The news cycle used to be dominated by COVID. Now there are two major issues: the pandemic, and the movement for racialized justice.

Canada has a dubious and detrimental distinction of pretending there’s no racism here. It’s in fact part of our cultural narrative to think of ourselves as “better than” our neighbours down South. Racism is an American problem, some will claim. But it’s factually untrue. Canada suffers from our own version of systemic racism and our country needs to confront its past and present to make a better future.

There’s a saying that Canada is a “Mosaic” and America a “Melting Pot”. The idea is here you get to keep your ethnic identity. But that’s also not true. It’s a nice gesture, but in reality new immigrants understand that in order to fit in and succeed, you have to assimilate. Whiteness or white supremacy are the dominant world-views in Canada and it’s up to new immigrants and people of colour to navigate this system, appeasing the gaze of dominant culture.

What protestors have been advocating for, a fight that’s centuries old, is equity and justice for persons of colour. The protests against anti-Blackness is not a new issue, but it is one that every person of colour needs to take seriously. We are part of the work to envision a better Canada. Knowing our colonial history and how racism works in society are important foundations.

We encourage you to find reading resources online on systemic racism. Here are a few current ones.

COMMENTARY: Yes, there is systemic racism in Canada — our history is filled with it