We as a world claim to have come far, and beyond than ever before, but yet remnants of our nasty past of judging and characterizing people based on their race, something they can’t change, only seem to grow everyday. The little tiny things we say, we do, might not seem too bad or hurtful to us, but for people that face this kind of tiny things everyday, and are affected by it.
But before we get into the whole way of how we get to fix this, or what we need to change about ourselves to eradicate racism, we need to first understand what racism is, how people have been affected by it, and how it traumatizes people till this day.
To define it in the most accurate way, racism is a belief that groups of human posses different behavioral traits based on their physical appearance and divided by the hierarchy of races which has been created using stereotypes and past experiences. Racism is actually political construction made by our society, as it isn’t naturally developed, and it is utilized and created for a political purpose. To put it in the most simple manner, it’s people judging you, creating stereotypes of you, and guessing what you’re going to be like even before talking with you, and this is all based on the race you are. It is a disgusting and atrocious belief that is stuck in all our heads, and I can assure you there is not one person in this world that hasn’t judged someone by their skin colour, but this is a topic for later on in this article.
Here is a short video made by Bill Nye to explain what race is, and how it is solely based on science and how ultraviolet changes the colour of our skin.
Racism in Canada
Discrimination and History of the brutal treatment of Indigenous people
Systemic racism, and racism as itself is often dismissed to be present in Canada in the past, present, and future. Europeans initially had stated that they had come to Canada looking for gold, and the indigenous people did not object them from searching for gold, as they believed it for not to be of value to them. They had initially said they would just go across a journey of the country looking for gold, and leave once their satisfied, but after they saw more and more of the country, and understood how rich it is, and decided to settle in here. Not only did they change their mind as soon as they saw how rich Canada is, but they betrayed the word they gave to the indigenous people, the betrayal only gets worse from here. They soon started entering the indigenous people’s houses, and the indigenous people treated them like a guest, and accommodated them with care and love, and they expected them .to give equal treatment to them. Chiefs then went and contacted a lot of these people, and how the queen’s rule will prevail in this land and how it would help them. They had promised to give a very large area dedicated for indigenous people, and that outside of the reserve, the government would buy the land from the indigenous people. They had also stated that the indigenous people will continue to have all their freedoms and rights till they get their reserves. Then everything fell apart, as more and more settlers came to Canada, the government slowly started making policies that would restrict the indigenous people. The government officials started saying they were under their control and they can do whatever they want, they took the kindness of the indigenous people and backstabbed them. They then started to discredit the indigenous people and went as far to say that they have no knowledge and don’t have anything, when the land, the resources and the hospitality that they received all came from the them. This is just the starting of discrimination against indigenous people in Canada, and it goes to show how racism is just equally rooted deep into Canada’s history and how this country was formed. Then the government went on to continue to put many indigenous kids into residential schools and continued to torture them in these schools. Their mission was to take out the “indian” out of these indigenous people, and force them into a culture that the government had believed to be the right culture, have a look at how these kids we treated in residential schools.
These children were forced to be put in these schools, and were basically stolen from their families to be put into these prison like schools. It’s completely atrocious of how these people were treated, and this all started because of the warm hospitality these people provided for these individuals. This is one dark stain on what is supposed to be a great and beautiful country. Our past holds a lot of dark truths that aren’t brought up and explained enough.
Racism, Discrimination against Asians
Chinese workers first arrived in Canada back in 1788, on a mission to create fire year round, non-indigenous settlement in this land. They were part of the settlers that helped erect a strong fur trading fort which is was named Nootka Sound. These people predominantly came to British Columbia and settled there. They were utilized heavily when gold was discovered in fraser valley, and were always mistreated while mining for gold during these times, and the inequality started here. One of the things that took place in BC in 1871, was the stripping of votes in elections from people that are non white, and the asian population was affected by this restriction that was put in place to control non-whites. Asian people became the target of many political policies, and were often considered to be the scapegoat during this time. Even when they died they were buried into a category called “Indigenous and Mongolians” and weren’t allowed to be buried with the other whites that lived in that area, further showing how excluded they were. Even when they wanted to serve in the war, they were rather avoided of being enlisted, because they would ask for the right to vote if they had fought for the country, showing the lengths Canada went to make sure asians didn’t get the right to vote. Only in the 1980’s did the asian people get equal respect, and policies that were considered and known to discriminate asian people was removed, and there were many immigration laws lifted, that allowed for more asian population to immigrate here.
Black Canadians are disadvantaged in many ways in Canada, as you can see in the above data posted. They make less income than non racialized Canadians, and this is not just new immigrants this is also third generation Canadians, showing no matter how long you’ve lived in Canada, and adapted you’re still treated the same. The reason for a higher unemployment rate also is because of how the education system discriminates black people, and how they’re not confident in themselves that they’ll study post-secondary studies, even with a proclaimed top quality education, and goes to show that this loss of confidence from a early stage is what create a high employment rate in the black community. Then it goes on to show there’s always more direct violence and hate crimes against black community which affect them daily, only if our country is able to control these, will the black community be able to perform at the best ability, and feel safe in our country, or else we’re going to have to continue saying that racism isn’t that deep rooted in Canada, while it truly is.
What should we do to fix our mistakes?
To put it in the most simple way we have to be able to respect each other and look beyond than each other’s skin colour, and background. We have to break barriers and be able to understand that we are more than just what we’re on the outside. We also need to acknowledge and build upon our pasts, and not deny it. What we should do is reconcile and connect with people that we usually wouldn’t, become more accepting of who others are, and to do that we have to interact for more and more people we usually wouldn’t interact with. We can only move forward as we learn from our pasts,and make sure to not make the same mistakes.
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