Saturday, January 26, 2013

White Canadians are Racist

I've always believed that white Canadians were not racist: we were, in my mind, well-intentionned dumbasses who tried to be as welcoming as possible but did so awkwardly and stupidly. I figured this was sometimes due to our own biases but mostly due to our inheritant lack of understanding of being "an other". After less than a year in a hijab, I've now understood one thing very clearly: not only are white Canadians racist, but we are also conveniently lying to ourselves about it. I say 'we' because I am cannot legitimately excuse myself of my own priviledge just because I wear a veil or even because I identify with the Queer community. I am white, Canadian-born. My priviledge is with me, regardless of what I do, and what 'else' I am.

'We' are racist. For centuries we have conquered, corrupted and cheated to be the best. And by our own standards, we are! The saddest part is that now that we've claimed the top spots for wealth and health we turned to minorities so we could become 'the best at including others'. The problem is that for us to include others, they have to REMAIN others. If 'they' become a majority, then 'we' are not the best: they are!

So while minority groups struggle to become equals we continue to ensure that they maintain minority status while we show them meaningless attempts at inclusion. As minorities become a greater part of Canada, white Canadians are slowly growing more conservative. We can claim to not see colour all we want, so long as we are unwilling to accept that our racism CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be excused by our ignorance we are allowing racism to continue. Take a stance against racism and teach your child or force local schools to teach about other races, other cultures, other traditions and other beliefs! And stop thinking 'others' need saving; 'they' can save themselves if we let them!

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