Racism has reared its ugly head as a result of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin several weeks ago in Sanford, Florida. Yesterday’s Slate article, “The New Selma?” is just one example of the varied and complex discussions taking place online.
This United States-style racism just does not exist in Canada, right? Well, that was my first thought as I followed the news of this tragic event and the resulting media frenzy. The Canadian media have been covering the story almost as enthusiastically as their American counterparts with this National Post article being one example. The difference being that the Canadian media are reporting these events as happening “down there,” which allows Canadian residents to take comfort from the fact that “it could never happen here.”
Just as I was feeling rather cozy and smug about living in racism-free Canada, my niece called me and asked if I could have a look at a paper she’s writing for a sociology course at university. The topic? Racial profiling and other racist practices of Canadian police services! As I was checking for proper spelling and grammar, I was struck by the research findings my niece was writing about. Did you know, for example, that according to one study it is 4.5 more likely that Toronto Police will stop a black driver than a white driver?
What do you think?
- Is racism in Canada non-existent?
- Do Canadians practise racism differently from their American neighbours?
- Is workplace racism practised in Canada?
- If so, how? What does it look like?
I am looking forward to hearing your opinions on this topic.
Remember the mantra—Learn don’t litigate.