Rac”ism”,Commun”ism” and Prejudice

Cp24 Canada’s political all day news show this morning in a caption charged that a Toronto school board suffered from systematic racism, a charge that’s been around in the media since I can’t remember how long that highlights an aspect of society so broadly that’s it seems that no one knows what it is or what’s to be done about it. In the days when racial or national prejudices existed most people who experienced  prejudice knew what prejudice was. If you were of European backgrounds especially central or eastern Europe you were labelled a DP, a displaced person, now a refugee from the Middle East. But no one was spared anyone not born in Canada would have their nationality identified with a derogatory epithet, Wasp, Dago,Wop, Limey, Chink, Jap, Polock, Jew and of course DP the most frequently used; in fact DP was so prevalent (my mother and one of my brothers were called DP on the TTC even though both were born in Canada) that it inspired a street joke  “Me no DP me tourist”. What’s interesting though is that those who most believe are the targets of racism today include a group identifying themselves as Indian and  born in North America long before Europeans immigrants  or DP’s had journeyed to North America. The other group and perhaps the most frequently cited as experiencing systematic racism are African Canadians who in Canada seemed outnumbered by those once known as Indian now called native Canadians. Though there were times when I felt that all my closest friends were “Indian” and used to think that I was friends with  the only black people in Canada and born in Canada,the idea of Black people being from somewhere else was beyond my limited experience.

Today though Indians are now native Canadians, and Black people, African Canadians; native Canadians are still born in Canada, but Black people are now from everywhere even Africa. And strange as it may seem some Black Canadians, called African Canadians believe they have little in common with Africans other than skin tone.

So who are the actual targets of systematic racism; and who are the card-carrying members  adhering to the dogma of  racism. Are they of a light skin tone like the angry white men who former U.S. President Clinton said voted for the rather “orange” President Trump. Are they of certain national or racial origins or perhaps just the many of varying skin tone: white, red, black, tanned or olive-skinned who do not live in the same neighbourhoods or rub shoulders with people in high places.

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