Reflection: In Light of Recent Events

As the recent events in Charlottesville unfolded last weekend, I felt compelled to tweet this thread.

I am American.

Of course words aren’t enough. I am following up my words with actions and looking for as many resources as possible to be effective. I started my learning journey in earnest here. A writing friend shared this resource last night about combatting white supremacy back home.

The conversations that are catching my eye in social media over the last little while (let’s be honest: the last 8 months) are Canadians lamenting over not being able to do more for their neighbors to the south.

While the sentiment is appreciated, I suggested the following in one such conversation this morning:

As an American and a relatively new Canadian, I’d humbly suggest there’s work to be done here in Canada as well. It might not have reached the boiling point it’s currently at in the States but it’s there. It could be worth using the energy to shed more light on what’s going on in Thunder Bay for one instance.

So while most of us north of the border can’t vote in the U.S. midterm elections (I can and will) to effect change, there are other actions we can take.

I am Canadian.

As many other people have alluded to (here, here, here, etc.), Canada is not immune to what is happening in the States. For those of us who benefit from a huge spoonful of privilege, it isn’t as sensationalized as what’s happening in the U.S. Canada doesn’t have a reality T.V. personality as its prime minister.

But just because it isn’t sensational doesn’t mean that racism in Canada isn’t deserving of the same energy and outrage we feel towards white supremacy in the U.S.

Non-Comprehensive List of Racist Recent Events in Canada:

White supremacy groups organizing in Canada

Systemic racism in Thunder Bay

Our Fergusons (Missouri) are hidden deep in the bush, accessible only by chartered float plane.

Canada is failing on ending racism

Quebec is reviewing its systemic racism

Etc. etc. etc.

Your Internet search skills will turn up tons more specific articles.

How Canadians Can Get Involved

I have no background in social justice, political science, community building, etc. I want to do better.

  • Acknowledge the problem, educate ourselves about it, ask questions, discuss.
  • Reach out to people impacted by it, ask questions, listen, lend your support.
  • Find out if your province has an anti-racism plan, get involved, report instances of human rights violations as they occur. Intervene on someone else’s behalf if necessary.
  • The list of not-for-profits combatting racism and/or championing human rights in Canada is quite a bit smaller than the U.S. There are some great avenues to pursue at the bottom of this page.

If you have resources to share, please share them in the comments. I’d love to continue the conversation respectfully.

 

There are times these things pop in my head and I don’t send them out in my normal monthly newsletter. Sometimes I don’t even share widely on social media. You can subscribe to receive an e-mail each time I post a new “Reflection.” If you’re interested, you can sign up for that here.

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