How is this good?

Can Metadata Solve Washroom Graffiti?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 05.02.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

Instead of reassuring yourself that since you have nothing to hide, collection of metadata won't reveal anything interesting about you, ask your children how they feel about the proposed washroom math lesson. Then you can both stand up for your rights.

Racially Profiled for "Walking While Black"

Charmaine Nelson | Posted 04.26.2014 | Canada Living
Charmaine Nelson

How long does it take a new immigrant to be profiled in Montreal? Before you hazard a guess, place "black male" in front of immigrant and "racially" in front of profiled. The answer in my husband's case? One week. Bob crossed an intersection beside two white pedestrians. Singled out by a white, French-speaking police officer, Bob was asked to produce his identification without an explanation of his "offense." By the way, the two white pedestrians with whom Bob crossed the intersection were not stopped and interrogated.

How the NFL is Perpetuating Racism

Christopher Stuart Taylor | Posted 04.25.2014 | Canada Sports
Christopher Stuart Taylor

I find it appalling that the NFL who has a whole team -- I repeat a whole team -- that is named after a racial slur against First Nations peoples, the Washington Redskins, is all of a sudden in the business of "politically correctness." In terms of the Redskins, the NFL finds all kinds of excuses on why they should keep the name.

No Kidding: Sexist Jokes Aren't Funny, They're Hostile

Toula Drimonis | Posted 04.28.2014 | Canada Living
Toula Drimonis

"I like my violence like I like my beer: domestic" This was the recent Facebook status of popular east-end Montreal bar, Nacho Libre, whose social media manager somehow thought it completely appropriate to publish this cringe-inducing "joke." Isn't domestic abuse a riot? Sexist jokes are not funny -- they're hostile.

Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

Rachel Décoste | Posted 03.29.2014 | Canada Politics
Rachel Décoste

For those who hold the largest piece of the communal pie ― more than their fair share― making room for everyone at the decision table is intrinsically off-putting. Plurality is for bureaucratic hundred-page diversity plans, not for implementation.

Going Beyond Apologies For Komagata Maru

Naveen Girn | Posted 03.19.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Naveen Girn

This requires us to see the Komagata Maru episode not just as a South Asian story but a trauma that all Canadians should remember and accept as their own story. Part of that process is internalizing that desecrating the Komagata Maru memorial should evoke anger from all of us.

Israel: Western Imperialism Favours Democracy

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 03.11.2014 | Canada Politics
Diane Weber Bederman

Is there something wrong with Zionism? Has it been declared verboten? Is he suggesting that Zionism is racism? These organizations talk about bringing peace to the conflicts in the Middle East. No, wait, I must amend that. They are only interested in the conflict regarding Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state amidst multiple Muslim states particularly with regards to the Palestinians.

Do We Have To Be Offended By Everything?

Anne Theriault | Posted 03.11.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

Life is an ongoing exercise in empathy. As a human being, your job should be constantly learning how to make your own way in this world while causing as little harm as possible. Which is why I'm ultimately baffled when people wonder aloud if they're supposed to look at everything critically and worry about its potential to harm others. Because yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do.

Where Would We Be if These Greats Never Stood Up for Change?

David Suzuki | Posted 03.10.2014 | Canada
David Suzuki

Change is never easy and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things. Those are the lessons from Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and all those who refuse to give up in the face of adversity when the cause they pursue is just and necessary.

I Grew Up in South Africa During Apartheid

Debbie Wolfe | Posted 02.05.2014 | Canada Living
Debbie Wolfe

I was born in South Africa, under apartheid -- a white child with every privilege. It was the year 1969, five years after Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison. In my first year at Queen's University, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison. My classmates were euphoric about what this would mean for South Africa. My optimism was more cautious.

Leaders Mourn Mandela But Miss His Message

Rachel Décoste | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Rachel Décoste

Rolihlahla "Nelson" Mandela is a global icon. His legendary ascension from prisoner to President is the stuff of fairytales. In this time of international mourning, our leaders should wipe their crocodile tears and reflect upon their actions, or lack thereof, in fulfilling the promise of racial equality which Nelson Mandela stood for. Mandela may no longer be with us, but his legacy, his message and his estimable struggle live on. They reside inside all of us who acknowledge that the pursuit of integration and equity belongs not in the apartheid past in a foreign land but in the bosom of our beloved nation.

The Racist Talent Show Judge Who Makes Simon Cowell Look Good

Suzanne Ma | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Living
Suzanne Ma

A somewhat awkward, bespectacled Chinese man by the name of Xiao Wang wandered onto the stage of Holland's Got Talent. The PhD student announced he would perform a rendition of "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto. And that's when Judge Cornelis Willem Heuckeroth, who goes by the nickname Gordon, cracked his first joke: "Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?"

The Rob Ford Scandal Shows We're All a Little Racist

Nicholas Barber | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Politics
Nicholas Barber

As we all watch in awe as the human train wreck that is Toronto mayor Rob Ford continues to unfold, let us take a moment to reflect on the very ugly role that racism is playing in the Ford saga. I think that many of the people who claim to be disturbed by the fact that Rob Ford does drugs are, on some level, actually disturbed by the fact that Rob Ford (allegedly) smokes crack with Somalians in Little Mogadishu.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Canada's Approach to Racism

Rachel Décoste | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada
Rachel Décoste

Why is it that the U.K.'s newspaper is willing to publish a painfully honest editorial about race in Canada but Canadian papers aren't? Before Mr. Douglas was published in the U.K., he submitted his personal op ed to Canadian newspapers. None of them thought this perspective was fit to print.

Rob Ford Should Leave His Wife Out of the Discussion

Julie Devaney | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Julie Devaney

Leveraging women's bodies became a political sport in Toronto this week. It began with the blurted out defence Rob Ford offered to reports that he sexually harassed a former employee, and sadly continued with Rosie DiManno's Toronto Star article about domestic violence. It's a mistake to focus on these issues.

Is Racism Actually a Fear of the Unknown?

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 11.06.2013 | Canada Living
Diane Weber Bederman

You walk into a store and the salesperson is a different colour, a woman wearing a hijab, a young man with piercings and tattoos. You walk into a room and realize that no one looks like you. A sense of anxiety sets in from the fight/flight response to fear. That instinctual response to fear begins because we instinctively fear the unknown -- be it a place, an event, a person.

Political Correctness: Too Much and Not Enough

Rondi Adamson | Posted 11.06.2013 | Canada Living
Rondi Adamson

She explains what the "Shoah", or Holocaust was. She states that the reason she is being so slow and re-explaining basics to a room full of adults is that there are a lot of 'Orientali', or Asians, in our class, and they don't know about this period of history, especially the Chinese. She says this several times. I can hardly believe what I'm hearing.