Canadians are not racist ...
“We need to acknowledge that racism and discrimination are a part of our reality here in Canada .... we need to call it out. We have to do better.”: Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure. The statement suggests that racism and discrimination are ingrained facets of our makeup and that we’ve been delinquent in improving our behavior. Not so, on either count.. Canada is certainly not racist, nor, for that matter, are the United States of America. There have been countless instances of atrocious behavior on the part of individuals in both our countries. But, it is overreach to suggest that, as a people, either Canadians or Americans are fundamentally racist.
Racism is a loaded term; it calls up images of hate and violence; callous disrespect and merciless inhumanity. Injustice is what most of the participants were decrying in the recent demonstrations. And justifiably so. The eradication of injustice is nowhere near achieved. Should we be satisfied with the progress made? No. Are these demonstrations helpful? Yes, they’re a vivid reminder that there’s much yet to do. Are they as effective as they might be? No, because they’re threatening and destructive.
Sure, many of these demonstrations are hijacked by people whose agendas and morals differ substantially from those of the majority of protestors. Nevertheless, the victims of the violence, those whose businesses are looted and torched, as well as the rest of society, who watch this senseless destruction on television, cannot help but worry about where all this is going. Being in-your-face may work with younger folks, but not with the more mature, whose values are traditional and who prefer a calmer more thoughtful approach to problem-solving. As for how to avoid being used by violent outsiders with nefarious motives, the organizers of these protests might study the methods used by Martin Luther King. It may have been a different era, but the problems were the same, and a lot was accomplished by peaceful demonstration.
(Note: The Bulletin has just received others letters on this subject, from different perspectives. These will be published next edition, including new ones and any in response to this. - Editor. )