A View From North Of The Border

Last week I did a post based on Charles M. Blow’s column titled “Welcome to Jim Crow 2.0” about the history of racism in this nation and how, with the current wave of voter suppression laws targeting mainly Blacks, this nation seems to have made a U-turn and is heading back to the days of slavery, of segregation, of “separate but equal”, of “sit in the back of the bus”, of racist horror.

My post inspired our friend rawgod, a Canadian, to not only share my post, but to share his views from a Canadian perspective.  Y’know … I have often said that those who live outside the U.S. can often see our situation more clearly than we ourselves do, and … well, rawgod’s post gives voice to my claim, I think, as well of giving us some insight into racism in his own country.  Please give his words some consideration … think about it …

THE HISTORY OF SYSTEMIC RACISM — WHAT WE ARE NOT TAUGHT IN CANADIAN SCHOOLS

When I was a K-12 student in Canada in the 50s and 60s, I was taught a lot of American history, along with a lot of British history, and a good smattering of world history. Our educators told us we had one of the best history curriculums in the world. And we believed those educators. Certainly we learned more about Americans than they learned about Canadians. What we did not know, what our educators never told us, is that what we were learning was White American history, indeed, White World history. While some mention was made of slavery, and the struggle of the Negro to gain equality, it was bare basics. Everything we were taught glorified America, and was intended to make us look up to Americans. I hate to admit it, being a person of colour in Canada, red, I had no idea how badly White Americans treated Black Americans. At that time there was no mention of people of other colours. While we were told there were brown and yellow people in the world, we were never taught much about them except as they interacted with White Canada, and White America and White Europe, especially White Britain. There were Black and Asian Canadians where I grew up in Winnipeg, but we learned little about them, other than that they were now Canadians, and so worthy of our respect and acceptance. In schools we were not taught to hate. What we were taught at home will not be discussed here at this time. Suffice it to say, we were taught it did not matter what colour people were, we were all equal, at least in theory.

… Read more of this post

26 thoughts on “A View From North Of The Border

  1. I’ll comment here rather than on Rawgod’s original, though I have read that and the ensuing comments. As a Brit, I didn’t take him to be anti-Brit, but we have much in our history which would justify that. Our present situation isn’t much better, either. We have a blatantly racist Prime Minister and Home Secretary, who are intent on pushing through new laws which would disenfranchise the poorer and less white members of our society – it isn’t quite as blatant as in many US states, but the effect will be the same. Their treatment of the Windrush generation and of migrants looking for sanctuary is devoid of any empathy or kindness. Brexit brought out a nasty, latent racism in many here, and the government’s response legitimised it. Institutional racism is prevalent in many places here too. Like the US and, possibly, Canada, we have much to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Clive, for pointing out some things I either wasn’t aware of or had forgotten. I think it isn’t only the U.S., Canada and the UK that have much to do … I think it may well be every nation on the globe! As I was telling Michael in a comment, I have a friend who lives in Ghana and he tells me that racism is alive and well even there. I’ll never understand it … but of late I’ve largely given up hope that we will ever overcome it. We take two steps forward then three steps back. Human nature … I just don’t get it. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those of us from countries that went out colonising other parts of the world probably do have more to apologise for, I think. Racism has always existed, it just seems to be becoming more of a driver than ever before for political movements and, indeed, governments.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, racism has always existed, but I still don’t understand it. It makes no sense! Until recently, I honestly believed that we could conquer racism … and other forms of bigotry such as homophobia and misogyny … but today, I’ve concluded that at least half of all humans are arrogant people who will always find some reason to claim they are somehow ‘better’ than others. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing, Jill! Do you know? Here in Germany we have no racism, we are only having new nationalsocialists, and as it sounds – the arrived again from outer space, like decades in the past. We only have a Federal Minister of the Interior who is supposed to prevent such activities. A few years ago he said that he wanted to defend the country against migrants “to the last bullet”. He’s still in office. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh what a nice guy your Federal Minister of the Interior sounds to be … NOT! Sigh. I think racism exists everywhere, in every country on the globe. I have a friend in Ghana who tells me that racism even exists there, based on how dark ones skin is. Sigh. I’ve given up hope that the human species will ever learn and I think that I am not of the human species, for I honestly cannot understand how a person can believe the colour of peoples’ skin makes them more or less worthy. I think I am an alien! xx

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  3. Not anti-today-Brit, David, anti-colonial Brit, if you can appreciate the difference. In the 1500s to the 1800s, when Britannia ruled the waves, they treated everyone as inferiors. Yes, some still do, but we get so little British news these days, only the major major stories, that the basic state of affairs is a question mark to us. I know you still have some racists hanging around, but I have no idea of how many. It’s probably a lot like Canada, I suspect, more introverted than extroverted. But for the most part, I have no quarrel with modern day Brits.
    Colonial Brits, that is another matter…

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    • I think even most Brits don’t hold a good opinion of he Colonial Brits RG, Some will still treat oothers as inferiors just like Moseley and his Blackshirts did before the war. They tried to promote he hatred of Jews that Hitler’s Master Race held. There is even now a small British National Party who are mainly thugs who are the racists we have left oy maybe a few of the older generation but most fought too closely with all races during the war for racism to last with them. I would expect to see more racism if it’s about because my son in law is back and my grandchildren for all their paleness have great affros..
      You’re lucky you don’t get our news, we’re boring now Brexit is over.
      Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But it’s the little news items that tell me about your culture and society. The behind-the-times news that paints a truer picture than BoJo is opening up despite rising cases. That’s the same thing our mini-Trump is doing in Alberta. We’re just starting our 4th Wave, but we are being told it’s over. Fools can’t see if they don’t open their eyes.

        And while the colonial Brits may not barely exist anymore, their works still dominate Canadian and American cultures, and probably others. Britain may have moved on, but their colonies have not.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I thought it was an interesting view from someone close to, yet outside the U.S. As for his comments about Brits, I didn’t agree with those, either, but I’ll have to let Jerry address that, for they were his words. I know he’s not anti-British, so I imagine he was only referring to the past.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

      • As I just hinted to Keith, I think it was, I hope to add more to it soon. I just need to find the energy. Since that heat cone we had above us a few weeks ago, I have just not gotten much done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I shall look forward to it. Yes, I understand about the heat cone … I cannot even begin to imagine surviving in triple-digit temps. I’m concerned now that you will have wildfires before long … how’s it looking so far?

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          • So far we are okay. We had rain the past three days–without lightning. There are a few fires in the province, but nothing too large. The provinces on either side of us, not so lucky. British Columbia is still fighting close to 300 fires, most of them out of control. Saskatchewan has over a hundred fires burning out of control. The wind is swirling over central Alberta, so they are getting the smoke and ash from both sides. The air quality is around 7, meaning dangerous to young children, seniors, and anyone with heart or lung conditions. Also, at times, visibility can be down to zero. Car crashes have gone up. And I don’t know if this is weather-related or arson-related, but house and business fires are up in the cities. Throw in the churches being burned by militants because the Catholic Church will not apologize to First Nations people for running the Residential Schools, and we have fires everywhere. Western Canada is a Nmess, and now Ontario is in flames too. There aren’t enough wildfire firefighters around to fight all the fires, so they are doing their best just to hold the fires from
            spreading even more.
            So, thank you for asking, but there is no good answer. I only hope we can survive the fake climate changes.

            Liked by 1 person

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