There is a stark racial divide in our country. Our current system is tailored towards supporting and protecting white supremacy and catering to white fragility. We need to address how the institutions that govern our lives have internalized and implemented racism.
“The system perpetuates racism, gender inequities, fragmentation of social and ecological systems, and weakens efforts of the many individuals, organizations and agencies to achieve deep and meaningful truth and reconciliation between IBPOC and settler society.” says Dawn Morrison, Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and CCEC Board Member.
We hear about white privilege, class privilege, and institutional privilege. We need to acknowledge that racism can look like hate, and show up as apathy, silence, ignorance and in the refusal to learn. Most recently, we’ve seen an increase in the number of anti-Asian acts of hate and violence. Systemic racism is complex. It has evolved out of a set of deeply rooted systems in our country.
One thing we can do is to learn more about systemic racism and how to confront it when we see it. Being silent is not an option. In the last three months, there has been an eight-fold increase in anti-Asian hate crimes that included punching, subtle words and dirty looks; and we’ve opened a conversation about systemic racism in policing systems. For example, Anti-Racism training (A.R.T) is available that helps participants shift from being frozen/silent bystanders to becoming active witnesses during racist encounters.
In Canada, we have an Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022 called, Building a Foundation for Change. The strategies outlined intend to help address barriers to employment, justice and social participation among Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities. In BC, the Organizing Against Race and Hate program was recently replaced with ResilienceBC Anti-Racism Network
We can all do our part. Learn more and get involved.