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Prejudice And Racism In Canada Essay

784 words - 3 pages

Racism is a Problem in Canada

A few years ago in Smalltown, CA a burning cross was placed in the lawn of a visible minority family. Although the media seemed shocked at this explicit racial attack and portrayed the attackers as a group of abnormal, twisted deviants, I was not surprised. As an Asian student who is writing her Sociology honours thesis on visible minorities in Canada, I know on a personal and academic level that racism in Canada does exist. Although explicit racial incidents are not a common occurrence, they do happen. Here at school, a visible minority student left the school when a car sped past her, while the young men inside shouted racial slurs. Two weeks ago The school paper published an article about a group of International students who experienced racially motivated discriminatory service at restaurant. Last month I attended a meeting about racism, and a number of students related explicit stories about experiencing racism in Tinyville.

More often, racism is expressed in subtle ways, and is not recognized as racism. Although social scientists do not like using the term race since it is a socially constructed category based on inaccurate assumptions about phenotypical and biological differences between human groups, race still holds social currency since perceived racial differences leads to unequal power, privilege, and social prestige. Ignoring race would mean ignoring the reality of racism. Racism takes forms that include social ostracism, employment discrimination, and racial prejudice.

One Mt. A student related experiencing social ostracism and prejudice at Mt.A. "People are less willing to get to know me and most people view Black people negatively. 'Yo, whatsup?!' That stereotypical treatment is demeaning. It makes me feel like less of a person." When she tried to speak out against racism, people seemed uncomfortable and either ignored her or called her names. This discomfort about discussing racism is common, in my experience. I suspect that many people are afraid of talking about racism because they are afraid they will say something politically incorrect.

Employment discrimination is probably the most quantifiable form of racism. Numerous Canadian studies show that although visible minorities as a whole have the highest level of educational attainment and relatively high occupational status compared to White Canadians, they have lower incomes, even controlling for all other factors.

Of course discrimination based on race is not the only form of discrimination. Sexism, ageism, homophobia, etc. also exist. What ties...

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