Misinformation about Canada's evolving demographics is all too common in the national media and it usually goes unchallenged. There are many myths perpetuated in the national dialogue (like "hockey is Canada's #1 sport," and "Canada respects the environment"). In an age where Canada's multicultural fabric is bafflingly unnoticeable in the upper echelons of influence, we have a long way to go to achieve the dream of an equal and just society.
Tuesday morning, three of Ottawa's four most read dailies had cover stories about the latest racist graffiti sighting in the city. The narrative seems to suggest that this insidious act has shaken a community which has rarely experiences such hatred. Perhaps short memories from those who are rarely on the receiving end of these not-so-isolated incidents need refreshing.
In the past three weeks, I have had enough new experiences to last me for at least three years, if not more. There's one thing I still haven't quite gotten used to here. Even though I live in Toronto these days, where I'm used to walking amongst crowds of people with different backgrounds, homelands and skin tones, I've never really experienced life as a minority. And I am starting to realize what an incredibly valuable experience this is.
What the hell has happened to Canadian journalists? In Canada, one of the world's most multicultural nations, our main media are controlled by a tiny group of almost entirely white newsroom decision makers who live in a world cut off from ordinary people like you and me. One result of this is that they produce journalism for each other.