Friday, January 12, 2007

My reflexions on the article "How Canadian Are You?" Global and Mail January 12, 2007

Being a visible-minority immigrant and reading Eleanor Roosevelt's quote: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent", I don’t know whether to laugh, to cry, or to become a cynic. Sometimes I want to take off my hat in salute to the hypocrisy or denial of everybody in addressing how racism and discrimination work in this country.

After many years of living in Canada, I have discovered that this quote only works if the system supports you and you can exercise your rights.

I have known, I have seen, I have witnessed children being excluded from the system because of prejudice against their communities, lack of tolerance … oops, lack of training to work with those specific groups. It was very easy for me to predict the outcome. They dropped out of school, had a lot of anger, etc., etc. I pitied their situation because they were very young and they were facing as children the same problem that I was facing as an adult. We were in the same boat.

If people who work with immigrant communities don’t have real training, when they are frustrated in their jobs they will spread stereotypes that reinforce the position of those immigrants as outcasts in this society.

Similarly, when immigrants see the problems that other immigrants are having, they pretend not to notice so that they will not be linked to that “weak” person and be treated as weak too. So, they pretend that nothing is happening or refuse to talk about it.

Others think that they are too strong and therefore racism won’t affect them, and therefore they don’t use the system when they are discriminated against, and they don’t fight back because they would lose face. As a result they can’t help their own children or others in their community to deal with racism.

I think that Canada is a beautiful country, which we are building all together. I can’t see why we keep these archaic and troglodytic racist ideas that make us weak.

I love this post ;-): The Art of Defending Racism

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