Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Canadian Racism

I've worked with at least three people in three different places who were quite vocal about how they hated Blacks. Back in the 1970's I remember an inordinate hatred of South Asians amongst some WASPY-type friends and acquaintances. (To hear them tell it, "Pakis" were the dirtiest, sleaziest people who ever existed.) Among fellow white people, French Canadians and Maritimers were derided as people. The French Canadians were lazy, cowardly whiners and spongers. Maritimers came to Ontario and stole people's jobs. (When they weren't staying at home collecting welfare that Ontario paid for via equalization payments!)

But the biggest example of the racism of Canadian society is our treatment of the First Nations.

It's the thing you do when you want what other people have but don't think you should have to pay for it. You dehumanize the people whose assets you covet and this mental trickery allows you to maintain certain delusions about yourself and your culture and etc., as you rob them.

In the good ol' US of A, ... while they very much did steal the land of the Aboriginals and slaughter and massacre them, ... it was the employment of African slaves in the millions that did the most to form the country's character and values for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. (The "Indians" are very much impoverished and abused there, but their numbers are relatively small and they're isolated in remote areas for the most part. It is the Blacks, and now, more and more, the Latinos, who have white pieces of shit like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Donald Trump the most fired-up.)

The point that I'm trying to make is that Canada is mainly founded upon the theft of Indigenous lands and the subsequent attempts at (first) outright genocide (such as John A. Macdonald's deliberate starvation policies and the residential schools) and (later) slow-motion genocide (with the suicide epidemic being the most grisly feature). Conservative and Liberal governments and occasional provincial NDP governments, have all participated in this. Because the nation-building project of "Canada" is still not complete. Much of British Columbia is unceded. Treaty rights in other places still hamper wholesale "development of resources" in the North. Canada is ten times smaller than the USA. Therefore the "Aboriginal question" looms larger for us.

Yes. The marching of the white supremacist losers in the USA under their grope-n-fuhrer (the "Cheeto Benito" as the Mound of Sound is want to call him) is alarming. But don't let that distract you from the enormous tasks for anti-racists here at home.


Anonymous said...

Very true. And distractions are aplenty.

Anonymous said...

Two corrections- very and true are two words I cannot put together. It is, or, it isn't. Your opinion was well put together. I could learn.

By distractions I had in mind--Capitalist Media.
They are culpable for the mind-numbing and mind-dumbing cultural hits, which brought us Trump. And Twitter. Then...wrapped them in a nice pussy-bow, and installed both in the throne of the palace on the Potomac.

thwap said...

There's just too much tut-tutting of our US-American cousins and not enough work on fixing our own problems.

For many First Nations people, going into Thunder Bay or any small town in Saskatchewan is like the experience of a Black person in the US South in the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

I'm not tutting, like it's a spectator game. I have people there.

I know what our conditions are like.

I fight for all of Turtle Island, and beyond.

A principle is a principle. I do not respect borders. Or voting. Never again.

thwap said...

There was an article I read somewhere (probably counterpunch, but maybe not); it said that if you are not a racist, then you must believe that people of colour are just as capable of obtaining good jobs as are white people.

The disparities in economic outcomes for different groups in society therefore reveals the systemic racism of our society.

Until that is addressed, outrageous displays of racism will just be the froth on the wave. Any banksters publicly renouncing Trump but not their racist red-lining of neighbourhoods, or any employer continuing to discriminate in their hiring practices is just performing a p.r. stunt.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that.