Canada's ongoing racism problem.
IN JANUARY 2016, Canadian Dimension published a special issue on racism (Vol 50. no.1). With contributions by Simon Black, Pamela D. Palmater, Craig Considine, David Camfield and Sam Tecle, the issue made it abundantly clear that Canada has a racism problem. The articles shattered the idealized notion of Canada as "post-racist" by offering in-depth analyses of genocide against Indigenous peoples and incidents of Islamophobia, anti-blackness, and racially motivated police brutality in Canada.
In the months since the issue was published, racism in Canada has only become more pronounced. Just this summer, police in Ottawa brutally beat Abdirahman Abdi, a 37-year-old Somali-Canadian with mental health issues, outside his home. Abdi later died in hospital as a result of his injuries. On August 3, Inuvialuit Elder Hugh Papik died of a stroke when health workers refused him treatment, assuming that his symptoms were the result of drunkenness. A few days later, on August 9, Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan, was shot and killed by Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, for coming onto his property to ask for help with a flat tire. It is becoming clear that such events are not simply "isolated" incidents, but are rather part of a pattern reflecting Canada's ongoing racism problem. Clearly, then, as the Winter issue of Canadian Dimension called for earlier this year, we need to continue to tell truths about the violence of settler colonialism and racism and work together to bring about a more equal and compassionate society.
SEAN CARLETON is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Honourary Grant Notley Postdoctoral Fellow in History at the University of Alberta. He is CD's pop culture columnist and a member of the CD Coordinating Committee.
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|Date:||Sep 22, 2016|
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