I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Of Course We're Racist

We - we Canadians - see ourselves as open, tolerant, and non racist.

I don't know how we manage to hold on to that view in light of the facts.  

Fact 1:  The Idle No More protests seem to have triggered racist attacks.

"A brutal sexual assault of a native woman in northwestern Ontario that is being investigated as a hate crime has thrown fresh fuel on the fires of discontent being expressed in protests and demonstrations by first nations people across Canada. She has told police she was assaulted, strangled and left for dead by two men who hurled racial epithets and denounced indigenous rights.   The Ontario assault was far from an isolated incident. At least 600 aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered in Canada in the past two decades. Native leaders say the number of victims actually runs into the thousands.  "
"But CBC.ca was so troubled by the extreme racism in comments on stories about the Idle No More movement that it asked readers on its Community Blog for advice. .... CBC.ca’s problem is that unless it takes action, it’s going to become a non-paywalled main stage to which racists flock. "http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1314100--mallick-canadian-anti-idle-no-more-racism-grows-online
Fact 2:  The brutal assault on a First Nations woman in Thunder Bay is not an isolated incident. 

"Systemic bias within the RCMP and Vancouver police led to “blatant failures” in investigating the disappearance of dozens of women from the Downtown Eastside who became victims of serial killer Robert Pickton, an inquiry found Monday."
Most of the women Robert Pickton murdered were aboriginal.  Do you think if he had killed middle class white women from Point Grey the VPD and the RCMP would have ignored them?
Fact 3: Many  First Nation communities lack potable water or decent housing.  

Their community sits on a lake that has been the source of Winnipeg’s drinking water for nearly a century, but residents of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation still rely on bottled water brought in from Kenora, Ont.... Now, a proposal by the City of Winnipeg to sell some of the water it draws from Shoal Lake to neighbouring municipalities has the community frustrated and seeking support from the federal government as it tries to challenge those plans.  
Fact 4:  The conditions First Nations are living in are not improving.  Sheila Fraser (remember her?) lambasted the federal govenment.

"I am profoundly disappointed to note ... that despite federal action in response to our recommendations over the years, a disproportionate number of First Nations people still lack the most basic services that other Canadians take for granted," former auditor general Sheila Fraser says in her parting words to Parliament.  "In a country as rich as Canada, this disparity is unacceptable."
We're racist.  
We don't have to be  racist.  But each of us must work to realize we're racist - and to exorcise that demon.    Have a look at the tools at the webiste below.  

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