Be Vocal in Your Opposition to Racism

How often do you think about the colour of your skin?

If you’re white like me and live in Canada, my guess is that your answer is probably rarely. I may think about my whiteness every few weeks or months. If you ask a person of colour this same question you will likely hear they regularly think about their skin colour — perhaps every day. The reason is that they live in a world of ‘white privilege’ and wonder whether the words, actions or decisions by others have anything to do with their skin colour.

  • When they apply for a job, was the decision about who was appointed based on the colour of their skin?
  • When someone is rude to them, was it because they aren’t white?
  • When a person cuts in front of them, was it because they don’t look like most people in their community?

I don’t wonder whether my skin colour is the reason I am stopped at the highway check stop, if someone doesn’t speak to me in the store, or if I am bypassed for service at a coffee bar. There are surely reasons for all of these things happening, but it’s not because I’m white.

Maybe you’re thinking that I’m exaggerating or perhaps even completely wrong. If that’s the case, you’re wrong. Racism exists — it’s in our stores, in our offices and in our schools. People of colour experience it — they also think about it regularly — more than a person who is white.

“OK, so we still have a long ways to go in our society to build equality. I get that. But, that doesn’t make ME a racist. I don’t do anything because of a person’s skin colour. I’m not part of the problem.”

Hmmmm … are you sure?

(More on Page 2)

4 thoughts on “Be Vocal in Your Opposition to Racism

  1. Interestingly, I am regularly concerned with this because my marriage is a “mixed” one. My spouse is “of colour” and I am white. My spouse’s and children’s complexions, though makes them “chamelonesque” because it is not immediately apparent as to their origins and they are taken as having exotic but not defined “ethnic backgrounds.” I do feel there are differences in the racist reactions that various people suffer. Non-white experience is not all the same, so it is part of the problem when we think that it is. If white experience says – “I’m not racist because I have non-white friends” or “there is no racism in my work experience because we have a diverse workforce” just because there are some people representative of “other than white,” these attitudes are part of the problem for those that suffer most.

    Like

    • Hi Sheila,

      An excellent series of points. My own dive into the complexity of racism is an eye-opening experience for me. Thank you for adding to the narrative and stressing the importance for all of us to become more informed and responsive.

      Like

    • Hi SJ. Thanks for your question. The second page can be fairly easily accessed on a phone or tablet by scrolling to the bottom of the first page and clicking on the ‘Page 2’. I don’t believe there is another way for me to format the blog into two pages.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s