Race is not an easy conversation in Canada. It never has been. Racism is embedded within all of us. We were brought up with it – many of us not even knowing we carried it around. I hope we can change that.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fanned the flames of racism across Canada and the world. We have seen anti-Asian racism rear its ugly head during this crisis – and it is unacceptable.
Most of us grew up in communities where we felt safe – to walk around, to play and to meet with family and friends and to grow up in peace. Many of us were raised with a privilege we weren’t aware of. As a result, we walk around with blinders. It’s time to change that.
African-Americans and African-Canadians have been killed for little more than walking, driving, jogging, or wandering through neighbourhoods minding their own business. We must question why this happens. Now is the time for IAM members to question ourselves and listen to the lived experiences of Black Canadians. Now is the time to engage with our Black and African members so we can learn of the challenges they face each and every day.
Black Lives Matter! Let’s make no mistake about it. When people respond with “All Lives Matter” they ignore the systemic racism embedded in our society and brush away the difficult conversations we should have when dealing with the issues of racism and privilege.
Perhaps we can begin by being aware of the privilege we walk around with. Change begins at home, Change begins with ourselves.
There is no magic solution. There is a lot of hard work if we are to do battle against racism and anti-Black racism. That work begins now, and it begins with us.
We want a better world and we’re going to work toward that goal. Please join us.