The social fabric of Canadian culture is an interesting one, it is diverse and progressive, and one that people regard as being largely free from racism. For this reason, it is a surprise to Canadians when acts of blatant racism take place anywhere in the country. For example, when a synagogue gets vandalized by Neo-Nazis, people take notice. Despite this though, racism has played an important role in the development of social realities throughout Canada's history. At the time of Confederation, Canada was undeniably an ethnic state, one that was comprised mostly of white people with European (mainly British and French) heritage. This quickly changed though, as immigration was a policy that was strongly encouraged by many governments to come, as it was regarded as the best way for Canada to grow and carve a role for itself with the American dominated continent.
[...] As a white person in Canadian society, it is often hard to place oneself in the position of someone of an ethnic minority. It is also hard to imagine the oppression that they experience in their everyday life, especially as Canada, and especially its multicultural cities are supposed to be, and widely regarded as hotbeds of equality, but the reality is that white people play an important role on the lives of these oppressed people. The role that white people play in these trauma experiences shapes the framework of the lives of minorities, in the way that racism affects them. [...]
[...] However, this fact is the very essence of racism and the way it works to create social cleavages within Canadian culture. This immigrant received their first lesson in being labelled the in Canadian society. Canadian society is so acutely aware of its racist thought and ability to recognize and categorize all things racial. (Karumanchery, 2006). There is a reality within Canadian society that is very racially induced, and it has not been silenced in Canada, and likely never will. Just because racist tendencies cannot be proven (instead they are written off as curiosity, ignorance, stupidity, and so does not mean it is not present. [...]
[...] (1998). Last steps to freedom The Evolution of Canadian Racism. Winnipeg, MB: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing. Danieli, Y. (1998). Introduction: History and conceptual foundations. In Y. Danieli International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma. New York: Plenum. Davis, A.Y. (1996). Gender, class and multiculturalism: Rethinking politics. In A.F. Gordon & C. Newfield (Eds.), Mapping multiculturalism (pp. 40-48). Minneapolis, MI: [...]
[...] There needs to be an implicit recognition of the presence of racism in Canadian spaces. The roles that racism play in shaping our cities and their social fabric must be acknowledged in order to mend the cleavages between ethnic groups, and eradicate the hierarchy of ethnicity in these places. This will allow us to distinguish between mental health problems that are internal within the individual and those that are socially contextual. What is needed is new definitions and strategies because these experiences, the ones of oppressed people in Canadian spaces, is only given attention if it is deemed important by those with privilege and power. [...]
[...] culture is an interesting course of study because of the way it has taken place. It can be understood through an examination of social policy in steps. It has placed different socially racialized groups on different steps on the social hierarchy. Racial stereotypes can be thought of as the first step. These are manifested largely by popular culture and other media outlets that take advantage of them as cultural shorthand. An example of this is racist jokes, which serve to preserve social ideas of inequality (through stereotypes). [...]
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