The Truth About Racism in Canada

Addressing the ancient Canadian proverb: “At least we’re not America”

Jesse Harris
The Bigger Picture
Published in
10 min readJun 15, 2020

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(Source: CBC)

On the afternoon of June 2 Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was participating in a news conference when he was asked about the actions taken by security forces to prepare for President Trump’s June 1st photo op in Lafayette Square.

Reporter: You’ve been reluctant to comment on the words and actions of the US president, but we do have Donald Trump now calling for military action against protestors. We saw protestors tear gassed yesterday to make way for a presidential photo-op. I’d like to ask you what you think about that, and if you don’t want to comment what message do you think you’re sending?

*21 seconds of silence*

Trudeau: We all watch in horror and consternation what’s going on in the United States. It is a time to pull people together but it is a time to listen. It is a time to learn when injustices continue despite progress over years and decades but it is a time for us as Canadians to recognize that we too have our challenges. That black Canadians and racialized Canadians face discrimination as a lived reality every single day. There is systemic discrimination in Canada which means our systems treat Canadians of colour Canadians who are racialized differently than they do others. It is something that many of us don’t see. It is something that is a lived reality for racialized Canadians. We need to see that not just as a government and take action but we need to see that as Canadians. We need to be allies in the fight against discrimination. We need listen, we need to learn, and we need to work hard to fix, to figure out how we can be part of the solution, on fixing things. This government has done a number of things over the past years, but there is lots more to do and we will continue to do that, because we see… we see you, we see the discrimination that racialized Canadians live every day.

After this clip began to circulate I saw some folks — mainly Americans — taking this…

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Jesse Harris
The Bigger Picture

Scientist / Writer / Environmentalist ~ I would love to work with you. Learn more about me: https://jesse-harris.ca/